Monday, August 5, 2019

Did Sasquatch Eat All the Vampires and Werewolves?

July 26-30, 2019
Forks, Washington

I haven't read the very popular young adult books, nor have I seen the movies - but I haven't been living under a rock, so I know the Twilight series takes place in the lovely northwestern town of Forks, Washington. If I hadn't known this before our first visit here four years ago, I would have learned it quickly with all the references throughout the area! Businesses, signs, posters, street names, etc.

Before the vampires and werewolves took over, Sasquatch (Big Foot) was king. And in the four years since we last visited, he has reasserted himself as the dominant "mascot". Far less sign of those "other guys" these days. 

Although he is often depicted as a friendly "wookie-like" dude, apparently he has scared off the vampires and werewolves, or maybe eaten them!! The scarier interpretations of Sasquatch as a forest monster make that possibility very real :-)

He's everywhere!
Since our stay is only a few days, we stay in town at Forks 101 RV Park, rather than the beautiful Quileute Oceanside Resort in the National Park which I prefer. 

A no-frills park with dirt and grass sites, it's a good spot for making our planned day trips. The satellite connects, although their WiFi doesn't work for us. But we are able to use our MiFi and our cell phones, which we couldn't do at Quileute. As it's also the only Forks park, it's the best in town!

Our drive from Grays Harbor is the last section of "new" Hwy 101 for the motorhome. Much of it is narrow, and most of it is cut through a thick forest of ten-year growth trees. It gets a bit claustrophobic after awhile, and I'm very happy to stretch my eyes a bit when we get to Forks. 

The Hoh Rainforest to the south is a lovely area along the Hoh River. With rain in the forecast on Saturday we make the short 35 minute drive. Seeing it last time in bright sunshine, it didn't feel very "rain-foresty". Definitely better with the clouds and moisture, but also not something that everyone else didn't think of! There's a line to get through the kiosk where they're only letting in a car for every one that exits. At the visitor center the interpretive hikes are all full, lines at the get the idea.

Waiting our turn.

It is a Saturday, summer vacations are wrapping up, families out in nature is great; I'm grateful that not only access but education is available to so many. We're not fans of places with hordes of others, but can't begrudge that we aren't alone. Fortunately the Jeep gives us more options for exploring, and we quickly head out of the crowd.

Hoh River

Enough sun to catch reflections on the ponds.

We didn't find any ham.

Although soft and quiet today, the huge tree stump far from the forest line reminds us this river can get very big and very strong.

The creamy turquoise of glacier flour.

Wild life sighting!

Tessa looking for rocks for Linda to paint :-) 

No crowds here - yay.
Knowing that with the sun out we're likely to find more crowds at the beach, we take a chance on a Sunday visit to La Push. Unlike the wide expanse of sand with tiny surf in southern Washington, beaches here show off bigger waves crashing on narrow driftwood-littered dark sand around the mouth of the Quillayute River. Though they're not the giant waves we enjoyed here four years ago, the sound of the surf is loud. 

This is reservation land in the Olympic National Forest. As expected, lots of vacationers are already here.

No parking in the lots for Third or Second Beach and no overflow available nearby. We find a spot at First Beach where families, dog-walkers, surfers and sun-bathers enjoy the natural beauty and perfect weather. Before leaving, we visit Rialto Beach which is just as amazing. The large basalt rock formations add so much character. 

Little silhouettes up front, large ones in the distance.

James Island at the river jetty. The back of the island has a small cove, popular with kayakers.

Searching for treasures.

Little James Island

Stacks of driftwood aid the small dunes in providing protection from storm surge.

And offer unlimited building sources!
A different view of James Island from Rialto.

Quillayute River (spelled differently from the tribe)

A trail of sunlight in the center of a green corridor.
The Olympic Peninsula is beautiful - weather, geography, culture, flora, quaint towns, bodies of water. It's hard to beat this combination. It's definitely our favorite part of Washington. And within that favorite is my most favoritist - Neah Bay. 

A recreation pass is required to access the area, $10 and good through December. We pick one up at the little grocery store. Another reservation town, there are very few businesses here. The day we visit there's a recall election on the tribal council, and the voter turnout at the community center is hopping. 

I really want to make the hike out to the viewpoint on Cape Flattery, but the steep decline that continues as far as we can see means a steep incline coming back. We've gotten "de-conditioned", as my BFF calls it, so we opt out of the hike this trip.

Hobuck RV Resort has an unbeatable location, but is unfortunately first come-first serve. At the end of a 30 mile, narrow and winding road with few other options nearby, taking a chance at a spot in the middle of peak season isn't something I'm yet ready to try. So of course when we get there in the Jeep, there's one open site. Oh well....maybe someday.

