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L is for Lake Ozette

L IS FOR LAKE OZETTE

Have you ever taken a hike or walk through the forest and been so moved by the power and beauty of nature that you literally broke down and cried? I did.

The rainforest in the Olympic Peninsula up in Washington State is what I would call a little piece of green paradise. A number of years ago, I took a drive up to see my old roommate in college, and friends of hers described this trail that led through the forest of ancient trees, down the beach and up the other side on another trail. It was and still is approximately 3 miles each segment.

I believe the road to the campground is paved now, but at the time it was some 5 miles of dirt road with tons of potholes that took over an hour.  I was driving a 1947 Oldsmobile turtleback 4-door, which was the most reliable car we owned at the time. My rear seat cushion lifted up and I had the compartment filled with good Canadian beer I planned to smuggle home on my brief trip to Vancouver the day before. I took this walk on my birthday, alone, in late April. I didn't encounter a single person all the way down to the beach. Just me and the forest.

I understand this is where part of the Twilight forest scenes were to have been shot, but, during the filming, there was a freak snowfall and they couldn't access the area.

Winding down through these tall giant trees, I'd been told to watch for bears, as this was the time they'd come out of hibernation, and would be hungry. I found several trees with their trunks scratched by powerful claws as new mothers and hungry bear fathers began foraging for food. Oddly enough, I wasn't scared. I walked the entire distance to the beach on cedar planks lovingly laid by several boy scout troops and Rotary clubs, so the integrity of the forest floor would remain intact.

I like things that move me without trying. The trail awaits my return and some day, and I say this every April, I want to return there and take the hike on my birthday. Some day, I'll fulfill that promise. In the meantime, the beauty of this green temple to mother nature herself, awaits, like a lover gone too soon.

  • Karen H

    Wow that sounds beautiful. I am hoping to make it to WA state next year to see my nephew and see some of the country up there. Glad a bear didn't get you. It's amazing how fearless we are when we are younger

  • So true, Karen! I've been back since, about 15 years later, but my first trip was 40 years ago. I need to go back! Depending on when you're going, that's a hike I'd love to take with some friends like you!

  • Karen H

    I'm actually hoping to come out to CA next year to visit my cousin who is getting married and moving to wine country near Santa Barbara. Then I'll make a trip up to I think it's Ft Lewis WA. It's outside Seattle where my nephew is stationed.

  • julie

    Im smiling reading this we have a small area where I live in Wales that locally called the to rocks the most a amazing blue bells and nut trees. When my sister and I where young my grandmother took us nut picking and we were too afraid to climb the trees. My grandmother had 5 sons and always been bit of a tomboy climbed the trees and threw the nuts down to us. I really hope you get to do the trail again.

  • Great story, Julie! Thanks for sharing it.

  • I have never been on the journey but have heard from several friends how delightful it is. I do hope you get back.
    I'm at Moondustwriter

  • Visiting new blogs during the #Challenge is such a delight. I always start with fellow writers. Love this post and a moment to follow you through these beautiful woods. When I'm not writing, I garden, and have been to the Seattle area to see their beautiful gardens. I loved Seattle and it is a part of the setting for a new novel. I hope someday to revisit. If you have time, come and see what I'm up to. I'll hear the garden gate click.

  • Me too, L. Moon. Me too. Calling to me, in all the right ways…

  • Cleverly said, Stepheny Houghtlin. Love that! Yes, I love reading other writer's blogs too. And this challenge always puts me in touch with people I would have never met otherwise. Welcome, don't be a stranger, and you'll hear that creaking gate a time or two. But don't worry, it's only me…