29 August 2016

Olympic Peninsula

Aberdeen, WA
Feeding the salmon at Quinault National Fish Hatchery
The girls at Quinault Lake
Alexis on the world's largest Spruce tree
Alexis makes sure the Tooth Fairy can find her tooth
Loot for second tooth from the Tooth Fairy
Camilla "waters the plants" at an RV dump station
The Olympic Peninsula of Washington State is home to the humongous Olympic National Park, which covers most of the northwest corner of the state.  Olympic National Park is home to the Hoh Rainforest, one of the largest temperate rainforests left in the world.

We came to “The Hoh”, as the local rangers refer to it, seeking the usual stuff, new experiences and novel beauty, and we found this, but we unexpectedly found much more.

One of our challenges while traveling is meaningful social contact, particularly for the girls, outside of our nuclear family.  They find playmates here and there, but rarely for more than a couple of hours at a time, and with significant gaps between such contacts.  We’re fortunate that they have each other to play with regularly, but new people are good for their playful little minds and social development.

Here in The Hoh we happened to camp across the way from an extended family gathering of American Samoan expats.  We had originally only planned to stay only two days, but the girls hit it off with the other kids and so we left it to them whether to stay longer or move on as we had planned.  “Stay!” was the resounding answer.  And so we stayed.

We were rewarded by being invited into our neighbors' family gathering, and more kind and generous people you will not find.  The beauty of such warm human interaction with formerly complete strangers is as splendid a thing as any scenic landscape or natural wonder we have found on our travels.  Our short time together is a clear highlight in our family's journey.  Faafetai.

Camping next to the Hoh River in the Hoh Rainforest
Hot stone therapy along the banks of the Hoh
A beautiful family

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