On our second full day at Lake Quinault, our group of six planned for a morning kayaking trip. When I woke up that morning, the sky was very overcast and it was quite chilly outside. Welcome to the pacific northwest. Chris and I like warm and sunny days. Call us crazy. Seeing the weather outside, we discussed whether our wetsuits, that we’ve never worn but Chris desperately wanted the opportunity to wear something formfitting, would be necessary for this paddle. We (translation: I) decided against them and instead, packed on layers and began the arduous task of getting kayaks down from the top of the truck. We met our friends at the lake. They had on shorts and noted how perfect the weather was for kayaking. (Note to self: So glad I didn’t let Chris talk me into wearing my wetsuit.)
Our paddle was excellent. Once again, paddling with those knowledgeable of all things nature makes the experience much more exciting, not to mention educational. They recognized the different chirps of birds and could spot a bird or its nest from afar. Our most exciting wildlife encounter was a bald eagle perched atop a stump in the water. Chris was able to get a close picture of the eagle before he (the eagle, not Chris) flew away. Meanwhile, for the remainder of the paddle, I had John Ashcroft singing “Let the Eagle Soar” stuck in my head. Not good.
After our paddle, we decided to pack up and depart Lake Quinault in hopes of finding a “home” with internet access for the remainder of the week. We had an incredible drive through Olympic National Park and an interesting stop for dinner in Forks, Washington which, unbeknownst to us, is the setting for the popular Twilight series. This quiet logging town is now the Mecca for Twilight fans and squealing teenage girls. The hostess at the restaurant looked at us as though we had four heads when we asked of the town’s relationship to Twilight. When we confessed we had not read the books nor seen the movie, she then confessed in a whisper so as to not be heard by her employer or the squealing teenage girls that she did not like the books either.
Continuing on, we found a public campground in Port Angeles, Washington. We drove in just minutes before the gates closed and lucked upon a handicap spot that the park ranger allowed us to use (without having to fake a limp). The next day, we started scoping the park early so we could move to a non-handicap spot. I stalked the other campers looking for those that were packing up their tents and trailers and we scored the best site in the park with an amazing view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island. Welcome home, Pokrana family. Welcome home.