Saturday, July 30, 2011

Olympic National Park

Sea Stars and Sea stacks, Olympic National Park, WA
In my previous post, I mentioned about sharing some of the hikes we did at North Cascades National Park. However, while I was reviewing our pictures from our recent Washington trip, my excitement to share my favorite National Park among the three National Parks we visited seems to explode. So please pardon me if I just have to give in to this excitement and write about the joys I found in Olympic Peninsula, found in the Northwestern corner of Washington State. I will however go back to sharing the joys, hits and misses we have in each trails after I write about all the three National Parks in Washington.
Hole in the Wall, Olympic National Park, WA
Now, what makes Olympic National Park very special for me? First, this park has my favorite part of the world, hiking and the ocean! As much as I love the challenge of hiking up the slopes and see the different geological formations of the Earth, I also love listening to and riding  the ocean's waves with the fishes (and sometimes dolphins). And just like Big Sur and Redwood National Park, two of my favorite places in CA, here, the forested mountains is also kissed by the sea! It is for this reason perhaps, that there are more backpackers here than beachcombers. Though there may be no giant redwoods and redwood  forests here, but temperate rain forests mantle the western portion of the peninsula.
Quinalt Rain Forest, Olympic National Park
Walking along the trails inside the rain forest feels like being transported back in time. 
Maple Grade Trail, Quinalt Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, WA

I felt like I can stay here forever with probably the ghosts of the past guiding me. And since this is close to the ocean, whenever I felt like swimming with the fishes and be energized by the ocean's waves, like the bald eagles or the vampires in Twilight, I can probably just fly down to the sea :)

American Bald Eagle at Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, WA
But unlike the bald eagle waiting for fish,
 Two American Bald Eagles Perched on Rock Ready to Fish @ Rialto Beach
( you have to click to see clearly the bald eagles)
I will be probably just join the fishes enjoying the waves, or enjoying the tidepools at low tide. 
Sea Stars, Tidepool Area at Hole in the Wall, Olympic National Park, WA
The sea stacks here at Olympic National Park, also reminds me of Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve in Lee Vining, California. 
Sea Stacks, Olympic National Park, WA
These sea stacks, just like the tufas at Mono Lake, look like eerie guards of an Alien Kingdom. The sea stacks and the mossed branches and trunks in the rain forests,  
Mossed Maple Tree

together make this place very mystical for me. No wonder why the story of Twilight was inspired from here, in Forks, which is a little town by Olympic Coast. But Olympic National Park is more than just the ocean and temperate rain forest, this is a peninsula of great contrasts and diversity. Aside from the Pacific Ocean Beaches and rain forest valleys, there are gushing river and waterfalls, 
Sul Doc River and Falls, Olympic National Park, WA
glacier-capped mountain peaks, glacial lakes, wildflower filled meadows, 
Meadow at Lake Crescent
and a stunning variety of plant and animal life. 

In my next post, I will be sharing Mt. Rainier National Park, and after that, will be the different trails and activities we did at these three National Parks and other parks of Washington. 
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  1. How beautiful all this is! I have never hiked in this area at all but I just love the Pacific Northwest. Even just driving from San Francisco to Vancouver which I've done a couple of times is breathtaking. I love our West Coast. I wish I had gotten out and done some hiking when I was younger and able to do it. Your pictures are just beautiful.

  2. I can certainly see why Olympic National park is one of your favorite places to visit. I'm marveling at your images of eagles, starfish, waterfalls, sea stacks and rain forests. I love the maple tree covered with shaggy moss!

  3. Wowwwwwwww, mossed maple tree...

    which I have dreamed for.

    I am still searching for trees with this mossy look at Cerok Tokun..

  4. Oh Betchai, these images are stunning! Those starfishes are just amazing..

  5. Betchai I love the bald eagle on the rocks, but the very first picture with the starfish is stunning. Great job as usual.

  6. Betchai, I love the caption 'hole in the wall'...its funny because here in England, everybody calls ATM 'the hole in the wall', nobody calls it ATM! Anyways, just thought I'd share that with you. I love the starfish, they are very colourful, Betch! Are they alive? They are sooo beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos! You are a gift to mankind!!! You show us the beauty of our planet! :-) x

  7. What can I say, just drool over these fantastic beauty! I love everything from land to sea to mountains. Those tidepool creatures are just amazing.

    P.S. I was surprised it rained this morning here. I was thinking of going to the beach but I have not tried swimming...Enjoy your weekend happenings!

  8. betchai this are amazing photos, i love the bald eagle and the mossed maple tree shots.

  9. another stunning shots here sis. i am really so jealous of you. you been to all of these beautiful places. i wish i could do that instead of just gold panning. hahaha

  10. I've been there once myself. It was a place I just couldn't get enough of.

  11. Beth, you are so fotunate to be able to visit Forks! Naku kikiligin mga nieces ko... they are curious as to how Forks look like and they will be happy to see your photos! It looks exactly like the forks in the movies. You captured it well, Beth...even it's "eeriness" teehee.

  12. Betchai, Nothing more beautiful than this area. Stunning views, scenery and wildlife.

  13. So have you seen any vampires and werewolves in Forks? lol!
    Betchai,i super love this post.The photos are just mesmerizing, they're surreal to me.I love the clear ocean, the starfishes, the woods, the eagles.Why am i stuck with my work-house routine? I should start hiking soon.

  14. any vampires and werewolves heheheeheh

  15. astonishing wonderwoman!!!!!- power ranger zen

  16. S0 much amazing scenery, I see why you are passionate about your write-up. The sea stacks with a single tree on top is so unusual, yet fascinating.

  17. The Hole In The Wall provides a nice frame for landscape shots.

  18. The starfish and eagle photos are amazing! They look like beautiful spots to visit.

  19. Oh! So many starfishes! I never saw an actual one before. The rocks looks like shark's fin. Beautiful trip!

  20. Oh my gosh girl! The moss forest is so haunting. I just love the way to photograph things.

  21. The rainforests were enchanting...ang galing talaga ng adventures mo madam...

  22. holy moley guacamole! hehehe
    I'm just stunned with the first pic, it's like so unreal!

    all the pictures are like what I only see in movies. You're the queen of photography betchai!

  23. this is the way a blog should be! thanks!

  24. oh my gosh, Beth! I've seen this post , but am awed every time I see it. You are very good in composition! The first photo with the starfish building up to the sea stacks is amazing! And the signature photos taken inside a cove with the cave opening framing the scenery is also gorgeous! :) Am envious of your eagle pictures! And the falls! However did you manage to get there? Galing! Exhilarating shots, Beth! Wanna see (and photograph) those someday.