the not-so-rainy rainforest

This weekend we took our annual winter trip to the rainforest. We started this tradition because — you know — when socked in, month-after-month with rain, one should go forth and embrace their moist surroundings. The thing I like most about vacationing in the rainforest during winter is that the dense forest canopy provides a refuge from the rainfall. It doesn’t matter that the cloud cover makes you focus closer in, there is plenty to feast upon…the humid air and rich textures of moss, ferns, lichen, and fungi.

Remembering previous getaways, I supervised the kids as they packed their bags. “You should throw in your rain pants, just in case,” I insisted. Rubber boots for my daughter, extra shoes for my son. Last but not least, I grabbed what I consider to be the required duo for any Washingtonian: 1) fleece, 2) rain jacket.

We hit the road.

Just north of Hoquiam on Highway 101, I saw something I’ve rarely seen from this vantage point in wintertime: the Olympic mountain range. With the temperature in the low 60s and only an occasional white fluffy cloud in the sky, my daughter proclaimed, “It’s almost summer.” Brother corrected her, “Believe it or not, it’s winter!”

Our hiking plans changed. We didn’t take the rainforest interpretive trail. We didn’t stroll along Lake Quinault. And we didn’t visit the largest spruce tree.

We headed straight to the ocean.

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