The morning was spent just basking in the sun and the zen atmosphere of the campground. Pretty much everyone left by ten o’clock leaving us to rule the roost. We sat in our chairs on the bank of Taft Creek listening to the sound of the water rushing over the rocks. PJ painted on her pumpkin while I posted a blog and practiced on my wooden flute. The ravens in the tree overhead enjoyed the off key sound and answered with music of their own. Cali had free reign and poked her nose in every bush and hollow she encountered on her ramblings.
Later in the day, as a few campers started trickling in, we walked over to the visitors center and had a quick look inside at the center. Not much to it, a couple of chotskes for sale and a large relief map of the area. We hit the Hoh River Trail and hiked into the forest for an hour or so until we saw the shadows growing long and began to worry about getting caught out in the dark. The trail zigzagged around through the oceans of ferns, lush trees and endless assortment of mosses.
We sidestepped the roots and rocks tripping occasionally as we were gawking at a particularly stunning curtain of moss hanging from a branch or a verdant nook in the trees. The trail curved out along the creek in places where we would get a view of the flowing water and the snow covered Olympic range to the east.
Evening was settling in as we were hiking out and the few other straggling hikers had already departed. The silence was palpable and the animals were starting to come out. Woodpeckers startled us flying low and crossing just a few feet in front of our faces. As we quietly rounded a bend, the large white hind ends of the massive elk gave away their positions among the trees. We all stood still watching one another until the shyer members of the herd hustled off over the rise. One large elk was unafraid and continued his grazing, rubber necking as we slowly walked past.
Not long after, we came to the trailhead and hiked back out to the campground to walk the riverbank with Cali and watch the sun disappear behind the tall stands of trees on the far side of the creek.