Day 21: Olympic National Park

This will be a brief, but happy entry.

After Tuesday’s late night excursion, we woke up slowly, like we often do: coffee, oatmeal, stretches on the shore of Ozette Lake. We packed up, also slowly. We headed East towards Crescent Lake, which is on the Northeastern corner of the Olympic National Forest. We got distracted along the way, as we often do.
Distraction No. 1: Clallam Bay, where we stretched for a second time on the shoreline.

Distraction No. 2: Clallam Bay Food Co-op, where an elderly Australian couple slowly and lovingly made us coffee and a delicious lunch. The gentleman also lectured Jackie on the importance of cooperation over competition, meditation, and abstinence from sugar. He did so slowly. Their facilities were overwhelmed by 4 truckloads of 14-year-old boys and their counselors, who were on Day 6 of a 42-day trip through the Pacific Northwest. The boys appeared restless and hungry. The counselors were relieved to find wifi and some new company.

Two hours later, we were back on track to Crescent Lake. The route was flanked by tall forests and spotted with occasional lakes. Before entering the park, we noticed many stages of forestry: areas with falling timber, large swaths of clear cut, young reforested sections, and mature tree stands.

Lake Crescent appears very deep, judging from the steep mountainsides that slope down to its banks. The water is electric blue. Jackie has a friend whose dad once joked that the post-modern era could be defined by the period in which we see natural phenomena as imitations of the synthesized products and images we know more intimately. Like looking at a beautiful mountain range and thinking, “Wow that looks just like a screensaver.” Jackie couldn’t help but compare the color of the lake to the paint job on our rental car.

We hiked to Marymere Falls, a 90 foot waterfall within a temperate old-growth forest. The falls were very active, though not nearly as voluminous as the Snoqualmie Falls we saw on Sunday. 

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We continued on to Fay-Bainbridge Park in Bainbridge Island and chose a truly perfect camp spot. Tonight is the last of many a wonderful campfire. We are celebrating it with two bundles of wood and Thai peanut rice stir-fry with veggies, arguably the best meal yet. 

Jackie feels really lucky to have spent the last three weeks camping with her dorky dad who is very good at making fires. Steve doesn’t know how to express his feelings. He’s a man. Just kidding. Steve feels grateful and content with the riding, the camping, the exploring, and the sharing of experiences with Jackie.

Tomorrow we’ll pack up our stuff for a final time, put Daisy in a box, and drop it all off at the train station. Then we’ll have one more day to explore Seattle, before we board the train on Friday.

P.s. So maybe this entry wasn’t so brief.

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