Olympic National Park
By the time we get to the Olympic National Park, the sun is already setting. Sunrays shoot through the giant trees surrounding the Highway 101 while we’re looking for a place to sleep. After a few miles we see a sign “Beach access”. Even though it’s just supposed to be for local tribes, we access the beach driving through a little creek.
It’s the first little off-road challenge for the truck and I feel quite excited about it. With the creek being really small, we make it through without any troubles. The beach itself is covered in fog. More and more fog is coming from the sea to float over the beach and get lost inside the deep forest next to it. We find ourselves a nice spot and set up camp. Ashton and Sebastian put up their tent next to the car and Sven and I move some stuff around to make space inside of the camper. We celebrate this first night on the road with a nice dinner and a big fire afterwards.
I wake up early and find the whole beach covered in fog. While wandering around at the beach I see a huge bird colony next to the ocean. We also find a lot of fireworks that are still good to go and shoot some rockets into the morning sky. After breakfast we continue to drive deeper into the forest. We get some information at a ranger station and continue on a nice gravel road surrounded by the Hoh Rainforest. In the afternoon we arrive at a little campsite next to a creek called Graves Creek. We eat supper and head down to the creek to go for a swim. Ashton and Sebastian decide to set up their tent right next to the river. We stay at the river until after midnight, sitting at the fire and playing around with our cameras. Sven and I then head back to the campsite to sleep in the camper.
The next day we go for hike up the creek and find a nice spot to swim and relax. Even though we’re in the USA the landscape really reminds me of all those postcard pictures I have seen from Canada. The Olympic National Park is a designated world heritage site and famous for its pacific coastline, alpine areas and the west side temperate rainforest. After the hike we make our way to another campsite just a few miles further into the forest.
The next morning we try to get up early to make it to the next town in time for the final game of the soccer world championships 2014. We find an American diner in Forks and are served good burgers while watching the game. They even have “Hefeweizen” beer! The perfect setting to see Germany win the world cup for the first time in almost 25 years! Even though we’re in a beautiful national park, we kind of wish we could be in Germany to celebrate this with everybody.
While getting some supplies in town we realize that Forks is kind of famous. The Twilight books and movies are based in Forks and there are a lot of shops trying to make some money out of that. Since the movies were released the number of tourists in Forks must have raised exponentially.
We continue our tour through the national park in the area around the Sol Duc Falls. The hike to the waterfalls and back to the camp is by far the most beautiful one so far. Following a little trail we are completely surrounded by rainforest with little waterfalls, big mossy trees and a lot of ferns. The big Sol Duc Falls itself are really stunning and we spent at least an hour up there taking pictures.
Our last big stop is the Hurricane Ridge, a plateau 1,598 meters high in the mountains, where you are surrounded by an amazing chain of mountains 360 degrees around. The next day Sebastian and Ashton hitchhike back to Seattle to try to get a new passport for Ashton, so she can join us on our trip to the north. Sven and I make our way up to Port Townsend and take a ferry to the Whidbey Island from where we want to take another ferry to Vancouver Island and back into Canada.