October 20, 2015

Sol Duc Campground

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."
Chesire Cat, Alice In Wonderland
We left Salt Creek Recreation Area with no real plan of where we were going next. We only knew three facts; it was time to head south, Hwy 101 would be the route and the magic number of days left prior to reaching our Central Coast Hidey Hole was dwindling down.

Patrick and Cheryl had left us and planned to stay within the Olympic National Park at Sol Duc Valley and were hoping we could join them for a night or two. So that option became our first choice. 
The drive down to Sol Duc provided us some beautiful "postcard" quality scenery of Olympic National Park. Lake Crescent, a deep glacially carved lake, offered just one of those breathtaking views of natural beauty.
As we turned east and headed into Sol Duc, we knew that there may be a chance we would have to do a u-turn and head back out. Olympic National Park campgrounds tended to have limited sites that were large enough to fit both our trailer and truck, so if we were not able to secure one of those sites, option two would prevail...continue to motor south until a new waypoint sparked our interest. 

But leave it to Patrick and Cheryl to ensure we continued our celebration with them and embrace Sol Duc together. Not only did they find a gorgeous creekside spot for their own Class A, they also secured a beautiful "rainforest" spot close to them that would easily fit our rig. And, to make our stay even more accommodating, we would not have to disconnect. SWEET!

In 1865, a novel written by Lewis Carroll was published. It was titled Alice In Wonderland. Can you remember and visualize the story? Well, we fell through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world when we entered Sol Duc Valley and the search for that grinning Chesire Cat began. For Sol Duc is truly a Wonderland.

Sol Duc comes from the Quileute name meaning "sparkling waters." With it's river, cascading falls, hot springs and lush old growth forest, Sol Duc offers a spectacular example of a primeval temperate rain forest. 
The campground features two loops right along the Sol Duc River nestled under a thick forest canopy mostly made up of Douglas Fir and Sitka Spruce. Lichens and moss-cloaked  trees dotted the shaded forest floor, while seas of glistening dew-moistened ferns gave the forest a "jungle-like" feel. Even the air seemed green.

As we would only be here for one night, we decided to go on the most scenic hike we could find close to our campsite. We chose the 6.5 mile Sol Duc Falls and Lover's Lane Loop Trail. The first part of the trail meandered through our old growth forest up to Sol Duc Falls. Our passing through would have been silent upon the carpet of wet, spongy and soft spruce needles, but we all just had toooo much to talk about...Patrick is passionate about every moment, Cheryl radiates the message of nature and the BlaNics just don't possess a mute button. The hike was truly awesome and the most perfect way to experience Sol Duc. By the time we finished our hike it was too late to enjoy the "hot springs" that draw many visitors to this area of the park. Patrick and Cheryl did manage to get in a soak the following day after they spent many mesmerizing moments watching the salmon leap up the rapids in their quest to get upstream (the Sol Duc is one of the few places where salmon run in every season). Sounds like they had a perfect day.

To close out our stay here, we had a late night celebration, warmed by a cozy campfire and hours of listening to "girl" talk...must have been the wine. We bid a fond farewell to the Devines and continued our way south with no destination in mind.

At Waypoint 47.965400-123.85600
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