Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our Trip! (part I)

We took waaaaay too many photos on our trip and we finally went through them and picked out a few good ones.  No one likes to see ALL the double prints of someone elses vacation, but I wanted to share our experience in case anyone else is looking to go on a similar trip.  This is part I...the nature part.  :)

There were five of us, Ben and I, my two sisters, Sara and Suzy, and my dad.  We drove from Saratoga NY to NYC and flew into Seattle (the city of rain...but the grass was all dead from a dry spell!).  We spent a day in the city before renting a car and taking the ferry out of town and into the mountains.  We explored the arid part of Washington and then traveled to the Olympic National Park...the land of moss (love it!).  We drove to the shore where the water was deathly cold (my dad was determined to go for a swim anyway...which lasted roughly 45 seconds...far longer than I would have lasted!)  Then we drove to Portland and spent a day there, where I met up with Laurie from Magpie Ethel (a separate post with lots of great photos of her collections!), and explored the rose gardens and had the infamous voodoo donuts (I couldn't finish even one!).  Then we headed south into California and explored the redwood forests and saw lots more moss.  We ended the trip in San Francisco, where we explored the city by convertible one day and went shopping the next.  Love it!! 

 I forget the name of this park in Washington....but the scenery and wild flowers were to die for!  Suzy was enthusiastic too! pretty!  And such a pleasant walk...

 Dad liked it too...and put the super expensive binoculars we all got him for Christmas last year to use.  You could see the wings on a fly from across a canyon with those things!  ...well...almost.

 The rivers in Washinton were much different looking than the ones here in the Northeast with wide banks and lots felled trees. 

 This Washington state beach was so so foggy and misty and just awesome.  Probably our favorite spot out of the whole trip. 

 The tide was coming in when we were there and Suzy and I tried to check out the sea life clinging to the rocks, but the waves shooed us back up...the water was numbingly painfully cold! can feel your cells bursting cold!  Brrrrr....  The air was warm though!

 Then we saw the rainforest.  Wow.  They too were having a dry spell and the moss was a bit dry, but it was gorgeous and dripping.

 Ben and I each found our spots.

 This tree has probably been dead for a hundred cool!

 Pretty sister Sara.

 We hiked up a mossy water fall.  It was steep and high the trail wasn't really a trail, we almost had to crawl to get through, but it was worth it.


We also found some forest floor wonders....and shy land snail and a salmon berry (I think).  They were plentiful, velvety and tasted like fruit rollups...yum!  I ate quite a few. 

 The foliage and fungi was really something too.  Shamrocks covered the entire forest floor everywhere...and surprise!  They're purple underneath!  I'm sure they have a proper name, but I'm not sure what it is.

 The city of Portland provided a bit of cultivated nature.  The rose garden was like none other.

We made a pit stop at Crater Lake in Oregon.  It's a huge lake located at the top of a mountain, or rather, a volcano.  Quite unexpectedly stunning.  

 Then in the land of giant trees the quote of the trip became, "look at that tree!" 

I think this was my dad's favorite spot on the trip.  

It looks prehistoric...this is a triceratops path...did you know?

 Out of all the stunning trees we saw, my personal favorite was a stump.  The living stump is a tree that was cut down, but because the roots of the trees fused with neighboring trees, the stump lives on a healed over.  It's a bit of a parasite to the other trees now...but I suppose it doesn't need much in terms of nutrients.

Here's another one...nice and smooth from many sitting butts I think, lol.

Sigh...a cascade of shamrocks...why can't I have this in my yard!!

Only dead trees had mushrooms...

 Did I mention that the trees were big?  Can you see us on the right?  We climbed on top of that felled tree and walked all the way to the end.  It was magical really...I walked as far as I could to the ragged upper part and saw that the top broke off and exploded into a shallow valley where I watch a wren chirp and bounce around...

 This log was suspended in the air and had a whole mini-world growing atop it.  Ben and Sara pretended to be forest nymphs for a while I think. the natural environment of the northwest!  All of you lucky ducks who live up that way are blessed!  :)


laurie -magpie ethel said...

I love seeing what you guys did. The Pacific Northwest is such and amazing and beautiful spot. Yes, those do look like salmon berries.
Those mushrooms on the dead trees look like they are conks (google conk images and they look like what you saw). I wish I would have been along to point out licorice ferns..they are a great fern that you can pick and when you chew the ends taste like black licorice. Crater Lake, the Redwoods, the Rose saw some great spots!

Donna LaPre said...

roscEJJBeautiful photos, Crystal. Makes me remember being out there some time . The "shamrocks" are called oxalis, in botanical nomenclature. The images of those and mossy trees make me want to get out all my woodland millinery goodies in the studio!
Donna L.