Wednesday I drove from Olympia to Forks. Forks, for those of you who haven't read them yet, is the setting for the Twilight books. Between Olympia and Forks there's not a whole lot except the Olympic National Forest. There were several little turn offs along the way. I pulled over at one because I spotted the ocean through the trees. These trees have crazy looking lumps on them.
They're called spruce burls and they're actually tumors caused by bugs or infection. Not technically cancer but still tumors. Very crazy.
Something I found really interesting is that there are portions of the National Forest that are considered rain forests due to the amount of rain they get each year. There is one about 10 miles south of Forks called the Hoh Rain Forest. I decided to go and visit. It's a 20 minute drive from the main road to the entrance of the forest. On the way I spotted 2 elk feeding (can you spot them?).
I was pretty impressed that I saw these because they were on the other side of a river out the passenger side of my car. I may or may not have come to complete stop for this picture.
Entrance to the rain forest:
What's funny was that after I spotted those 2 elk from 3 miles away I almost missed this herd that was 2 feet away from my window. I think I was too busy yelling at the people stopping in the middle of the road to take pictures. I may or may not have also stopped to take some pictures.
One of the draws to stop at the Hoh Rain Forest is the Hall of Mosses. It's a trail lined with moss covered trees. The entrance looks like a portal to another world.
I wonder who lives here?
A close up of lichen.
Some mega mushrooms.
Stairs to more enchantment.
It was lovely but it was a long drive to get to all the beauty. After the Hall of Mosses it was back to the main road and on to Forks!
Kind of hard to read but it says: The City of Forks Welcomes You. Outside the tourist information center is Bella's truck.
I was a little afraid that people in the town would be put off by the number of tourists who flock there to take pictures of places connected to the book but the people there are actually really into the books and welcome the publicity. They are more than happy to point out places of interest. Every store carries Twilight merchandise and every restaurant has a Twilight themed dish. Those books are the best thing to happen to Forks.
After a quick drive to my hotel (where my room was being cleaned) I decided to head to La Push, a town on the Native American Indian reservation about 15 miles outside of Forks. La Push is also in the books. If you've read the books then you know why this sign is posted just outside the borders of the reservation:
I went looking for First Beach (also in the book). It's not marked like Second and Third Beaches and I may or may not have almost run off the road trying to find it but I did make it. I even climbed down the driftwood to walk along the beach. I will say that, unlike in the movie, you can't drive a van down on the actual beach.
Too much driftwood and rocks in the way. As I was leaving I was able to get a picture of this encouraging sign:
I never thought tsunamis were something you'd have to worry about on the west coast but I guess with the threat of an earthquake a tsunami is always possible.
After First Beach I decided to hike to Second Beach. And yes, I did say hike. I can't remember the exact distance it is from the turnoff on the road to the beach but I would like to say it's about half a mile. A lonely little walk. Right before you get to the beach there was is this tree trunk that has this natural little grove in it that people have filled with little trinkets.
A little offering to the ocean and forest. Second Beach is even more rugged than First Beach. There was a lot more driftwood to climb over.
I didn't stay long, just enough to take a few pictures. I wasn't about to try and pick my way down to the actual sand. Plus, by this point, I was tired and ready for a nap. Back to my hotel room!
I splurged at the Pacific Inn Motel on one of their 3 Twilight themed rooms. Decorated in all red and black.
Curtains that sparkle! (And keep out any light, made me feel like a vampire.)
And of course an apple, the forbidden fruit ;)
After a little nap I went out to Sully's Diner for a bite of dinner. I didn't get the Bella Burger but I did see the table reserved for Bella and Edward :)
Tomorrow will be the wrap of Forks and back to Seattle!