Olympic National Park Arrival

We were up early today as this was the only destination we didn’t have a campsite reserved, which causes a bit of stress as we want to arrive early enough to get a campsite we can fit our motorhome in, but late enough that people vacating the campsites are gone.  (Check out is generally noon.)  I had a list of 7 campgrounds in order of our route, ranging 60 miles apart.  We always prefer to stay in national forest or park campgrounds, as opposed to RV parks, as they are more in the woods and less like a parking lot, and these did not accept reservations.  I had my heart set on a campground right on the beach and there was only one of those on the list.

On the way to our next, yet to be determined, campground we needed to make a stop wherever we could get good phone and Internet service so we could check our email, do some blogging and catch up in general.  We stopped at a Walmart in Aberdeen for about 2 hours and got our work done and supplies reloaded.  Believe it or not, I took Molly for a quick walk and behind Walmart was a river with wild blackberry plants all along the edge where I filled a baggie of berries while making some phone calls.

The much-anticipated beach campground was bad…really bad!

We reach the first campground, the one right on the beach that I am so excited about.  There were spots available, but this campground was just horrible.  It looked like a redneck convention.  RVs parked haphazardly, no trees anywhere, and the beach was so overcast and foggy that it just didn’t look inviting.

IMG_0701We decided to move on, passed up several of the possible RV parks that were backup options at best, and pulled into Mora Campground, a national park campground 2 miles from the beach.  Stunning!  It is heavily forested and we found a secluded, site completely enclosed on 3 sides by trees.

I had originally planned to see Lake Quinault this afternoon and possibly put the canoe in, but we ended up traveling farther north than expected and it just wasn’t worth the 100 mile drive back down.  Instead, we headed 2 miles up the road to Rialto Beach, where we could take Molly to the ocean for the first time.  750_4630There was no sand on the beach, just medium and large river rocks with tons of driftwood.  And when I say driftwood, I mean, whole huge trees and logs.  We walked a ways down the rocky beach, laid out a blanket sheltered between two downed trees, and just enjoyed the view, smell, and sound of the ocean.  There is nothing like it!  It was overcast, foggy, and hazy so a bit chilly.  All of a sudden, I see a head pop up in the water.  We were catching glimpses of harbor seals coming up to breathe.  As you can imagine, Molly was nose to the ground smelling everything in sight.  I took her to the water while Mark followed with the camera ready to capture her frolics in the surf.  I led her up to the shoreline to see what she would do with the waves coming in and out.  She took one sniff, turned her back to the water, squatted, and pooped.  Not the reaction we were expecting.  Mark walked back to get a baggie, when the next wave came in and cleared it up for us.  Oops!  I don’t think Molly ever really understood the pattern of waves coming in and out, and she didn’t seem to want to actually go in the water.  Her favorite part seemed to be sniffing the foam each wave left behind.  She also loved running up and down the drift logs.  When the ocean breeze chilled us sufficiently, we headed back up the beach for home just in time to see another bald eagle.  For us Coloradans, sighting the majestic bird feels like a rare treat, but I’m getting the feeling it’s like us seeing antelope at home.  It was another full day of new sights in the Pacific Northwest.750_4657

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