I camped Saturday night (May 11) at Hoh Rainforest Campground along the Hoh River. The rain started about 9:30 in the evening. It was still twilight and the rain gave a soft cast to the landscape. The Hoh Valley receives more than 140 inches of rain a year. That is an incredible 12 feet of rain. The celling in my apartment is a little over 7 feet; 140 inches of rain would almost fill it up twice. Wow!
The rain was light and created a tranquil sound as it pattered on the tent. I was close to the edge of the river and could hear the sounds of the water running over rocks and hitting against tree trunks along the bank. I slept well.
I rose early the next morning and headed up the Hoh River Trail to see how the forest looked in the rain and to look for a place where I could walk along the river. I found a wonderful place a couple of miles up the valley where a side trail headed out to the river. I was able to scramble down a small bank and jump across a small stream onto a sand bar. Alders coming into full leaf lined the small stream. In the morning-wet light, they were just beautiful. The sand bar had a lot of those river rocks that are rounded all around. These rocks varied from an half-inch in length to 4 or 5 inches. I slipped often on the loose rocks as I walked up the sand bar.
The rain was really light. For several minutes I didn’t think it was still raining. Only when I looked into shadows could I see droplets falling. I held out my hand to see if it was really raining. Yes, rain was coming down.
The forest was draped in low-lying clouds and a thin fog layer clung to the river. The clouds, fog, and color of the forest were constantly changing. The soft light made the trees glow. The fresh light green leaves of the maples and alders stood strongly against the darker needles of the conifers. The clouds constantly changed shape and the forest would peak out for a while along the slopes of the mountains and then disappear as a lower cloud drifted through. I stood for quite a while enjoying the serene setting, oblivious to the rain drizzling on my jacket, hat and face.
After a while, I headed back to the trail to work my way down to my car, having been blessed to experience this wilderness on a fabulous day!