Saturday, May 14, 2011

Transcontinental Trek 2001 Day 6: Forks - Abbotsford, BC

Up at 6am, and ate leftover corned beef hash from the Brown Bag Café and Tully’s coffee from the Thriftway across the street. 40F and hazy. Today we are going to the rainforest! I am so excited! I love the idea of being able to visit a rainforest without leaving the US. Not that I’m against travelling abroad, I love it, but with all of the turmoil in Mexico we’ve had to cancel our Birds Without Borders workshop. We used to travel every Spring with our students to El Cielo Biosphere Reserve which houses the northernmost cloud forest in North America. But, we haven’t been down there since 2008. It’s just too dangerous to be in Tamaulipas right now. So, that is why I am so excited to go to the rainforest today. I love the diverse plants and mosses.

7:40am left for the Hoh Rainforest about 19 miles southeast of Forks. With its 12 ft of precipitation a year, the Hoh is a magnificent example of one of the few remaining protected temperate rainforests in the world.

Moisture-laden air from the Pacific brings an average of 140 inches of annual rainfall to the Hoh Valley in addition to condensed mist that contributes another 30 inches.

At the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center we took the Hall of Mosses Trail and saw moss-draped maples, magically green in the spring sunlight.

 I was able to get a Hoh stamp for my Park Passport here, too! I am so excited!!!!!  Their stamp is of a slug!

Which we just happened to see...

 I love this program, I want to go to every National Park and get my Passport book stamped!  I hope the following photos will give you a sense of how amazing the Hoh Rainforest is.
Worlds largest sitka spruce.

and a Sooty Grouse.

After tearing ourselves away from Hoh, we stopped in Forks to get souvenirs for the girls, and were on the road to BC at 12:30pm. As we approached the northern coast of the peninsula, we found out that the ferry we wanted to take into Canada from Port Townsend was booked up until 8:30pm. For a few minutes, we couldn’t decide whether to wait, or to drive around Puget Sound, down to Tacoma and then back up to Seattle. But, that would take at least 4 hours. Either way, we were not going to make it to our next hotel without driving through the night. Then, we found out that the same ferry we came over on from Edmond would leave at 4pm, so we hopped on it.

Granted, we were back in Seattle, but this ferry cut off about 3 hrs from our drive around the Sound.

I think this is Mt. Ranier in the background...

So, now we were way behind schedule and there was no way we’d make it to Lac La Hache tonight. We booted up our laptop and were able to find a hotel in Abbottsford, BC, just across the border for tonight. By modifying our schedule, we’ll be back on schedule by the time we hit Tok, AK.

We crossed the border into Canada at 7:20pm. Our border agent was grumpy, but she let us through without examining any of our things. We got the last two rooms in the Super 8 in Abbotsford. The town is hosting the boys national volleyball championships, and all the local hotels were full. The registration clerk suggested we have dinner next door at Sammy Pepper’s because it was more of an adult restaurant and wouldn’t be full of volleyball players. Well, he was right. Sammy Pepper’s is definitely designed to attract male customers! The waitresses wear miniskirts and strapless tops, 80’s and 90’s rock blares from speakers in the ceiling and large screened TVs displayed the NBA playoffs, a current MLB game and some other sport channel. I think I was one of only 3 other female patrons in the entire restaurant. Outside in the parking lot, high end, sports cars were lined up like a showroom; corvette, BMW, etc. The food was surprisingly good. I had the Jamaican Seafood skillet with jerk spices and it was excellent.

We were in bed by 9:30pm. Exhausted and happy.


Jenny W said...

No way! They have a slug stamp for that national park? Dang, I'm jealous! Girl, isn't that passport-stamp collecting addictive? I feel ya. That's what made me finally break down and get the Blue Goose Passport book -- that one is for tracking the national wildlife refuges you visit, which are, like, practically everywhere! I got three NWR stamps in Alaska.... which, again, shows you what a giant nerd I am! Love the pictures from your travels today. That rain forest looks amazing. Back home, we have plenty of rain... not so much forest. :)

Sister Marty said...

I needed to send a message to Dave to say that our Cincinnati Reds are back in First Place after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals the last three games. I was at the wet, misty game yesterday in great seats. Our boys always make for an interesting end though as you know. We were ahead 9-2 when the ninth inning started...the bases got loaded up and Chapman walked in a run to make it 9-3, followed by walking another guy and once again loaded them up, with Massa coming in to give up a hit and scored two more runs. Now it is 9-5 and Cordero comes in allowing two more runs to score and hits Puljo's with a pitch and it is now 9-7. Lance Berkman comes up and luckly with two outs, Cordero strikes him out...whew...
Well continue to enjoy your trip and thanks for keeping us posted. Peace, Marty