Monday, June 21, 2021

Pacific Northwest Vacation - Day 5: Hoh Rainforest and Rialto Beach

We had a hearty breakfast to start our day.
Unfortunately, the service at this small town restaurant was slow and it took a lot longer to get our food and get out of there than I had planned. Along with Kai’s usual slow pace, we got off to a lot later start than I had wanted.

We drove to the Hoh Rainforest within Olympic National Park and when we got to the entrance there was a line of about 30 cars backed up. They were not letting anyone in until a car left as they had run out of parking spaces in the park. At that time of day, very few cars are leaving the park so we sat there for about 50 minutes before we could get in.
Once we finally got in, though, we enjoyed a hike through the rainforest.
There are very few rainforests in the US, particularly in the lower 48, and so it was very interesting to stroll through one.
We saw all of the lush ferns and the mosses on the trees.
The trees were gorgeous, and many were huge.
Kai said he really enjoyed this place.
I had wanted to do one more hike at the rainforest but as it was already lunchtime and we still had other plans for the afternoon, we cut short our visit and went back to town for lunch. The burger place we planned on going to was not open so we went to a Mexican restaurant. Service was no better here than at the place we went to in the morning. Most Mexican restaurants serve food quickly, but this place took forever and then brought out the most pathetic-looking tacos I’ve ever seen. Kai was fine for the first part of the wait but as it extended out, he got as agitated outside as I was feeling inside.

That brought on some of the depression and anger that we have seen a lot from him in the past year. It was what has made me lose hope for his future and is also hard to deal with in the moment.

Eventually I got him to settle down enough to go back out for our afternoon activity.

Olympic National Park is unique in that it has three very distinct areas. After seeing the high mountains and the rainforest, we headed out to see the Pacific coast. Our destination was Rialto Beach.

Rialto Beach is famous for the driftwood that line the length of the beach.
It is also famous for the sea stacks, but to see those up close you have to hike about a mile and a half. You can see them in the distance in the above photo.
With the sand, it does take longer to hike that distance. And Kai takes his time to stop and look at things. So it probably took well over an hour to get to the rocks. But I thought it was worth the hike.
This rock formation is known as Hole-in-the-Wall.
The sea stacks were something to see.
As were all of the driftwood.
Kai said that this was his favorite part of the trip so far.
After the long hike back, we went to a pizza place for dinner. We had to wait a long time for our pizza but at least this place set expectations.that it would take that long. And the pizza was good so worth the wait.
We saw a lot of beautiful places in Washington, but tomorrow we will move on to Oregon.


  1. A tale of many waits. It must have been a frustrating day. For me, the most frustrating thing about long waits is that I realize the reasons behind them. They know by the point of realization on the customer's part, it is generally too late. They rely on new consumers, not on repeat business...and so, the ruse continues. Rarely does the product justify the wait...however, at least your pizza was good. It was well earned after that long beach walk.

    1. The breakfast restaurant was the most frustrating, particularly in retrospect as every minute of delay at the restaurant probably cost us at least five at the park entrance. If we had gotten to the park even 10 minutes earlier, we probably would have gotten right in. (When we left the park, there was a line of about 80 cars, though at that time more people are starting to exit so the wait might not have been as long).

      We were surprised at how many people at the restaurants appeared to be locals. Maybe that stereotype of small town people taking things slow is true. Either that or the lack of competition (very few restaurants) leave them with no choice.


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