Monday afternoon we left Hurricane Ridge and headed toward Sol Duc, with a stop over at Lake Cresent. Although Lake Crescent is a serene vista itself, we only had time for one short hike at Marymere Falls on the way to our night's accommodations. Some interesting factoids from Wikipedia: The depth of the lake has been unofficially measured to 1000ft (second deepest in Washington) and the deeply saturated blue color of the lake comes from a lack of nitrogen.
Marymere Falls is a short 1 mile hike from the parking lot off highway 101 and drops 90 feet into a pool that feeds Falls Creek. Even though my feet were a bit sore from hiking up the ridge line at Hurricane Ridge, I knew this would be no big deal since there were ...let's call them less than athletic... people traversing the trail without pause or issue. The photo above is the staircase up to the elevated viewpoint of the falls. We made a brief photo stop at the stream just below the falls for a quick picture of mom and then headed up to the falls itself for another quick picture. Just so I don't receive too much flack for this, my idea of a quick picture and my mom's idea of a quick picture are drastically different. Her's involves a button press, mine involves a single tripod setup and no off camera light metering.
Monday night we stayed at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, which is just southwest of Lake Crescent. Now before you start getting all fancy-frenchy and pronouncing the name "sole-due" I should probably let you know that the name is pronounced in the rather rural America fashion of "sole-duck." I made that mistake and was quickly corrected.
When we first arrived I'm pretty sure that my mom and I gave each other the trepidous look of "who farted?", then we quickly remind ourselves that we were next to a sulphur hot springs. So fart, or no fart, it smelled the same. Ah yes... the freedom to casually fart in public and blame it on mother nature! They should advertise this as a "no pressure" resort!
At dinner we both decided on the pasta primavera and thus both got a severe case of indigestion and maybe a slight case of food poisoning. We evidently weren't used to the sulphur content. At least the cabins were nice. Below are some photos of the resort at night.
After surviving multiple night time pitch black bathroom trips while navigating an unfamiliar furniture configuration it was morning again. Time to get our hike on! Morning in the forest is very, very green. It's that deep saturated green that a computer monitor just can't reproduce. Someone once told me that they thought San Diego was green and I had to tell them they had no clue. A rain forest is also very quiet, with your footsteps being the only consistent sound. Steps sound like damped beating on a large drum head due to the water saturated ground.
Sol Duc falls is a short (~2 mile) hike from the parking lot to falls. In the picture below mom (upper right) is shown for scale. Along the way you see all types of strange plant life including wild mushrooms and things I don't know how to describe. One of those things is below in the last picture below. It's much easier to imagine a rain forest as a living, breathing place when you see it in person. The fallen logs provide nutrients, shelter, and growth opportunities for new life. Plants grow under other plants for shade... and so forth.