Part two…
On Saturday we decided to take a day trip up to Lake Quinalt and hike a few of the nature trails. This area is a temperate rain forest so the trees here are cedar, fir, hemlock, and spruce for the most part. They are really BIG trees. That seems to be what happens in a rain forest. The trees get lots of water and grow huge.

This was our first hike with the youngest member of our family. We bought her some hiking shoes a few weeks ago so she had time to break them in. Apparently they are great in the sand box at school. Who knew? She is carrying her own pack with water, extra clothes, and some snacks. We wanted her first experience to be fun, not grueling!

We picked a fairly simple trail that was just shy of 2 miles. After hiking up the big “mountains” we finally got to some cool stuff. (Five year old perspective, remember.) The creeks and rivers fascinated her. Her all time favorites were the waterfalls. The little ones were close enough to touch as they came off the banks and ran down into the creeks. The big ones were, well, awesome. She would have stayed and watched the water pour over the rocks and tumble around the fallen logs all day if we had let her. It’s been over a week and they are some of the most talked about features of our trip.

When we reached the crossing of the trails she thought she wanted to take the really long one back. We were tempted, as it might burn off some energy, but neither one of us really wanted to carry her if she tuckered out. We kept it short and had lunch by the lake, where, after her sandwich, the little Miss tried to fill in the lake by throwing all of the rocks she could find into the water. Apparently this is a favorite past time of the younger set. As there were two, slightly younger boys who were attempting to fill in their section of the lake in the same fashion.

As we sat there we noticed that the tree line across the lake looked strange. It was snow! Yep. While it was in the mid to upper 40 degree range down by the lake, snow was gracing the upper reaches. My sweet husband though that the Quinalt Lodge had the perfect thing for relaxing after a bracing hike in the outdoors. He wants to put one in our room. It would take up one whole wall! Those logs are 3 feet long! I’ll take our nice compact wood stove, thanks. Besdies, I’m not so sure we could get the Roosevelt Elk head for a center piece, and it just wouldn’t be the same without it.

On our way back to Point Brown at Ocean Shores we made a few stops. We took a side trip to a National Fish Hatchery. We were the only people there, and I think the sole employee on duty was hiding from us. Either that, or he was looking to log in some overtime. We had no more gotten in our car to leave, than he came out and began to feed the fish their supper. Since we arrived at about 30 minutes to closing and we took the self guided tour after poking around in the interpretive center, something was fishy. (Sorry)

We also decided to stop at Pacific Beach for a bit of beach combing. Our stretch of beach was fairly limited with the tides being so high. We found some pretty interesting stuff while we were there. The pair of eagles were the loudest things we saw. They screeched and chattered for 30 to 45 minutes. We also found a seal carcass, or most of one. Not really something to photograph, so you lucked out there. The smell was awful too. The seagulls thought it was tasty, but they are pretty much just rats with wings, so, one more reason not to eat seagulls. We found a couple of pretty rocks and a clam shell that had to come home with us. Considering the other things we found on the beach, good choices all!

Our weather was really quite good for this time of year. We did get some rain that kept us from going back down to our own beach at Pt. Brown on Saturday evening when we got back to the condo, but it blew through and left us with this after dinner show.

We really didn’t want to come home on Sunday, but that is the way all good vacations are supposed to be. We’ll be making more trips to the beach and the forest trails I am sure. Thanks for coming along with us!