Jessica’s Favorite… exploring the Olympic Penisula !

Road Trip Blog:  Jessica’s Graduation trip to the North Pacific Coast in June 2012;

Day 2 continued

“We hunkered down for some serious rain showers as we drove west out of Seattle & found it was indeed an accurate stereotype to expect showers and clouds if you visit the North Pacific coastline… as the iconic fog settled in, we slowly worked our way up the east edge of the Olympic Peninsula. We drove over huge bridges and back roads as we passed islands of green forests & soaring mountains on one side & the dark blue water of the pacific on the other!

Crescent Lake Lodge – View at Sunset

We arrived at a secluded lakeside lodge ( in Olympic National Park) on a drizzly afternoon stop. We had picked a great place to take a break from the road & Jessica immediately fell in love with solitude and beauty of the turn of the century building…nestled in a rainforest overlooking a glacial lake. It’s two-sided covered porch was mirrored on three sides by the Olympic mountains & layers of slowly floating wispy clouds. It was like we had stepped out of our rental car into some magical time warp, emerging on the other side of the road to find a simpler and calmer life that could only be found a 100 years ago.

We reserved one of the last available spaces at the lodge with a second floor room & balcony overlooking the ancient pines & birch which silently bordered our lakeside meadow view. With no television, phone or wi-fi services…this was truly “un-plugging” from our fast paced world.

We took a 90 minute soggy hike from the lodge up to Marymere falls across and into a “moss-covered landscape” that reminded us of a classic movie set from the planet Pandora! We wore our rain coats and snapped pictures as we crossed a couple of rushing streams & walked under the protection of the massive 150 year old trees that lined the trails edge. As we walked and talked, we both started to “decompress” as we absorbed more and more of the beauty & calm this rainforest inspired.

Olympic Rainforest

It was wonderful & it was wild at the same time! Jessica was excitedly snapping pictures of the hundreds of shades of purple, yellow and white wildflowers and the multitude of moss-covered trees, as we wound our way up the fern filled valleys to the almost hidden waterfall ! Arcing over a rock  forested edge, the clear water plunged 90 ft and yet managed to feel gentle as it fell softly to the valley below…its entire length framed by massive old growth trees & lush moss. Deeply recessed in the side of a mountain the waterfall and green on green background made it feel like we had stumbled into some North Pacific… Shangra La!

Dinner was shared lakeside in the glass & wood-paneled lodge dining hall… followed by a gentle dusk stroll along the silent shoreline of Lake Crescent. We paused to admire the sunset’s purple and gold glow as the mountains shadow slowly consumed the dim light. The air was cooling fast and we could see our breath as we sat on the sodden old wooden pier that stuck out into the crystal clear & green waters. I could tell that Jessica was soaking up the beauty like a human sponge… recording the colors and smells and sounds safely forever in her mind.

Not to be cliche’ but we were enjoying what was truly one of those rare life experiences where the imagination, the hope of what Olympic would be like was exceeded only by the actual reality of what it was. God had reserved for us a perfect moment to enjoy… arranging for the right combination of light and air,weather and water to blend into a brilliant tapestry of life that met and exceeded our highest hopes. Aaahhh it was heavenly to be here, to share the beauty of this wilderness sunset with my daughter and know she was more excited than I to see what our Road Trip would reveal next…. If I was a cat…I would have purred 🙂 ”

Sunset on Crescent Lake

 Day 3 and our visit to Forks WA (of Twilight Fame) and of starting to look for the perfect North Pacific Beach, which we found! …But that’s for Tomorrow.

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