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An Olympic Peninsula Loop Beach 1 the Hoh Rainforest Forks and Eating at Lake Crescent Lodge

My friend and I got up in the morning along the shore of Lake Quinault, in the middle of the Olympic Peninsula, with no other way to get home but to go around and see all the things. It was going to be a long and beautiful Sunday. Our loop was to include at least one other beach, the Hall of Mosses, a cheesy tourist photo in Forks, and a stop at the famous Lake Crescent with its clear blue waters. It was going to be a significant drive – but that is why we were going to stop frequently and check many things out along the way.  

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We got it together and stopped by the Rainforest Inn & Resort's gift shop for some free coffee and breakfast to begin our journey. I picked up another little friend – Oly the Ranger Bear. He is featured above with Dandelion, Jimbo and Diana's stuffed friend Yeti at Beach 1. 

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Beach 1 is beautiful – covered in driftwood, blue water, stones and cliffs with wind swept trees. It requires going down quite a set of stairs and over some rocky trail and driftwood stumps. As I thought we were just walking out of our car to the beach I was that person on the hiking trail in flip flops. On the flip side I was able to put my feet in the very cold Pacific Ocean.

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Despite all of the beauty at the beach the length of the road and the moss inside the Hoh Rainforest was calling. 

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To call the Hall of Mosses trail in the Hoh Rainforest a hike would be like calling a petting zoo a farm. It is however, a photo opportunity every step of the way. 

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All .8 miles of it are magical, even filled with other "hikers," nature appreciators, children climbing trees, and motivational poster opportunists.  My favorite part was spotting this dinosaur coming up from the moss, and the symbiotic root systems of all of the trees. Fun fact – the moss that grows in the rain forest gets all of its nutrients from the air and moisture, as a result it can be all over the trees without killing them and flourish with all of the annual rainfall this rare temperate rain forest receives on an annual basis. 

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So many amazing formations of roots, moss, branches, more moss, shadows and light.  

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Speaking of shadows and light  – after walking the Hall of Mosses we made our way to Forks, Washington.  

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Forks has no problem owning its claim to fame. The chamber of commerce/visitor's center is completely devoted to Twilight memorabilia. It is as if there is no other game in town.

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After you get the self-guided tour map at the visitor's center and make the rounds to Cullen House, Forks High School, and the City Hall you are encouraged to visit the local arts & culture museum to see the largest collection of movie props and other things of fan interest to the Twilight saga. As we were here, why not just poke our heads in to see what its all about? Maybe there will be an explanation of all the Morman symbolism and cultural norms hidden within the depths of the authors vapid writing. Maybe.

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"The mannequin wearing Bella's clothing was specially made to mimic the actresses's body so it would look just perfect in the museum." Said the smiling woman standing by the glass case so excited by our curiosity.  This fact is just one of the many gems I learned from the very helpful and enthusiastic staff milling about in the one room exhibit. Strangely enough there was no information about the author of the books.

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However, the super enthusiastic individuals staffing the collection are filled with stories about where the featured t-shirt quilts came from among other minutia of details related to the items on display. I didn't even know that t-shirt quilts were a thing – or that so many t-shirts about Twilight were made. I said this out loud. And apparently, I was living under a rock for the last decade, according to the look on the lovely lady's face who was helping us when I said this. 

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If the helpful staff knew I was not one of them (aka a fan) they did not let on other than the sideways and confused glances as a result of my comments. I read the books and went to the movies under the cover of darkness, never admitting to anyone I was going to the theater to see them. So I guess I missed the whole thing being a thing.  But Forks has not – which is good – because it only has one stoplight and not a lot else going for it. 

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After perusing the local gift shop and purchasing a selection of Olympic Peninsula themed postcards for my upcoming August Poetry Postcard month participation we got back on to the 101, turned the corner and started heading East towards home.  

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But before the final stretch from Port Angeles to the Kingston Ferry we made a stop at Lake Crescent, and Lake Crescent Lodge – the final Lodge in our WPA built lodge tour and the parks created by FDR's new deal. I've always wanted to stay at Lake Crescent but it is one of those places that you cannot just simply book when you realize you have a weekend free – because people have thought ahead and are staying there way before you even dreamed of attempting to book a tiny cabin on the lake on a random Friday.   

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Lake Crescent water is really turquoise. If we were able to take a boat tour we would have been able to see that you can see the bottom clearly in many places – instead we chose to stay for dinner. I was getting close to very hungry as our convenience store breakfasts had worn off.  

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We also lucked out and got one of the best spots in the entire dining room with a direct view of the lake.

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So we had to go all in for dinner.

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House salad with lavender vinaigrette and the best watermelon radishes and heirloom tomatoes that can be carted onto the peninsula.

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Fresh halibut and

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dungeness crab aglio olio with a view of Lake Crescent behind it.  The crab dish was as good as it looks and more. It was a perfect balance of subtle crab, delightful garlic, light lemon zest and parmesan cheese goodness. The halibut was so fresh you could still taste the pacific ocean on it. 

It was a great dinner, with a great view, making a lovely end to our peninsula adventure.  Now all that was left was the final drive to the ferry past Port Angeles and many unnamed turn offs.  I was home by 10:30pm. 

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Dandelion the dragon approved this blog post.

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