Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Camping in Winter

Winter camping might sound cold but in Washington that is not always the case. We have had rather warm weather for the last week or two so rather than pout about the bad snow conditions we decided to go camping. After our recent new years trip to Olympic National Park I was eager to go back. Our destination was the Olympic National Forest the east side of the Olympic Mountains. This is an area I had never explored before and I was enticed by the fact that it is only two and a half hours from home. I think I have a little fascination with the rain forest. I particularly like the the way if makes you feel so small.

A day spent hiking in the rain forest can sort of put you in your place and remind you that as an individual you really are just one more animal trying to survive. This feeling is not only realized in the size of the trees but in the length of time they can live. The trees in a coniferous rain forest can live many centuries and is some cases more than half a millennium. Just image that a tree sprouted the year you were born could be alive for 25 generations after you. Even in the middle of winter the rain forest is amazingly alive, it would seem that not one photon of light is wasted for photosynthesis. The moss ensures that everything is green and alive, covering the fallen down trees, boulders and even steep cliffs. Of couse non of this would be possible without the water. Even though our rain coats were hardly necessary, water dripped from every branch and leaf and could be heard trickling or thundering everywhere in the mountains.


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