Our friends Pam and John also had Sol Duc Falls on their to-do list. On an overcast, misty morning with rain in the forecast, we set out to meet them at the trailhead. Ordinarily, none of us would deliberately choose to hike in the rain. But it turned out to be the perfect day for our adventure.
Hiking In The Rainforest Is Best In The Rain
We discovered that hiking in a rainforest is best done in the rain. Not a drenching downpour—that would be miserable. But in a gentle rain, the mosses and ferns come alive, and the forest glows in every imaginable shade of green. The thick canopy of old growth firs and cedars protected us from all but a fine mist of moisture for most of our hike.
You can get to Sol Duc Falls via a short, easy trail of less than a mile. That’s what most people opt for. But a much more interesting route is the Lover’s Lane Trail, a loop of six miles that wanders through the lush, deep forest, over several rustic bridges, and one slightly sketchy boulder and log crossing.
The crown jewel of the trail—the falls—comes at the halfway mark. But the entire trail is gorgeous. I’d say it’s one of the prettiest we’ve ever hiked, and certainly the prettiest of our rainforest hikes in Olympic National Park.
Cocktails At Lake Crescent Lodge
The Sol Duc Valley is located in the northwest region of the park, about 35 miles southwest of our home-for-the-week at Salt Creek County Park. On the winding drive home, we passed by Lake Crescent, a beautiful glacially carved lake within Olympic National Park. Conveniently, it was happy hour. Muddy boots and all, we trudged into the lovely historic lodge for cocktails and an appetizer of Dungeness crab. Sitting in the glassed in sunroom, overlooking the sparkling lake, we toasted our four-year anniversary of our fulltime travels.
Reflections On Our Journey
This has been a magnificent, beautiful, wondrous, and sometimes terrifying journey. Life has certainly taken us on a wild ride. We never expected some of the adventures we’ve encountered this past four years. But really, none of us ever know what’s around the corner. What we do know is that we’re very happy that we embarked on this journey four years ago.
Life is good. Really, really good. Our neighbor at Salt Creek County Park took this picture of our rig while photographing the Milky Way and was kind enough to share it with us. It seems like the perfect image to commemorate our four-year travel anniversary and our desire to keep on exploring. Here’s to following your dreams, whatever they may be!
Congrats on your four year travel anniversary. I love that idea… “a travel anniversary” :) You really do get to the most beautiful places. This rainforest, in the rain looks just heavenly to me. Your photos of the ferns, the funghi, the bridge are absolutely beautiful and transport me right into the lushness of the forest. Great post and cheers to you both!
Peta, your adventures are far more exotic than ours — but there are truly amazing places in this country, and we’re happy to be sharing them with you. Thanks for the good wishes!
Four years and counting! What a fabulous photo of your humble abode and the milky way. He must have had some special lenses or something to capture both with such detail.
Bruce and are glad you embarked on your journey and that it includes Lopez Island, or we might never have met you and Eric.
Sheila, Eric and I know that our travels are all the more special for the time we spend with you and Bruce on Lopez. Here’s to many more years of island time together!
Wow, how lush, unique and beautiful. Congrats on the anniversary. We too celebrated four years of full-timing and although I occasionally miss a sticks n bricks, I don’t see us settling into one any time soon. Here’s to many more happy adventures and good health!
Thank you, Ingrid. Happy Anniversary to you two, as well! We don’t see ourselves settling down anytime soon, either — there’s so much more to explore.
You two make lovely flowers in the sea of green. The photo of the Milky Way was a pretty special one. Many more adventures and years on the road.
Haha, we were the only color in the landscape besides green! Thanks for your good wishes, Debbie.
How beautiful and what fun you must have had with
Pam and John hiking in to see the falls. It is so
lush and green there, WOW. The photo of the Milky Way that Ryan took is stunning. You and so
many wonderful memories tucked away.
Four years, let’s toast to many more, when will you
venture up to Alaska?
