Sea Anemone at Beach 4

Heavy rain started coming down at 11:00 last night, a hard pounding rain. No need to get up early for sunrise. Just a dark gray night becoming a dull gray day. We were camped at Kalaloch Beach Campground, just off Highway 101 in Washington. We slept in until 8:00, then got up and put on rain coats. I made coffee on the camp stove, in the rain.

Our plan today was to go to the Queets Rain Forest, but since it was raining, it was a perfect day for the rain forest. The Queets Valley Road is washed out, so we drove down Highway 101 to Forest Service Rd 21. Signage for the turns to get to the Upper Queets Road was good, and about 12 miles later we were at the Queets River Campground.  Arriving at the campground we found 3 sites occupied and two people just leaving. It took a little scouting, but we found the trail head to Sam’s River Trail east of the campground.

Queets Rain Forest

This is what the root system looks like when the nursery stump rots away.

No more nursey stump - Queets Rain Forest

Moss and fungus grows everywhere when you get 12 feet of rain a year.

Tree fungus - Queets Rain Forest

Chocolate cookies’ anyone?

Chocolate cookie fungus - Queets Rain Forest

Sam’s River Trail is a 2.7 mile long loop. Sections of the trail are muddy as it meanders from riverside alder thickets to thick timber and open meadows. Even with a raincoat on the camera, it was hard to keep moisture off the lens.

Sam's River Trail - Queets Rain Forest

The logs slowly break down and rot away, providing life for the next plant in line. Start of new life.

Start of new life - fallen log in the Queets Rain Forest

Sam’s River Trail; we saw 4 people, one herd of elk and heard 3 airplanes from the time we left Highway 101. Quite the contrast to the Hoh Rain Forest, where you will see a few hundred people. After hiking the trail we made some sandwiches, ate lunch and discussed where to go next. I had read about the tide pools at Beach 4, and low tide was in a couple of hours so Beach 4 was next up.

 Beach 4

Beach 4 is accessed from a short trail off Highway 101. Sections of the beach are covered with flat oval rocks. You can hear the rocks rattle as the waves on the beach crash and recede.

The rocks on Beach 4

Mussels and barnacles on the rocks at Beach 4.

Mussels and barnacles, Beach 4

Most of the tide pools had the common  green colored Anemone. There were a few of these more colorful Anemones

Sea Anemone at Beach 4

It had been raining all day, so we left Beach 4, and drove to Forks, WA. The Thriftway grocery store in Forks is connected to a hardware and outdoor store. We browsed through all three stores, and Vicki found a closeout deal on some wool socks. A quick restock on ice, and we headed north of Forks, to Three Rivers RV Park. We secured a camp spot for the night and had a quick shower. After that we drove to La Push to look around, then back to Forks for dinner.

The pizza and beer at Pacific Pizza in Forks was just what we needed. It rained hard all night, over 1 inch of rain. Tomorrow the plan was to head to Lake Crescent and Sol Duc Falls.