A Visit to the Hoh Rain Forest
The Olympic National Park has much in the way of nature's diversity. One can stroll wide driftwood strewn beaches, climb mountains, explore small towns frozen in time, and wander through moss covered trees so tightly packed together that daylight has difficulty shining through. Such was my experience in March; along the the half hour approach off the main highway to the Hoh Rain Forest. The road was lined with dense growth forest. The tall pines covered with hanging moss gave way to open meadow vistas of snow covered mountains. As we approached the Visitor's Center, the road followed along the Hoh River, with tho Olympic Mountains looming off in the distance, shrouded in fog. At any point, one could park the car on the side of the road and set up for amazing photographs. Inside the forest, there are a number of trails that one can follow, of varying lengths and degrees of ease. Here moss and plants grow upon each other weaving a fabric of thick vegetation. Due to time constraints, we chose to walk only the Mini-trail, with the sound of running water and the wind in the trees. There are other paths for longer hikes, lasting from one hour to overnight, that go deeper into the forest.
The Hoh Rainforest receives 10-12 feet of rain a year, as evidenced by the hanging moss in the trees, and the carpet of green velvet on the floor of the forest. There is the possibility of seeing elk, eagles and other wildlife in the dense, lush forest. The Hoh is one of two rain forests we will visit on our Profundo Journeys Photography Workshop in September 2017. The second is the Quinault Rainforest, which also hosts a number of waterfalls, perfect for photography. In March, the air is chilled and damp, but in September the prevailing weather is dry and with infinite blue skies. Still, I found the mist and overcast conditions to give a mysterious and ethereal feel to the environment, which is a way of looking at the glass half full in the typical winter weather of the Olympic National Park.
The full itinerary for the September's photography workshop is available at www.profundojourneys.com