Another heat wave came through during the second week. I struggle in heat over 85, and I don’t think the pups are thrilled with it either. Rather than sap my limited physical resources I took extra rest days when the temperatures peaked. I am still waiting and looking for the cooler misty weather that the Olympic Peninsula is famous. Several fires started in Olympic NP; by the end of the day, my face was smudgy from the smoke. Olympic is beautiful, even when it’s toasty warm.
Outside of the park was another story. I was blown away by how much of the surrounding land had been clear cut and was in the various stages of regrowth. Areas with regrowth didn’t have the diversity of plant life; there was an absence of undergrowth, mosses, and ferns. As I cycled through I could feel when I was in old growth versus clearcut and regrowth areas. The temperature would drop significantly in the old growth forests as if someone had opened the door to a walk-in freezer. Regrowth clear cuts, even if the trees had grown significantly, the temperatures would soar, as if someone opened up a giant industrial dryer door.
Day 8, August 20:
Rest day, took a second rest day to wait out heat wave, forecasted to break tomorrow, dip into 60’s.
Weather: High 90’s
Highlight: Sol Duc Hot Springs in Olympic National Park, followed by swimming in a beautiful crystal clear glacier-fed stream. Magical.
Campground: Klahowya USFS Campground.
Day 9, August 21:
Klahowya to Hoh Rainforest Campground, Olympic NP
Miles: 35.5 Elevation: 3,031′
Weather: 50’s-60’s with misting and light rain.
Highlight: the cool weather and the Hall of Mosses walk at Hoh Rainforest in Olympic NP.
Campground: The Taj Mahal of campgrounds. Our site was beautiful with a little meadow, little drop down to the picnic table in mossy ferny woods, then another drop down to area to pitch the tent. A trail lead to the river, a milky glacier fed stream, and continued on along the bank. In the morning two does and a fawn walked by our site. One doe jumped up onto a downed tree to get a better look at the dogs.
Day 10, August 22:
Hoh Rainforest to South Beach Campground, Olympic NP
Weather: cool 60’s
Highlight: moody weather and dinner on the deck at the Lodge overlooking the beach. Half a mile north of the campground.
Campground: open area, reminded me a little bit of the California beach campgrounds. The Swiss couple Tess and Ben pitched their tent next to mine. Huge trees washed up onto the beach, round pebble beach, rugged rough surf. A treat for my canine companions.
Day 11, August 23:
South Beach to Willaby Creek USFS Campground, Quinault Lake.
Highlights: Taking the dogs swimming in Quinault Lake, meeting Hellen & Norman from Montreal cycling to Ushuaia, Argentina, and waking up to Loon’s calling.
Campground: Site 1 the first night. Pretty little campground, but this site had the tent pad right next to the neighbor’s picnic table. LOUD incessantly chatty types who didn’t go to bed until 1:30am. Hellen and Norman from Montreal pitched their tent with us, the campground was full when they arrived at dusk. Hellen introduced me to the idea of earplugs.
Day 12, August 24:
Highlight: Swimming in Quinault, Loons calling, and breakfasting with Hellen & Norman.
Campground: moved to site 12. On the lake, great swimming, much quieter.
Day 13, August 25:
Lake Quinault to Hoquiam River RV Park.
Miles: 47 Elevation: 4,300 **Forgot to resume app and added miles and elevation missed via Google maps.
Weather: high 90’s
Highlight: Humptulip US F&W fish hatchery.
Campground: A necessity, not a destination CG by any means. Meh
Day 14, August 26:
Hoquiam to Kenanna RV Park
Weather: high 90’s
Highlight: cool bridge, drawbridge, with wooden planks for cyclist/pedastrian walkway.
Campground: Long but beautiful walk to the beach in tall grasses. Waking to coyotes!
Day 14, August 27:
Rest Day from heat.
Highlight: wifi access, House of Donuts in Westport.
Campground: KenAnna RV Park no coyotes this morning 🙁