SAT stands for me (Samantha Anne Thomas)
Alas our first visitors, Arika and Devon! Like a quartet, we set off to find the defining sights and sounds of the Olympic Peninsula.
Fist Sight: Lake Quinault & the World’s Largest Sitka Spruce
Lake Quinalut is a majestic glacier-carved and glacier-fed lake surrounded by mossy old-growth trees of the Quinault Rain Forest. The Olympic Peninsula is home to one of three temperate rain forests in the world, Chili and New Zealand hold the other two.
Second Sight: First Beach, La Push, WA
Stretching down from the glaciers of Mt. Olympus, along the rain forest rivers to the Pacific beaches was once the main territory of the Quileute Tribe. La Push, a small coastal town, is where the land meets the sea, vibrating with life and energy; the roar of crashing waves; the calls of gulls, bald eagles and black oystercatchers; the vivid colors of intertidal creatures; dramatic sunsets and the vastness of the ocean. It is a place rooted in the culture of the Quileute Nation; a nation who works to protect the importance of maintaining the relationship of land and sea. This is their livelihood and it is also ours.
The interconnectedness was made more apparent when we were in the Hoh Rain Forest and saw the last of the Silver Salmon returning over 30 miles to their home stream, to spawn and return to the earth.
Third Sight: Third Beach
We started through a forest of Sitka spruce, alder, and hemlock. The forest air quickly turned to the taste of salty air and the sounds of the surf before opening up to the wide sandy shore of Third Beach. Off in the distance a cluster of sea stacks protruded from the ocean and a waterfall fell from a towering bluff, crashing into the surf below. Seeking adventure, we crossed the beach to a course of ropes and ladders that aided our ascent to the top of the bluff overlooking the waterfall, Third Beach, and the vast Pacific Ocean.
Fourth Sight: Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach
Hole-in-the-Wall is a natural sea arch carved by surf and wind located at the end of Rialto Beach. It is flanked by sea stacks and a beach lined with giant logs and smoothed cobblestones.
Fourth Sight: Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park
Averaging over 150 inches of rainfall a year, the Hoh Rain Forest is an enchanted example of the temperate rain forest with it’s lush green canopy and ferns and mosses, which not only blanket the forest floor, but also the towering trees. A forest born from the ocean.