Have fun. Peggy
Peggy, we had a great time hiking with Pam and John. You’re right, we have many wonderful memories tucked away, and are creating more every day. :-) We’re planning on Alaska trip, not quite sure when, but soon! oxoxo
There are so many different kinds of beauty, but for me it’s hard to top Olympic National Park. Your photos, as always, are gorgeous. And then the guest photographer at the end with that Milky Way shot? Wow!!
Janet, I think it’s hard to top Olympic National Park, too. It’s so diverse, from the rainforest to the beaches to the mountains. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the photos. Weren’t we lucky with our guest photographer?
We just made reservations for Salt Creek Recreation Area for the last week of September. Can’t wait and your beautiful pictures really make me excited!!
And I can’t believe anyone would say the Neah Bay Cape Flattery area is not much to see. I drag every visitor, with enough time, to Cape Flattery, we’ve even spent New Years. I coaxed my Mom @ 83 y/o to the viewing platform, once she got there, oh was she thrilled!
Nancy, the last week of September should be perfect at Salt Creek. But I’m sure you already know that. How cool that you encouraged your mom out to the tip of Cape Flattery! It’s such a special place. I imagine New Year’s could be pretty dramatic there!
Oddly enough, today marks our ONE year anniversary on the road. You guys better keep going or we’ll catch up! Seriously – congratulations! I’m so glad I ran into your blog and really enjoy learning about all these lovely places you visit. I’ve picked up lots of ideas from you guys, including this gorgeous place. Just beautiful!
Laura, Happy Anniversary to you two, too! I’m also glad our blogging paths have crossed, and I’m hoping we’ll meet up in person in our travels. It’s so much fun to get ideas from each other about places to see and things to do.
Happy Happy Anniversary, made all the more sweet by adversity this year.
Love the two beautiful wildflowers.
Aww, thanks, Sue! This is a particularly sweet anniversary. We’re very grateful to be continuing our travels and look forward to seeing you three somewhere before too much longer.
What a gorgeous hike! And that photo of your rig is a perfect depiction of your adventurous journey. Happy 4th anniversary, may you have many more!
Thanks so much, Linda. It’s interesting that we were given the photo on our four year anniversary. Kind of cosmic. :-)) We hope our journey includes crossing paths with you two!
Wow, you really are covering the whole galaxy out there! Assuming you’re at Lopez by now, and sending you two much love, xox D
Dia, we’re not sure if the Milky Way is in our travel plans, but we do have lots more territory to cover! So happy to hear from you—sending you much love, as well.
Life Certainly is Good! So glad all worked out for you and Eric to return to the road better than ever:)Happy “On the Road” Anniversary!
This was a spectacular hike. I am so glad we got to hike the rain forest in the misty drizzle. It was perfect!! It sure was a beautiful day:) So glad you asked us to join you! Love the photo your neighbor took!!
Thanks, Pam. We’re delighted we’ve been able to return to our life on the road. And part of the reason is being able to meet up with good friends like you! We loved our shared hiking adventures on the Olympic Peninsula. Here’s to many more!
Happy traveling anniversary. I am home in Buffalo enjoying the summer and traveling short distances to visit friends and family. I don’t think Shelly and I will ever give up our place here but will continue to adventure- winter in the southeast this year- southwest next year and trying to plan for the northwest again soon. Enjoy your time on the road- thanks for sharing the travels.
Pat, it sounds as though you’ve worked out a perfect plan for both traveling and enjoying home. You certainly have a lot of wonderful adventures! Thanks so much for following along with our travels and your good wishes.
I agree, a rain forest should be experienced when it is damp and misty! Our summer on the OP was dry, so those hikes through the rain forest seemed not quite right! Still beautiful though, pristine examples of Mother Nature are always beautiful!
Love the milky way shot!
Lisa, we discovered that the rain forest really is best on a misty day. It makes all the difference in the colors and the mood. But then it feels good to get back out in the sunshine!
The last photo is a major, Wow! Congrats to your 4 amazing years!
