The sky was dark and the sun was hidden away on the day we chose to go to Sol Duc Hot Springs
The fine misty rain was warm.
The Sol Duc River runs by the hot springs.
Not often do you find a National Park with hot springs to soak in.
We do love soaking in hot mineral water. Grey skies seemed to make it special. No chance of sunburn today.
There are three mineral hot springs and one freshwater pool at the resort.
The small mineral pool is only inches deep. The medium-sized mineral pool is 3 feet deep, and its temperature hovers at 104F. The larger mineral fountain pool is 3 feet deep and stays at 101F.
The large freshwater pool is unheated but the kids didn't seem to care.
A few pleasant hours were spent soaking and basking in the beauty of the area.
The skies cleared some that led to a little exploring on the way back to GypsyII.
We stopped at the Salmon Cascades of the Sol Duc River.
Each fall, salmon return to the rivers and streams of the Olympic Peninsula to migrate upstream to their birth places where they spawn and re-initiate the life cycle process.
They say that it is the best easily accessible spots to view the salmon run.
While it was too early to see the salmon we were right on time to enjoy the "sparkling waters" which is the name the Quiluete Native Americans gave the river......Sol Duc.
My expectations continue to be exceeded.
Two happy campers returned to GypsyII that night.
The Olympic National Park is 572 square miles and made up of three different ecosystems. The sub-alpine forest and wildflower meadow, temperate forest, and the rugged Pacific Shore. With so much we have already seen it is hard to believe that there is more to see.
Every day it seems more and more unfolds before us.
I am always fascinated by how the trees lean toward each other across the roadway. It seems that the trees detect light by phototropism that triggers them to bend their branch growth or to grow their main branches on the side with the most exposure to the sun.
Today's adventure is taking us about 90 miles on Highway 101 to the Hoh Rainforest.
There was no rain in the rainforest today.
The day was clear, sunshiny and warm.
Those kinds of days are unusual here.
This area has 140 to 170 inches (or 12 to 14 feet!) of precipitation each year.
Even though the day was dry everything we touched was moist.
I felt like nothing really dies in this place. Anything that appears to die becomes the starting place of more life.
It is like walking through a cathedral that is multiple shades of green.
There are plenty of places for the trolls to hide.
There is one drawback of not visiting on a rainy day. No opportunity to see the 10 inch long banana slug. They are not out and about on dry days.
In this majestic place you can't help but feel your body relax. At this spot we sat down and I suggested to Walt that we stay there until there was no evidence of another human.
I am fortunate that he doesn't mind humoring me and we spent a pleasant few minutes enjoying the peace and quiet.
More troll hiding places.
I am sure the gigantic trees, the lush ferns, the hanging mosses, the twisted contorted tree roots, the fallen trees with new life germinating from them will be foremost in my mind for quite awhile. More exceeding expectations.