(a report on me and my sister’s roadtrip…)
Day 6 – Olympic National Park & Salem, Oregon
Erin and I woke up bright and early since we only had until around noon to check out Olympic National Park.
This park was MASSIVE and completely different from all other parks we had ever visited. With most parks, you drive in to the park, stop at the visitor center, and check out the park. With Olympic, you mostly drive around the outskirts of the park with only a few options to turn down a smaller road and actually enter the park. We had high expectations, and considering the fact that we had seen some incredible sights, we really expected Olympic to top them all. But things just didn’t seem to go our way. We had heard a lot about Hurricane Ridge – an overlook that is supposedly amazing, but it was closed down because of a landslide. Then, we heard about a place where we could bathe in natural hot springs. Aside from being a long detour from the direction we needed to head, the “natural” hot springs were basically turned into hot tubs with tile flooring and walls… Not quite as natural as we were hoping for, but a chance to “shower” nonetheless (which we were always seeking)! We made our way around the park, slowed often because of construction. We hadn’t completely lost hope as we were sure our last stop would be the greatest: the rainforest.
Somehow, we seemed to have a hard time finding the rainforest. It just wasn’t as wild and adventurous as we had expected! We pulled over for a short hike and second-guessed over and over if this was actually it. What a disappointment, we thought. Erin even went so far as to put Olympic National Park at the BOTTOM of her list of favorite national parks!! The thing to remember, however, is that we were judging in comparison to our EXCELLENT last several days and in comparison to our unreasonably high expectations that we had set. As we walked through the rainforest, we fulfilled Erin’s only request to find a fern that was taller than her. We walked and laughed and joked about “how much fun we were having,” forcing ourselves to have a positive attitude on what was clearly becoming our least favorite day.
After hours of finally making it through the park (especially with the unbearable construction!), we were back on the road again. We had really hoped to make a few wineries in Oregon. Erin had secured a list of good Oregon wineries from her winemaker friend in Napa, and we picked one to head to. Unfortunately, we were cutting it so close on time that we only made it to one winery, at 5pm exactly – closing time. We had called ahead and asked if it would be okay if we came in anyway since we had driven SO far! They were kind (while still making us feel slightly guilty for keeping them at work late), and gave us much more wine than we deserved! It was tasty, though you’ll have to check with Erin for a better description than that. Oregon is known for its Pinot Noir, so Erin and I both felt compelled to buy some!
Our trip was nearing an end, so in an effort to head further south and shorten our driving for the next day, we made our way down to Salem, Oregon to stay with my friends Jesse and Andrew! We arrived around 7pm, right in time for a delicious Mexican dinner – margaritas on us! We hung around and chatted until the evening hours. It was so nice to catch up with friends and have a night in a bed! It was a long day, and the comfortable sleep was just what we needed to survive our final day of driving.
Meanwhile, the pluot was staring at us from the cupholder in our car. “Shoot! We forgot to eat that pluot again…”