Journal Entry: May 20, 2016

Matt and I woke early, expecting to get to the coast by 3pm. After endless delays in Seattle traffic we arrived close to midnight. Without the energy to setup camp, we awkwardly adjusted our seats to pass out in the car until sunrise. When the faint gray woke us up, it was time to begin our hike on the beach to the Hole-in-the-Wall rock formation. I felt slimy, exhausted, cold, and moist. We clambered up our first dune and a bald eagle careened out of the forest and into the sky directly above. A small blessing at the start of our trip.

Over ten days we drove from the Pacific Ocean, across Washington State, and into Idaho. The drama of the Olympic Peninsula softens when you head east, revealing a diversity of landscape that is seldom found within a single state’s borders. From beaches with massive rock formations, towering mountain ranges, and the pulsating hills of the Palouse, Washington state is home to many marvels.

Upon entering the Hoh Rainforest the world falls silent. The moss and rotting trees absorb all sound. You can hear every crack of wood, drop of water, and flutter of leaves. There’s likely a black bear right around the corner. Trees tower above and beside you. Many have fallen, transforming into nurse logs that nurture the new generations. Hoh was the home of Mick Dodge, a nomad who left modern life to live in the rainforest, wandering barefoot with his dog by his side. The Hoh River cuts through the land and you can find wild elk drinking at its shores. As you wander, you get the sense that the forest holds a secret history. Every square inch is covered with life, and it fills you up as you hike on by.

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