Day Two - La Push on to Forks
Rustling could be heard throughout or site as we each broke down our respective tents and packed up the car, we had read about hot springs not to far off and decided that would make a good destination one for the day. The sun was quickly painting itself over the horizon and onto the dense wet forest we awoke in as we put the last bag in the car. Route 101 winds around the outer perimeter of the washington peninsula, sandwiched between the Pacific ocean and Olympic National park. The road curved like a snake for miles between old growth pines and dark rocky beaches, music chirped through the car as we fueled ourselves on granola bars and cheap coffee. Turning left off of the 101 onto a small backroad that would lead us to the trail head our eyes became quickly averted out the window to the bluest water. The cascading teals swam through an opening in the pines like something from a movie scene. Naturally we pulled over and grabbed our cameras, scurrying down the hillside we approached the unreal waters and gazed in awe.
Surely our eyes were registering this wrong, water is only this blue in cartoons or movies and had to be created in post, but no the water before was indeed as vibrant as led to believe, we got our fill of photographs and proceeded back to the car too follow this blue serpent to two iron gates closing the road to the hot springs. This bewildered us as we discussed what to do, in unison it was set that we would hike from the gates to the springs, at first the road was flat and pleasant curling between trees adorned with spanish moss and emerald green vines, then we approached our first up hill about five miles in, this quickly became how the rest of the hike would go, straight up hill with little to no plateaus to catch our breathe on. The day was not your typically north western day, instead of misty mountains and over cast skies we received brilliant and hot sun with clear blue sky’s and one of the hottest days on record, even the mammoth pines and there draping shadows provided little safety from the heat. Dripping with sweat and feeling beyond parched we crested a hill to a valley in the mountaintops, the remnants of an old Hydro-powered dam lay before us, since demolishing it years ago the national park service has been working to help nature reclaim this area and bring it back to a stable environment once again.
At this point the hike was taking its toll on the group, yet we persisted on convincing ourselves that around the next turn the hot springs would be waiting for us. This was not the case after another hour of hiking would lead us to find out, as we sat on the road taking a small nap and break we discussed the ever pending thought of turning back, and although none of us are ones to give something up, with the heat ever looming and a lack of food and drinkable water on us we thought it best not to push on and started the daunting fifteen mile hike back to the car. After a few hours the car was before our eyes and the rush of fresh water and air conditioning gave us the last boost to hustle off the trail. Quickly after pulling away we were greeted with the symphony of gurgling stomachs that even a glove box filled with granola bars couldn't quench.
After a seemingly eternity we cruised into the small town of Forks, if it sounds familiar it should, the small town grew in fame a few years back when the popular Twilight books and movies gained massive attention. Driving through the town you could see countless merchandise shops selling memorabilia, even the local burger joint, Sully’s which we decided to eat at adorned such items as Twilight Lemonade and Vampire sundaes. The burgers cam out hot and fast and was much appreciated, after devouring everything in what seemed like seconds smiles came across our faces once again and we were ready to see what else we could before the imminent threat of night fall came upon us.
A long stretch of asphalt through dense woods leads out to the three beaches in the native reserve, our first stop the furthest out, beach three. After some time the road opened up and gave way to a vast stretch of sand, small houses lined the road and beach sides, docks off in the distance near a small port and the smell of the ocean quickly filled our noses. Off in the distance reaching high out of the ocean like old greek gods these massive old stone towers commanded there presence, as we walked the sand giving way and the waves crashing to our rights, in the distance one could hear children playing and laughing, the coast scattered with driftwood. This beach made famous by its signature single massive old growth tree that had long since given up and collapsed on the dunes, its trunk encompassed you as you walked inside of it, feeling like something out of a nineties movie being shrunk to fit inside such a thing. We spent most of the early golden hour here exploring the beach and photographing before racing toward beach one to close out our evening. The hike back to the beach was two miles long and weaved through a jungle, the trees stretched far beyond what are eye could comprehend into the sky, a humbling feeling of insignificance washed over us as we forged through, the air shifting from cold to hot as we moved up and over mountains, after some time that ocean smell returned to tease us once again and one could hear waves crushing onto this secluded beach. As the trail came to a head we were greeted with one last right of passage before entering the oasis in front of us, a stack of old trees lay fallen in a steep pile and required light steps and nimble reflexes to cross. Now on the sand at last we stripped away our shoes and any extra baggage and enjoyed this surreal moment in life.
Spending the last moments of the day photographing some amazing pieces for @siobhanaleabarrett lingerie and dancing about in the twilight of this paradise. These moments are the ones that live with us, that we carry and tell stories of for years to come, the ones that transcend anything and become truly meaningful as the sun finally rested in the sky and the familiar humm picked up driving off of the coast into the blackness we knew we had been changed and touched by real magic.