August 19th: Left in the dust.
This day started like any other. A night or two at a campground followed by the next day’s drive. This day, though, contained a little more action than I typically like, during the daily drive. We were looking for the road to the Quinalt Rain Forest, in the southwestern corner of Olympic National Park. I was leading the way with the rig and took what turned out to be a wrong turn. We passed through a quaint village and some homes deep in the forest, but the road soon narrowed into a single track. Not exactly the place you want to be towing a 27 foot trailer! I kept driving, hoping for some kind of turnaround, but the road only got narrower and narrower. Eventually I saw a sign for “School Bus Turnaround” but it turned out to be not large enough for me to turn around in. To use it, I would have had to perform a three-point turn. But, and I’ll make a confession here and now: I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BACK UP! So far we’ve been lucky with pull-through campsites and mostly ample gas stations, but there had to come a point where I would be confronted by my ignorance. i made a couple attempts at the three-pointer, but the trailer always seemed to go opposite of how I wanted. And Sofie, my riding companion, was getting pretty anxious! MISSION ABORT! Luckily some nice locals came by and offered to lead the way out, to a bridge up the way connecting our road with a road out. The road soon turned to gravel and we were consumed by a cloud of dust. The road over the bridge leading back to the main highway had a big sign recommending against RV’s due to narrowness and terrain, but at this point I was committed. The cloud of dust grew denser and the rig was rockin’ and rollin.’ Soon pavement was under the tires again and we stopped to meet our saviors and all had a good laugh. “I hope you don’t hate me for that,” said the leader. “I hope you don’t hate me for taking you an hour out of your way!” I replied.
Soon we got to our main destination – the amazing Hoh Rainforest! Things have been pretty dry in these parts, so we didn’t see the giant mushrooms and giant slugs I remember from my visit as a kid, but the flora was breathtaking nonetheless. This forest is as primeval as it gets.