26th Jul 2012 - Summer 2012
Day 38-Hoh Rainforest at Olympic National Park & The Twilight Saga
Day 38-July 26, 2012-Hoh Rain Forest-Olympic National Park Part 111 and Twilight
It got really foggy last night but it seems a bit clearer this morning. We took a ride through the Quileute reservation which is about a mile this way and that, just a few streets really. Lots of junk yard dogs and junk yard yards, very run down, but the people are all very nice. A few restaurants, Crazy Chris’ fireworks, some bait shops, that’s about it. Didn’t see a casino. We’re constantly reminded that we’re on the reservation with signs like “No Fishing Unless You Have a Permit From The Chief”, “Monthly Tribal Circle Meets Here”, “No Fireworks Within 150 Feet of Tribal Land”.
Drove 12 miles south through Forks (more about that later) and then on to the Hoh Forest in the Olympic National Park. It was cloudy and 55 until we turned into the Park and then the sun came out and it got up to 72. The locals were commenting that they only get nice weather like this about 3 days a year. The 17 mile road follows the Hoh River where people drive cars onto the riverbed to go fishing. This part of Washington, called the West End, gets an average of 140-170 inches of rain a year and the rain forest is one of the best examples of a temperate rain forest in the world. The mossy trees are everywhere and the ferns are waist high. It’s like being in Jurassic Park. I’ve never seen so many shades of green. There’s a big Sitka Spruce tree (marked only as “Big Tree”) that’s 300’ tall, 12-1/2’ in diameter and about 550 years old. We took a nice hike, only about an hour, through the Hall of Mosses, giant trees draped with moss. The campground is nice and convenient to the trails and visitor center but we could never fit our RV in it with all the trees around. Back down the 17 miles, which took over 45 minutes with all the twists and turns, stopped in Forks for a few groceries and a look around and back to the campground. Took another walk on the beach, not as many people out today as yesterday. The sun wasn’t out here but it wasn’t as bad as yesterday. As the evening went on the fog started to roll in until about 8PM you can barely see outside. The sunsets would probably be gorgeous but I don’t think LaPush ever sees the sun.
Getting ready to leave tomorrow. Guess we’re on our way home. We’re as far away from home as we can get now and whichever way we go from here is closer to home. Mapquest says we’re 3260 miles from home but we’ve travelled 5600 to get here. Read on if you’re a Twilight fan, if not, you probably want to end here.
Twilight-WOW! I knew we would be in Forks and LaPush but I never thought we would be twilighted to death. As we got halfway down the 15 mile road from the main route 101 toward LaPush we saw a sign saying “No Vampires Beyond This Point”. This was the treaty line. Oh, boy. While in LaPush we see lots of twilight tour buses with names like Dazzled By Twilight and Team Forks that will take you to a lot of the places in the books. We didn’t realize that the beach we’re camped on, First Beach, is a big player in the books. When I went into the Chamber of Commerce in Forks, the first thing the lady said to me was “Team Edward or Team Jacob?” Oh, boy. The place is one tiny room and it’s filled with posters, pictures and books about Twilight, even the ceiling is plastered with posters. She asked me if I wanted my picture taken with life-sized cardboard cutouts of the Cullen Clan or the Werewolf Clan. Oh, boy. I asked her what Forks was before the books and she said a logging town and the town was named Forks because it’s where three rivers meet in a fork. That’s all I got then she started talking about Twilight again. They used to have about 6000 visitors a year, last year they had 72,000 and so far this year over 45,000. She then handed me a map to over 150 places in the book that you could drive to and then another map with places in LaPush and Port Angeles. And a trivia sheet with questions for each of the books that you can fill in, fax back and get the answers. Oh, boy. There were people in the little tiny place from Spain and Germany there to see Twilight stuff and the map where you put the pins in showing where you’re from was filled to the point of not being able to even see the map. The map of the world, not just the US. In the local outfitter store (the one Bella worked in, by the way), along with the usual t-shirts, hats, etc. you can buy werewolf slippers or love at first bite rain boots. There’s Twilight stuff all over the place. In the visitor center parking lot are the two trucks Bella drove in the movie. The sign outside says “Forks-Population 3175, Vampires-8-1/2”. Oh, boy. There’s a Jacob Black Vacation Rental place, Bella’s First Aid Station, “Edward’s song ”-a play going on, Bella’s Suite at one local motel and a sign stating “Edward Cullen didn’t sleep here” at another and signs everywhere saying “You’re now in the Twilight Zone”. We even saw a “Parking for Werewolves only” sign on a front yard in the reservation. Oh, boy.
I’m sure Port Angeles, LaPush and Forks were on the map before the Twilight books but they’re all on the map in bold type now.