Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Forks, WA - Hoh, Hoh, Hoh

Rain Forest. The very words conjure up exotic images of Indonesia, of the Amazon and of Africa. Certainly not of Washington state in the USA. But, there is a temperate rain forest, as opposed to a tropical rain forest, here in the Northwest, just a bit south of Forks. Here the forests get 100+ inches of rain a year, here the moss hangs heavy on drooping tree limbs, here the ferns grow tall and here the trees grow to amazing heights. It’s called the Hoh Rainforest and it’s part of the Olympic National Park. And here we went today. We had intended to stop at Hard Rain Cafe, 1/2 down the road to the rain forest but we found the lights off, the OPEN sign unlit and the door locked.
But, the sign on their door said it all.
We had also expected to find the ranger station open but it is closed on Wed and Thurs so we were on our own. We took the two hikes in the area and found some amazing sights. We found the Giant Spruce
we found the sun glinting off of the mosses covering the trees,
we found a trail lined with greenery,
we found a black slug,
we found a stream covered with plants,
and we found trees which growing on nurse logs. Soon those new trees will be 100’ tall and the nurse log will have decomposed completely.
And, that’s what a temperate rain forest looks like.

Every rain forest needs a cellphone booth.
Among the only protected temperate rain forests in the Northern Hemisphere, the Hoh Rain Forest benefitds from moisture-laden air from the Pacific brings an average of 140 inches of annual rainfall to the Hoh Valley, (record of 190 inches) in addition to condensed mist that contributes another 30 inches.

On the way back, we stopped at Peak 6 for an Ice. Gary can’t tell whose eyes are the droopiest here.

NO, Twilight was not filmed here

NO, Bella did not go to High School here

NO, Twilight was not written here

NO, None of the Twilight stars stayed here


        The City Council dubbed the Mc Irvin residence at 775 K ST as the home of Bella

        And The Miller Tree Inn at 654 E. Division St as the home of Edward

        You can visit the police station where Bella’s father was the Police Chief

        You an visit Forks Outfitters where Bella worked

        You can buy the Bella burger at Sully’s Drive-In.

        And, you can take your picture next to the full-sized movie stand-ups of Bella and Edward in the Visitor Center.

Yes, supposedly Bella and Edward from the Twilight series of movies, lived here in Forks. And, while we were at the Visitor Center in Forks, we heard a 20-ish couple ask if the Twilight movies were filmed here, if Bella went to high school here, if Twilight was written here and if any of the Twilight stars stayed here. They were a bit disappointed and I hope that they did not make their entire trip out to Forks based upon the mistaken information that Twilight had any more to do with Forks than it used the name.

I asked the young woman at the desk if she got tired of hearing the same questions about Twilight. Oh, no, the perky young woman said, ‘I’m a people person and love to talk to visotors. I never get tired of any question.’ And, I don’t think she would. But, we both agreed that the Twilight series had brought and will continue to bring gobs of money into Forks.

When I say it rains a lot here I’m not just kidding. Here’s Gary standing next to a chart showing how much rain they have ALREADY received this year. The young waitress in the restaurant grew up in this area and loves living here but even she will admit that she'd like a few more sunny days.
Next to the Visitor Center was the Forks Timber Museum. Now, I’ll have to admit that we are in Forks at this particular time because 8 months ago, when I was planning this trip, Gary asked me if there were any tours of lumber mills in the area. Sure enough, I found a mill that gave tours beginning in mid-May on Wednesdays. And here we are on a Wed in mid May. Oops. I found out 3 weeks ago, when they published the schedule of tours that the fires tour this year in NEXT Wednesday. Darn.

But, there is a nice museum on the edge of town which talks a lot about the logging industry. There are lots of old logging tools and machinery and lots of pictures of loggers.


Here’s my favorite of a young couple clearing their land.
Note that they do not wear hard hats, that they do not wear gloves, that there is no safety belt for them. Luckily, this has all changed.

What has also changed is that trees are not looked upon as an unlimited resource, to be cut at will. They are now looked upon as a crop and clear cut areas need to be reseeded. Even private forests and woods need to be replanted withing 5 years of their being cut - if the land is classified as ‘forest’ for tax purposes. And, with taxes lower on ‘forests’, all woods probably fall into this category.

We were also told that the cranberry industry is larger here than in Cape Cod. And - Ocean Spray is strong here in Washington too.

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