Goth Panda

Olympic NP June 2013: Day Five

Our room at the lodge had a huge screened window which we opened overnight, because I was addicted to the fresh, pine-scented Pacific Northwest air. We quickly learned that the only time the birds stopped chirping was during the frequent bursts of rain.

One of the historic “charms” of our historic lodge room was the steam heater, which woke us up several times each night with loud uncontrollable banging noises that I remembered from somewhere I must have lived as a child that had a similar system. I can admit that these nightly awakenings did slightly diminish my love for historic national park lodges, but not enough to stop me from staying at one in the future. Mike’s parents stayed in the Lakeside rooms at Lake Quinault, which were more modern than the lodge, so that is a good alternative if the lodge proves TOO historic for your comfort level.

It was rainy this morning, and we decided to make this the Sol Duc day, since that was the longer drive. We planned to go hiking and to the hot springs at Sol Duc. We stopped at the Hungry Bear Cafe outside of Forks, WA (apparently of Twilight fame), where the portions were huge, and the owner threatened to make Mike wash dishes for not finishing his pancakes.

We decided to hike first when we got to Sol Duc, because the hot springs were full of high school students on a class trip. We took Lover’s Lane trail out to Sol Duc falls. It rained intermittently, so I didn’t bring my Canon, just my iPhone for photos. We made many, many Lord of the Rings and Endor jokes on the hiking trail. I also taught Mike some Girl Scout songs.

Lover's Lane Trail, Olympic National Park.

Sol Duc Falls, Olympic National Park.

After we made it back to the parking lot, the students were gone and there was plenty of room in the hot springs. We paid for lockers and admission, and went in.

Now, I used to be very skeptical about the healing powers of mineral hot springs. I only wanted to visit these because I thought it would be nice to soak in some warm water on a rainy day where the temperature was in the 50s. I went in several of the different pools, but I stuck to the hot springs (either 102 or 105 degrees), unlike Mike who also went in the 70 degree chlorine pool. The hot springs water smelled slightly like sulphur, and was oily to the touch. It made your skin very smooth after soaking in it.

We didn’t stay long, but after the hot springs soak, all of the lingering soreness in my torso that had been bothering me since I was sick on Sunday was gone, and it did not come back. I was miraculously cured by the hot springs. I decided then and there that I don’t ever want to hike again unless there was a hot spring waiting for me at the end of the trail. I realize this might be difficult to achieve.

We got back to the lodge and went to the Salmon House for dinner with Mike’s parents. They had a beautiful view of the lake, and hummingbird feeders along the windows that brought in lots of hummingbirds. We overheard some German tourists asking the waitress about them. Do they not have hummingbirds in Germany? Wikipedia says no.

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