Kalaloch Campground Olympic National Park - Beatty Family Pacific Northwest Trip 2015 Part Two

After a hard day of traveling, to take a deep breath and wake under these trees fills every little loose discord inside you. Puts it all right again and breathes freshness into the bones and heart. Even the sleeping babies dream of branches and moss and ocean swirl.

Our sites at Kalaloch Beach each had a little nest for the tents tucked into the trees beyond the campfire rings. This was the last place we were allowed to have campfires. It was a skip down rustic steps to the ocean shore and there was a small tidy bathroom around the corner. In short, it was paradise, pure and simple. 

Now that's a good husband.

And guess who had joined us late in the night? Matt with his 90's skater hair and his wonderful family of pure pure fun. I miss my brother all the time. This trip lets us feel like pure family again, neighbors and friends and siblings and wanderers together.

Orion, in full hunting regalia, immediately took to the trees in some intense spiderweb exploration. Lucy immediately wanted to follow him and did pretty well navigating the branch bridges. My girls admire this kid to no end. It's "Oey" this and "Oey" that ...all day long. They remember every little thing he did or talked about. He's their hero. And with good reason.

Everyone explores.

Bella is right there immediately with these lucky babes of ours, showing them everything, playing with them and teaching them. They are so lucky to have her and the whole time we are together she devotes herself to our littlest ones. She is Tootie's best friend and Scout and Polly's friendliest and sweetest playmate.

A big riproaring sesh of morning hacky sack ensues.

It was Matt and Amy's anniversary. 14 years I think for these amazing lovers. They are a love story for the ages and anyone ever considering falling in love and getting married should probably take a class with Matt and Amy. They do love right.

We headed on a long, loping woodland drive out to the Hoh Rainforest where we checked out the visitor center and took a leisurely hike down the Hall of Mosses. Perfect for toddlers who want to "hike" all by themselves. Our group was sweetly happy to oblige.

There's a reason they call it the Hall of Mosses.

Cousin tree tunnel. Pretending to be fairies of the forest.

We found the tiny fern spores fascinating. Among a million other things.

That evening back at camp I made us girls spritzers for our walk down to the beach. In celebration of Matt and Amy's anniversary, and campfires, and just being together.

Spent a couple late afternoon hours frolicking this shore. 

Toot was obsessed with collecting these jellyfish and putting them in her bucket. This took up the better part of an hour, she ran, she bent, she collected, she examined. The jellyfish stash lasted just overnight before it began to stink. I had to dump the oozing remains near our site and the bucket basically still smells bad. Even though we dumped them together, and talked it over, she wonders now whatever became of her jellyfish. I feel bad. But the adventure she had!

Scouty wins for cutest silhouette in that hat! A pig, a bunny, a bear? A fun debate for my three year old.

Our perfect place of beachy heaven. My whole family spread out evenly exploring along a bright beach, cool in the sweet PNW evening, a light wind and drops of water in the fresh air. Was this even real? Did I enjoy it enough, was I present enough? 

I think I was. But I want it back!

Back to our site for a group dinner, this was the night I made raw walnut tacos for everyone and they were a hit and I was happy. I had made the walnut mixture in advance and it lasted pretty well in our cooler for four days, just fyi, as did the cashew cream. All I had to do was chop the fixings for the salsa and i also heated a can of beans and some corn tortillas so our meal was far from strictly raw, but everyone loved the filling!

Darin's best look might be by a campfire with a guitar in hand.

World's biggest dorks, dorking out together, naturally:

After dinner was cleaned up we all walked back down to the beach for a sunset glimpse. Matt's family combed the surf for sand dollars while we kept our freshly warm and dry babies close and comfy. The setting sun sent out a rosy glow onto every surface, blessing the sand and our cheeks with a magical pink stardust.

Don't mind me but I'm basically shedding a few tears while I look at these photos. It's late and I'm on my second glass of wine and a pretty song is playing, if you want to go there with me imaginatively. I'm just proud to have been there.

Next morning we had to pack up from Kalaloch and we all headed just up the road to Ruby Beach to go tidepooling. We tried to make it close to when the tides are out at 9:30, it was just after ten when we arrived and the tide's offerings were wondrous indeed.

I hope she always loves exploring like she does now. I hope she really is a paleontologist and a marine biologist and a volcanologist and every other dream she has, with her backpack and her magnifying glass and endless curiosity.

She has the greatest role model in Bella, this girl breathlessly and exuberantly proclaims her finds and knows so much. The sea anemones try to eat my toes! I saw a mud fish hide himself away! Here is a hermit crab, want to touch it? My girls got the up close and personal tidepool guided tour.

(I've always wanted to touch a starfish in the wild. It was lovely. Tootie now says, "I guess starfish are do-mes-sti-cated? Cause we could touch them?!")

The shoreline harbored driftwood huts of zenlike patience in wind and weather. Shapes of wood and stone in every persuasion, from whale to dolphin to snake to cloud. Amy stacked rocks and Darin drummed a beat. We should have staked our claim and set up house within those weathered walls. 

But it was up the road apace for us, to a more northern point of the Olympic National Park. Joey and Em had gone ahead to scope things out and try to secure a few sites at one of the first-come-first-served campgrounds. After a rushed drive through the dingy Twilight town, that afternoon we would be enjoying the brilliant blues of Crescent Lake. Thanks for following our adventures! I can't leave anything out so I am forced to put this trip into five parts, one for each of the places we camped. Family scrapbook style and memory keeper. Happy late summer wanderings to all.


Tina Dawn said…
I am enjoying your posts so much, I haven't been camping in a couple of years, and I feel like I am experiencing it while I read. It was definitely wonderful. I can smell the sea air and the herbs in the forest and all your photos are so lovely. Thanks for taking me along with you. Love T
Papa Dan said…
Heather the pictures along with the story told in this segment is my favorite. Probably because of the time we took on the beach prior to incoming tide. You make this whole trip so lovely and desirable with your storytelling. And again, the pictures are just fantastic. What memories you have stored overall
Love, Dad

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