Thanks, Brenda. We think that Milky Way shot is cool, too! When are you going to join us?
Your photo brought fresh green moisture to our smoke filled triple digets valley…so filled with lush and stars….miss you but overjoyed for your anniversary of adventure! Just hung a quilt show in Astoria so my art is out there to the public..language of flowers! Couldn’t be doing this work on the road but it is tempting for the future when I have all the quilts I want to say.
Diana, as much as I miss you and our art escapades, I’m not sorry to be missing that terrible heat and smoke. :-( Congratulations on your quilt show! I think we need to head back to Astoria to see it.
We loved that hike as well, a rainforest bursting with colors and little critters. How wonderful to meet up with Pam and John for this hike and to have Ryan share that Milky Way shot with you. There was a class here in Lamar recently called Nighttime Time-Lapse Photography. Neither Terry or I supported that class but we saw some of the night sky shots and they were spectacular. Looking forward to seeing you both soon and catching up.
LuAnn, I would love to know how to do nighttime photography. But since I probably won’t ever learn (I still need to read my basic camera manual) I’m really happy that Ryan was so generous. We had a great time hiking with Pam and John — and we’re looking forward to our hiking adventures in Glacier with you and Terry in September!
You always start off with such a stunning header photo. I should try to do that but a) I’m too lazy and b) I don’t have as many gorgeous photos as you do. That lucky John and Pam to get to go with you to such a fantastic place. Great picture of you and Eric both. He looks very well and strong with that hands on the hip pose. I recommend that for all his pictures! Rachel Carson always said that a rainy day was the perfect day for a walk. Sounds like a wonderful experience taking her advice. I’m so with you in taking the long way. Anticipation AND such a gorgeous prelude. You sure picked the year to do it. The falls look outstanding! What a great place to celebrate your anniversary. That picture of your rig and the skies nothing short of awesome. I can’t remember when I last saw skies like that. Of course I go to bed too early probably. LOL. Here’s to many many more healthy and joyous years on the road and everywhere for you both.
Sherry, thanks so much for your wonderful wishes. Salt Creek (one of our favorite spots) was the perfect place to celebrate our four years on the road. I must admit I wouldn’t have seen the Milky Way without Ryan’s photo. :-)) It’s time for us to meet up with you guys again for some travel adventures!
We only have one more year left of our full-time RV adventures, so I hope we get to encounter you two before we hang up the keys. We celebrated our 10th traveling anniversary this year! We hope to hit Lopez Island this fall. Will you guys be there this fall?
JC, we would really like to meet up with you two. I didn’t know that this is the last year of your full-timing adventures. We’ll be leaving Lopez at the very end of August and heading to Glacier. Let’s make a plan to somehow get together somewhere. Wow, 10 years! Happy Anniversary!
Everyone is saying what I want to say…Wow, Congrats on your four year anniversary, and we missed Sol Duc Falls :(
Eric looks better each time I see him in your post.
I believe the big bump on the road, was just a bump on the road and you managed to go over it. Look where you are now, Life is Good…Cheers to you and Eric
Thank you so much, MonaLiza. We are grateful every day. You guys are facing your own big bump in the road, and you’re getting through it, too — one day at a time. We think of you every day and are hoping to see you before too much longer. Hugs to you both!
Now that’s a rain forest! Those bridges were looking a bit iffy until the log crossing…..glad it was a dry crossing for everyone. You and Pam chose the perfect colors for your hike :-))) Love the fungi in their round frame. That lodge is another beautiful spot we visited at your recommendation, and a perfect place to celebrate four years of adventure (all kinds). May your days ahead all be full of magical moments.
Haha, I knew you would like those bridges, Jodee. Especially the log crossing. :-)) Thanks for your lovely good wishes. Our traveling adventures do seem to be filled with magical moments.
Your photos are beautiful. It appears so serene and peaceful! Dawn
Thanks, Dawn. We like finding the serene and peaceful trails. :-)