Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Road Trip '08: Day 14

Lake Crescent, WA to Hoh Rainforest, WA
(with visits to Rialto Beach, La Push, First & Second Beaches, and Forks)
Miles driven today= 106
Total miles driven= 1892

Today was the big day, folks--my visits to real-Twilight locations La Push, First Beach, and of course, Forks! We packed up early in the morning, because there were quite a few things we wanted to see before heading into the Hoh Rainforest and setting up camp there. First stop was Rialto Beach, just north of La Push. With the forest as a backdrop, it is a long stretch of beach with a ton of large beach logs on it. These enormous logs add a unique beauty to the beach, and it's refreshing to see something that is so very different from the beaches that I'm used to...

Next up, drove through La Push real quick then parked along the road to hike down hill to Second Beach, which was supposed to be very pretty. (I think it may have been the beach that the Forks kids hiked over to from First Beach to go tidepooling.) Second Beach was indeed very beautiful--another expansive beach with a lot of logs strewn along it. We had to climb over a large pile of them to reach the sandy part of the beach, and lucky for us, the tide was pretty low, so we looked around for a bit...

After hiking up from Second Beach, we went back to La Push and visited the real First Beach. Again, this was a tad different from the First Beach I had imagined--it actually stretched a lot longer and didn't have a backdrop of trees that I saw in my head. Kind of funny, but Indian Beach, the movie-Twilight's First Beach, looked a little more like what I imagined--which makes me so excited about the movie. Indian Beach was smaller and a more intimate cove, with a a forest as its backdrop, although there were only a few logs on it. First Beach is pretty expansive, with tons of beach logs and no forest, but rather the town and a resort jutting up to its edge. It was great to see the real place though, and after being there, I could definitely see Bella and Jacob walking down the beach, or maybe sitting on this log...

After leaving La Push, we of course headed to the small town of Forks, Washington. The whole time we were driving the approximately 13 miles over to Forks, I kept imagining Bella heading down the same road to visit Jacob--it was neat to be there. The first thing we came across as we drove down Highway 101 was the big sign, "The City of Forks Welcomes You." I had imagined that the sign would be a little bit more accessible--not on a tiny hill right along the side of a busy highway. We drove by it quickly, but planned to backtrack later on and try to figure out how to get a picture of it. Highway 101 turns into Forks Ave as we drove through the main part of town, with its one stoplight.

My plan was to visit the Chamber of Commerce and try to get a little bit more information about the Twilight sights that I wanted to visit. Although Forks is a small town, I had no clue where in town the places would be located. The lady at the office was very enthusiastic about Twilight visitors in Forks, and explained everything that was in the welcome packet for us. It was a very cool Twilight packet, which included a map of Forks with all the locations mentioned in the book, information about the Quileute tribe, trivia from the first three books, a bit of sand from First Beach, and recommended places to visit on the Olympic Peninsula. It seems like Twilight is the first big thing that has hit this small town of a little over 3,000 in a long time, so they have embraced the fans that come by. The Chamber of Commerce estimates that they get about 150 Twilight visitors each day, which I think is pretty impressive.

So, off we went to mosey around and find the different highlights in town--Thriftway (where Bella does her grocery shopping to cook for her and Charlie), the Community Hospital, the police station (which is inside City Hall), Forks High School, and a cute blue house that could have been where Bella & Charlie lived. It is only one of the few 2-story craftsmen-style homes in Forks, which would have been much like Bella and Charlie's house. The family that lives there allowed their home to be visited as a Twilight site, and there is a cute sign out front that has designated it as "The Swan Home." The family was out front when we drove by, and they were very sweet--the couple actually walked out to the street and chatted with us for a bit. Last stop was the Forks sign. There was actually a little turnoff on the side of the highway, so we parked there and ran over to the sign. I climbed up the little hill, and took my picture with it...

It started to drizzle as we left Forks, which I thought was very appropriate. We were in Bella's rainy home afterall! The Hoh Rainforest was our next and final destination for the day. We got there and set up our tent before any real rain could hit, ate a quick lunch, then went to the visitor center and hiked a couple of trails in the forest. It was beautiful, of course. The area was pretty similar to our hikes up near Lake Crescent, except everything was covered in a lot more moss. Appropriately-named, one of the trails we walked down was called the "Hall of Mosses."

After having a day full of activities, we decided that it was time to chill and nap back at the campground. We rested for an hour or two, then had to cook dinner in the drizzle. A ranger stopped by to tell us that they were still going to do their campfire program, but indoors at the visitor center rather than the outdoor amphitheater. I asked her if she knew whether the rain was going to let up at all. She said it wasn't, that it was a big storm and they were expecting about two inches of rain. Two inches! Well, we were in the rainforest, afterall, and what does it do there but rain. At this point, the drizzle still wasn't that bad, but because of it, we were calling it an early night and retreated back to the tent with magazines, books, and journals. Up until this point, my tent and rain fly were holding up pretty well. But as it got later into the evening, it started to rain harder...And harder....And it kept raining and raining and raining. Hard. I ended up noticing that there was a tiny drip coming from the top of the tent, so we headed out into the wetness to put an additional tarp over the rain fly. This solved the drip problem, but later on, I noticed that rain was seeping in through the corners of my tent. Apparently, my beloved little Kelty just can't handle that much rain. As we were sitting there listening to the hard drops of water hitting the tarp and ground, and wondering if the tent would hold up through the night, Alicia and I decided that instead of camping our next (and last) night in the Quinault Rainforest like originally planned, we would just drive to Portland tomorrow. So it goes when you're in the wettest part of the US. You can get rained out, even in August...

1 comment:

  1. Okay so now I wish I was with you! I want to see the Swan House and the Thrift way!