Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park Washington

by Randy Cyr


This matter-of-fact sign gives little clue to what lies ahead for the adventurer.

The Hoh has its humble beginning in the blue ice fields of Olympus Mountain (photo by Sam Beebe/Ecotrust).

Along its 56-mile trek to the Pacific hundreds of small feeder streams join, which in turn are fed by 12 feet of rain annually.

Unlike the gray beards of the Southeast (Spanish moss, Edisto Island, SC)…

 …Northwestern gents sport green beards (club moss).

Cotton candy anyone?

Coat hangers.

The wakening sun struggles to penetrate this American jungle. Everywhere you look, all you can see is life, and every imaginable hue of green!  

In the rain forest nothing is wasted; what rays manage to escape the mosses are intercepted by the ferns.

In this land of seeming chaos, every plant and structure vies for expression.

Light is a precious commodity in this land of shadows.

All trees bow to greet the morning sun.

A new monarch breaks forth from the forest canopy almost 300 feet above.

Another monarch, after a thousand-year reign, crashes to the floor below

.     In the scrimmage of survival, only the strongest  remain.  

 And now I lay me down to sleep.

From death comes new life; a nurse log provides dry footing for new trees and plants to take their place in this land of opportunity.

“The groves were God’s first temples (William Cullen Bryant, 1824).”

 The milky blue waters of the Hoh rush to greet…

…the salty gray waters of the Pacific, just north of Ruby Beach.