In Olympic National Park

Hoh Rain Forest

I had never been to a rain forest before, but it seemed fitting that it should be misting rain during our hike through the Hoh Rain Forest. Your reporter forgot to pack rain-gear, a very optimistic oversight. But Erik brought two jackets and saved the day for me. It kept me warm in the mountains and dry in the forest.

The Hall of Moses runs through the heart of the Hoh Rain Forest. The trails meander through stands of conifers and bigleaf maples -- so the tour book says. I knew only that the impressive  trees were hung with long, thick shawls of moss and looked like they had been there since creation.

Hall of Moses

plant growth on log

The forest looked wildly exotic to eyes used to the blackjack oaks and red cedars of  Oklahoma. The abundance of luxuriant plant growth that covered virtually every available surface did give the misty forest a jungle-like appearance. The forest floor was lush with ferns, mosses and thickets of berries and vines.

Click on any image to see a larger version

stream through the forest Hoh Rain Forest moss and more moss

We noticed that many of the trees appeared to be standing on their toes. It happens, we learned, when a seed germinates on the decaying remains of a fallen tree, called a "nurse tree," and sends its roots down around the decomposing tree. The young trees are left standing on their roots.

Nurse Trees

BIG tree

I wish that I had asked Jill or Erik to stand by this tree. It is hard to appreciate how huge these giants are from a simple photo. I could have squeezed under the roots of this one. Just shows what time and up to 250 inches of rain a year can do. They say that the temperature rarely gets below freezing because of the protection of the mountains.

nurse log and trees trees on stilts trees and trees and trees

 A trip to the Ocean was next!

Onward to Rialto Beach on the Olympic Peninsula

Erik's Excellent Homepage | Butchart Gardens | Rainier National Park
Rainier Forest | Pike Place Market | Deception Pass and Whidbey Island
Dungeness Spit | Hoh Rain Forest | Rialto Beach | Hurricane Ridge

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