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09/27/07 - Elk Season at the Hoh Rainforest

We walked out along the Hoh River to Five Mile Island. Despite all the jokes about the Hoh being a temperate rain forest, we had a bright sunny day and a wide blue sky.

It takes a bit under two hours to get from the ranger station and the interpretive trails to Five Mile Island, and along the way is all rain forest with ferns, moss, gnarled maples, giant trees, fallen nurse logs, rocky streams, waterfalls, and glimpses of the stony flat of the Hoh River's bed. There was even a bit of autumn color among the deciduous trees set off against the magnificent green of the evergreens.

At Five Mile Island we wandered out on the water rounded stones and walked over to the nearest channel of the Hoh. The river moves around from season to season, sometimes running hard against the north shore, but lately the main channel has been drifting south, so we settled on a log alongside one of the smaller channels and ate our lunch. (That was chicken sandwiches with bacon, tomatoes, and avocado on sourdough).

We have never seen the trail or the river so beautiful. The light was perfect with the sun high and from the south. We were amazingly pleased when we got back to the car, but there was a lagniappe ahead. As we left the parking lot, alongside the little pond, there was a herd of elk in the trees.

We, and a good number of others, stopped and emerged. There was one great bull elk and a cow with a fawn among others in the woods. The light wasn't very good, but we did manage to take a few pictures. All told, it was a wonderful day.

This is one of those glimpses of the river from along the trail

The forest is alive

The river bed flats at Five Mile Island

The herd of elk

A bad enlargement of the great bull elk - Those are his antlers, not a tree behind him.

It really does look like a Tarzan movie

The elk herd again

Keywords: trails, hoh, elk, waterfall