No Vacancy Road Trip

I’ve lived in many parts of the United States and have seen a lot of beautiful places. However, I have to admit none of the other States I’ve been to have the kind of diverse landscapes like the Pacific Northwest: From the desert like climate on the east of Cascade Mountains and the majestic snow-covered peaks of the volcanoes, to the old growth trees and rainforests in the Olympic National Park — ending with the thundering waves on rocky beaches of the Pacific Ocean; the discovery of wondrous sights are endless. Okay… I’m starting to sound like a vacation brochure. 😉

Anyway… since we were blessed with another beautiful sunny weekend, we decided to go on an overnight road trip along the western part of Olympic Peninsula loop.

As we wind along highway 101, we stopped at one of the old growth rainforests. Many of the old growths were over two hundred years old and are homes for the endangered species, Spotted Owls. I was hoping to capture the rare owl but knew my chances were slim to none during my short visit. However, the trees were an amazing sight. They made my head dizzy just from looking up.

While I did my best to capture the magnificent place — this is one of those places that you need to experience it in person to get the feel of the lush vegetation and the immense height of the trees, wild life — not to mention the humidity and blood-sucking mosquitoes. Actually, I could do without the mosquitoes. I’m one of those people who these bloodsuckers seem to like a lot. And if there is a mosquito within a fifty-mile radius, it somehow will find me.

After thirty minutes of lost sweat and blood, I just couldn’t stand taking another mosquito bite. I know… the torturous conditions, we photographers have to put up with — in pursuit of that perfect shot. 🙂

We continued on to the final destination of the town, La Push: A remote, small coastal town and home to the Quileute Indian tribe. Unfortunately, I discovered once outside of the protected national forest, the landscape changed drastically. It went from lush vegetation and giant trees to human destruction, I mean… meadows. The view was full of ugly meadows for hundreds of miles.

Finally after an hour of looking at ugly meadows, we arrived at La Push just in time for sunset shots and some fun in the surf.

Unfortunately, the fun ended when we started to look for a place to stay for the night. Since it was the end of August, thought of not being able to get a motel room didn’t occur to us. To make the long story short, we drove all night along the Olympic National Park loop looking for a place to stay. And we came upon one bright red NO VACANCY sign after another. 😦

We just couldn’t believe it. There wasn’t any room available whatsoever within the two hundred miles… we had no choice but to drive the 400 miles back home. By the time we got home, it was 4:00 a.m. Lesson learned… it’s not a good idea to assume when you go on vacation.


9 Comments on “No Vacancy Road Trip

  1. Great shots – especially like the forest shots. I miss the rainforest. Too bad about the no vacancy but it’s all part of the adventure. 🙂

  2. I love the perspective and processing in the second photo.

    And I agree with you about the diversity of the NW.

  3. Indeed, that is one of the most beautiful places in the world. A number of great shots above but especially the third one. As to the meadows, have you ever read 1491?

  4. Hi Emily,

    Came across your blog, glad you enjoyed the temperate rainforests (sans mosquitos). When faced with no where to stay, I’ve often found room at the “Hotel Subaru” You or a friend might like my editorial rainforest work or Summer 2012 program.

    Best, Bruce

  5. I have never made it that far west yet. I keep wasting my time in places like Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, and don’t leave enough time to make it to the coast. I love your pictures of the trees! They make me want to start planning another vacation.

  6. Beautiful images, I particularly love the beach shots, what spectacular light you captured! The only good thing about 400 mile drives in the middle of the night is that somehow they make the vacation story that much more compelling–sounds like an incredible trip!

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