May 25, 2010

Travels: Hoh Oxbow Campground, WA to Port Angeles, WA – 80 miles (1713 total miles)
Accommodations: Thompson Family home; full hookups + home privileges

Recall the drippy campground in the Hoh… in the morning, things looked surprisingly less suspicious and much more  gorgeous. We went on a little nature hike and checked out the Hoh River, threw rocks in the river, walked through the drippy green plants that fill the rain forest there, and even saw some HUGE slugs slimily slugging their way along the leaves. After this wonderful breath of fresh air, we headed out through more green beauty.

We drove through Forks where Twilight was set (though apparently filmed in Oregon). It’s a small town filled with Twilight marketing such as, “Welcome to the Twilight Zone”, “Twilight Firewood”, “Welcome Twilight Fans”, “Twilight Headquarters”, “Twilight Tours” “Twilight Central”, “Dazzled by Twilight”, “The Twilight Lounge”. I found this quite amusing, especially considering the size of this town.

So far, it hadn’t rained today which was quite miraculous considering our past week in Oregon. Almost to Port Angeles (our destination), we came across Crescent Lake. Crescent Lake is surrounded by towering pines that fill the high mountains – it is quite breathtaking and hard to explain. The lake itself was as smooth as glass and full to the brim. There were fog tipped mountains in front of us with snow tipped mountains towering over them. I can’t even begin to explain the grandeur of this scene.

Almost to Port Angeles, we turned and made our way to Thompson’s, friends of Dave’s uncle Sam, who have a 10 acre farm in the Port Angeles area that we are blessed to stay at for a couple days. Upon arrival we got a tour of their farm complete with horse rides for the kids, rope swing, chasing chickens, petting cows, the list goes on. We got to drink some wonderful raw milk from their cows, and eat some homemade bread that was quite tasty. Sitting on a grassy hill we watched our three kids play with five of their eight kids while we visited. At 5:30, we all got to take our turn at milking the cows. It looks quite easy but is much more difficult than you would think. Then we had a delicious dinner complete with homemade cheese.

Note that the Thompsons built much of their home, including everything from structural  lumber to shingles, from old growth timbers found on their property. We are amazed by their personal abilities as well as the ability in a rainy region to sustain oneself (not just food, but a house, too) from one’s own property.

Courtney: I loved watching my kids run around all this land and interact with animals and nature.

Dave: According to Wikipedia the Hoh Rainforest gets 12 to 14 feet of rain annually. It was so full of life that even things dead (like fallen trees) had life growing out of them. Add ‘abounding green’ and ‘a milk cow’ to my growing list of  ‘Things I want and can never have in Ventura’. Add ‘sun’ to my list of  ‘Things often lived without in the Pacific Northwest’.

Kids: Kenz, “I want a cow today. And I want to ride a horse again.”; Mason, “My hand hurts.” {Stung by nettles}; Marin, {Do you want to pet the horse?} “Sit on the horse.” {And off she went.}

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  1. wendy mcgee
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    All of you are making memories that are going to last a lifetime. I wish we had the chance to do something like this.

  2. sam graham
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the Thompsons. Did you get to the beach? Did you get to shoot? Did you look at his website? How far are you running, Dave? I’ll bet we could figure out a way to get a milk cow at the ranch :o} John sent me your blogsite, so I’ve caught up on the trip. Chris and I, before and with kids, had a couple of 6-9 week trips. Thanks for sharing yours.

  3. Posted May 28, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Love the blog and so pleased to follow you here. We tasted some of the cold/rainy weather up in Shasta lake last weekend where night-time temps were 40 – 45! There was beach-lake access at our campsite but it didn’t matter – too cold to swim. Winter camping practice though and a great, adventure-filled time anyway. Nice to realize that a family has the freedom to ‘build your own good time’ despite the circumstances. You are learning this every day in the coolest way possible. I agree with Wendy – what a trip. What an experiece. How great to have connections all along the way.
    (To your observations: Can you believe how green it is up there and also how late it stays light?)

  4. Courtney
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Sounds like you had a good time! Yes, lessons learned- beauty seen- and fun times. So light out and green, and it just gets lighter and greener as you move north.

  5. Courtney
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    We saw the beach; it was rainy, and so we went up to Hurricane Ridge to see Wildflowers and the view BUT instead we saw lots of snow! All the kids had a snowball fight on our walk and tromped through the snow!! And we told our kids we wouldn’t see snow. No shooting but lots of fun! We talked about homeschooling and their home and life. Dave worked with the kids on the site. Our kids had a blast running around the farm and playing with the younger kids particularly Jake. The kids can’t stop talking about wanting to get a cow!

  6. Dad
    Posted May 31, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a milk cow is just the thing we need along wwith some more pigs and some goats. Of curse we need a couple of steers too cause I can’t survive without a bit of l”where’s the beef. Glad you are enjoying the trip.