When I finally reunited with the coast after leaving Portland, the weather went from hot and dry to wet and soggy.
The trend continued as I made my way toward Olympic National Park, which gets an average of 150 inches (380 cm) of rain each year.
Many people had raved about the Hoh River Trail, but I was a little short on time, so the friendly front desk team at the Kalaloch Lodge suggested I explore the Sol Duc River area instead. They explained it was the little sister to the Hoh — the same ecosystem, but shrunk down — and would allow me to get down into the heart of the temperate rainforest more quickly. Basically, I could see the same beauty in a 6-mile round-trip hike.
But what I didn’t expect to encounter on my way to the trail was the Twilight Visitor CenterTwilight Visitor Center in Forks, Washington — probably because I’m the only human being on Earth that hasn’t seen any of the movies or read any of the books. Yet there it was, packed with adoring fans ready to go on the “Twilight Tour.”
Here are a few photos that capture my quick hop through the Olympic Peninsula.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Follow Shannon’s adventures on Twitter @CuriousTraveler and on Instagram @ShannonSwitzer
Shannon is photographing with an Olympus PEN E-PM1 and an Olympus Tough TG-820.