Sunday, July 20, 2014

USA 2014 - Hoh Rainforest and Cape Flattery

On Sunday morning we headed straight for the Hoh Rainforest, for me the iconic image I've always associated with The Olympic National Park.   Another early start saw us driving through rain and low clouds:


The rainforest however was unusually dry, if overcast, and well worth a visit, the moss hanging from the trees is is surprisingly dry to the touch and everywhere is green, multivariate shades of green:


Helen took this picture of me at the base of a Cedar tree to give you an idea of the scale:


Loggers are pushing to have access to this ancient forest, to destroy it for a quick buck, the Federal Government is standing firm and should be applauded, this is irreplaceable forest:



Properly beautiful:



At one point we encountered a small family of recently fledged Winter Wrens with the mother scolding the fledglings who clumsily tried to avoid us, luckily we don't eat birds:


As we headed out of Hoh and on to our next destination, Cape Flattery, the clouds had cleared:


We stopped off at a public beach area and enjoyed seeing Wilson's Warblers, and an American Robin gathering food for a nest:


On the approach to Cape Flattery you drive through a number of small Indian Reservations, it's quite shocking how poor they are in comparison to the settled lands outside, and it was raining lending a dark pall to the area.  Lots of signs had been put up by locals about drug taking, alcohol abuse, and general messages around hope and wellbeing, giving you a sense of a community under huge pressure.

At Cape Flattery itself it was thankfully not raining so we took the short hike to the Northwestern tip of the continental United States and enjoyed the view:



We were lucky enough to meet a native American lady with a couple of children, she was explaining to them the local names and uses of the land and shared this with us too, for which we were grateful.  She explained she was a desert girl who had married into the local tribe and was bringing her child and the child of a friend to the Cape to help teach them about their identity.

Glaucous-winged Gulls provided the backdrop of sound in an otherwise silent landscape:


Back at the car park some people who had driven the long drive to the Cape turned around and headed back when they saw it required a short-ish walk to reach the point!  We were gobsmacked!

Anyway from Cape Flattery it was time to head back to the hotel and to pack as on the morrow the return journey home started.

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