I so want to spend a week right here!

Makah Bay. View from the RV park.

Cape Flattery in the distance - the most northwestern point in the contiguous United States.
Sea Serpent skeleton.

Sasquatch's sidekick??

Young explorers.

On the fly.

Above changing the color of the below.
Mesmerizing melody.

The good life.

Lunch on the marina at the Warmhouse is great - locally caught fresh fish.

The Strait of San Juan de Fuca with Vancouver Island in the distance. And this cool rock.......
Spending two months in Oregon was wonderful, but means our time on the OlyPen is much shorter than I like. We're coming back next year when I hope to have more time to soak up the special beauty of this corner of the country. 

Fortunately we have a few more days in pretty little Sequim, just 90 minutes east. 


  1. We LOVE Rialto beach, in fact, it was one of the first places we visited when we started fulltiming in 2014. And yes, we collected rocks! I still have them! I kinda miss rock painting. :( When you go back next year, Salt Creek is a good base, if you can get in. It's gotten so popular!

    1. We checked out Salt Creek while in Sequim because I remembered how much you guys liked it. It is very beautiful! They were having a Coast Guard picnic so also very busy. We'll try to get in next year.

  2. I do so like the beauty of the OP with its rugged beaches and dense forests. You've done a great job of capturing it in your blog.

    1. Thanks Jeff. Nothing beats being there in person but I hope to have a good feel for our travels to look back on.

  3. That's amazing--when we visited the Hoh Rain Forest in 2005 there were no people--we had the place to ourselves!

    1. I didn't remember there being anyone there two years ago either so I was really surprised!

  4. Years ago we traveled by train to Washington on a vacation. We rented a convertible mustang and had a great time up there. One of our stops was the Hoh rain forest. We took the ferry over to the peninsula and drove to the Hoh rain forest. It was a quick day trip. I would like to revisit the area and spend more time there. Great photos! I'm sorry you didn't see any ham though :-) LOL

    1. What a great adventure by train and convertible!!

  5. Wonderful blog again, thank you!

  6. What did Tessa think of the Sasquatch statues, Jodee. We were at Hoh in 1996. Nice steady rain, full rain gear and we loved it. We even had a tailgate picnic. People looked at us like we were nuts...but we weren’t the ones getting wet!

    1. She didn't see them as anything other than trees and walls I think. I definitely seeing that forest in the rain is the best!

  7. Thank you, thank you...for the pictures of one of my favorite places EVER ! We were just there last year, sometimes that seems like yesterday to me. I love everything about your post, especially the memories we made there ! Sure hope to return oneday ! So sorry for the crowds. Last year we spent July there and it was very uncrowded ! Gay

    1. Glad to share this wonderful place with you. I loved seeing it through your lens last year as well :-)

  8. Next year on the Olympic Peninsula, huh? We may just see you there. ;-))
    I think you would enjoy staying at Hobuck...we were there in the fall a few years ago, and there was only one other RV there. It was magical, even in the rain and fog! And I agree with Linda, you will love Salt Creek Recreation Area. We've stayed there a couple of times and the views are fantastic.

    We're with you—we really are happy seeing people out appreciating nature, even though we love best having nature all to ourselves. Your photo captions are always so much fun to read. :-)

    1. If not before we will definitely find you in the PNW next year!! Your pics from Hobuck are so beautiful, we love the fog if we don't have to drive too much in it :-)

  9. Thanks for the memories! Our time on the OP was my second favorite trip in our eight years on the road (Our trip to Glacier and Alberta was my favorite). People said we went too early, mid-June, but it turned out to be perfect weather and before the crowds. We were there for five weeks and could have stayed longer. I loved wearing pants all the time. My idea of summer. Yes, one needs moisture to truly appreciate the rain forest. We had the perfect misty day hiking the Sol Duc Trail with Laurel and Eric. It gave us the real rain forest feel. It is very eerie to be deep in all that foliage alone. One of our hikes it was just the two of us and it was creepy. You found some awesome sights away from that crazy crowd. Good for you and that's why I say, that's why we have a Jeep!!

    1. It really is such a special place. Our first year there we spend six weeks and like you say, longer would have been good. I'd love to spend early Fall up there.

  10. The rain forest is the one place I like to see in the rain. But hearing about the long lines I am reminded that seems to be the case in way too many of our national parks. I used to spend a lot of time in La Push visiting a friend who taught school there. Always loved how the stormy waves moved the driftwood "furniture" around. Thanks for the memories.