October 24, 2011

While we’ve camped on the coast and explored a bit in the Olympic Mountains, we haven’t really seen any of the Hood Canal area, tucked on the Puget Sound side of the peninsula. So this past weekend, we roadtripped out from a gloomy forecast of rain and drizzle with friends Ben and Corey, riding the ferry across the Sound to Dosewallips State Park. With a reservation for one of the park’s three canvas-walled platform tents, the rainy forecast did little to discourage our “camping” plans. A quick tarp build later, and we had a veritable cabin in the outdoors, and an awesome fall weekend to spend it in.

The breakfast of champions – egg and cheese sandwiches, accompanied by oatmeal cookies with Nutella and bananas. In desperate times, we improvised a coffee filtering system with a bandana and our camping mugs. It also turns out that when you go camping in a platform tent, you don’t really bring any less than usual… in fact, likely more.

Fall in the PNW is rich, but in a different way from the foliage of New England. Wandering the back roads reminds me of VT’s orange/yellow/red maples lining dirt roads, but here the bit of yellow blends in with ten different kinds of green. It’s amazing that in the waning season of the Northwest that everything can look so brilliant. Maybe it’s the sudden contrast of a little yellow thrown in, or just that the shine of a little rain makes it all seep with richness. Either way, with hardly a bit of sun, it was still a stunning weekend in the forest.

Taller trees sporting their mossy sweaters, with thick ferns and soft benches in the undergrowth. Every inch is covered in plant life in the Olympics. While the Hoh Rainforest on the other side of the peninsula is better known for it, everything in the Dosewallips area was teeming with moss, ferns, you name it.

Lulu, Corey, and Ben admiring the old growth on the Maple Valley Trail.

A single bright tree shows a little reflection on an otherwise overcast morning on the Dosewallips River. It’s only a matter of time until winter starts to firm its grip!

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