Monday, June 09, 2008


After I arrived home from work on Thursday afternoon, we made the decision to stay at home rather than risk the bad weather which was in the forecast. But after an hour or so, the weather made a change for the better so we said "what the h--l let's go anyway, so we loaded the rest of the food in the RV and left to catch the ferry from Keystone over to Port Townsend.

Our RV, although small and not a gas guzzler like those huge bus size rigs, is very comfortable and suits MrC and I just fine. AND we can get into campsites those huge RVs could never in in a million years squeeze into. Case in point was the campsite on the Dungeness River we were heading for. The road down into the camping area is very narrow, with turnouts in case you meet another vehicle. It was uneven with ridges and potholes after all the rain during this past winter, and, did I mention it is steep. Yes indeed, it is steep, keep your seat belt buckled or you may end up on the floor of your vehicle. *grin* So you see, anything other than cars, SUVS, pickups with campers and our small RV could not get down the road to the campground.

On the ferry crossing, these two cruise ships passed by, seemingly racing to get into harbor, they both left a wake which had the ferry captain telling us to hold onto our drinks when we ran across the rough water. He wasn't wrong as the little ferry did quite a dance across the cruise ship wakes.
From the dock in Port Townsend it was about 45 minutes drive to Dungeness Forks campground.

We have stayed at the Dungeness Forks campground on several occasions, and just before you cross the bridge a few yards before the campground entrance, there is a flat area beside the river where folks have made a camping spot. The ground is quite level and previous campers had made a fire pit. This time we were pleased to find that no one had laid claim to this lovely campsite, so we pulled in and set up camp. It was also a no fee area, not being in the National Forest Campground.

As we had already eaten on our drive to the campsite, all we really needed was dessert, so the fire was lit, and let burn down until there were nice hot glowing coals, just right for toasting marshmallows over. After a few, OK, more than a few, lovely golden brown, crisp outside and squishy inside, toasted marshmallows we settled into our cozy bed for a good night's rest, lulled to sleep by the water rushing by just a few feet from the door.
Take a look at the video at the end of this post, (turn your speakers on) and you will hear the sound of rushing water we heard, only it was muted inside the RV.

Next morning, after a good breakfast we dressed warmly, because the day was still chilly, and went for a walk across the bridge, through the campground, then followed the river along the trails which went up river. We went as far as we could before running out of trail. I am sure there are more trails but we just followed this particular one.

The trees look quite beautiful all decked out in moss. It was very quiet walking along the trail under these majestic trees, and we enjoyed the solitude.

A couple of old giants long since fallen and now clothed in moss

Every so often we would leave the main trail, to follow a smaller one, which would lead us down to the loud, swiftly flowing river. We had to speak loudly, to hear each other over the sound of all that very cold rushing water, making it's way over the rocky river bed, and eventually to the ocean. How beautiful this place is.

One very determined plant, clinging to life between the rocks beside the river. One good flood and it would be swept away.

From the campground, we followed the road up, and I mean up, for quite a distance. Our legs told us we were climbing on a steep incline going up and also when we walked back down. I think we need to do a little more walking , we are a little out of shape after being indoors all winter.

Being an avid gardener, I am always looking at all the plants I pass by. These little succulents with pretty little yellow flowers, were growing on the rocks beside the road.

This little red beetle caught my eye as he sat in the middle of the road. What a bright little fellow he is.

The bright colors of the wild Columbine stood out from the the various shades of green surrounding it.

After we had come back to camp from our walk, and were sitting beside the campfire, I glanced up and saw a flash of bright color about 25 feet along the riverside from where we were sitting. As we looked, a person launched themselves in a kayak, out from behind all the bushes on the river bank into the swirling water. He/she was shortly followed by three other kayakers. They were down the river and out of sight in a flash. I guess if you enjoy this kind of adventure it would be a Whoo Hoo! moment. Not for me, thank you very much. I always have the fear the kayak would tip upside down, and I could not get it right side up, and I would drown.

Next morning before leaving and returning home, we walked the trail which goes from our campsite up the river. We walked the trail until we came across a slide we decided was too unstable and dangerous to cross. There was a huge drop down to the river and calling out search and rescue would not have been a good thing, that is, if you were still alive when you reached the river waaaaay below!

It is so beautiful on the trail. The trees are covered in moss, as are the banks beside the trail. I was fascinated to discover so many different types of moss. The ferns come in all shapes and sizes, some growing on tree trunks, some pushing their roots into cracks in the rocks alongside the trail, other growing happily in all the rich leaf mulch.

The trail winds around, up and down and in some places is very narrow so watching where we put our feet was so important. One false step and you could end up rolling down into that icy cold river.

Since last year when we walked this trail, there must have been some high waters rushing down carrying all these logs along, until the piled up beside the huge rocks. Mother nature is quite creative when it comes to arranging logs in a river.

I found these dainty little flowers, the size of a small pea, growing in a shaded area beside the trail.

This video is taken from the bridge you have to cross to reach Dungeness Forks campground. You can just make out the white on our RV through the trees on the left. The noise of the rushing water is quite loud, but as I said, it is muted when you are inside the RV, and it is very soothing and soon lulls you to sleep.


Maria Verivaki said...

i loved this post - it's our dream when the children have grown up to own a camper van and go places.

Your nature is so green - Hania is a lovely place, but there's no such thing as lush forest!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful that the weather cleared and you decided to go. What a beautiful spot. Get-a-ways like this.. surrounded by nature, are food for the soul.

Ted said...

Your posting got me to recalling all of the great times we had [1967-8]hiking in the Olympic Rain Forest. Camping along the Dosewallips River. I looked it up and found that the road had been washed out in 2002 and was not going to be rebuilt. Darn! Have to find another river to camp on like the one in your short movie. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Love your blog KeeWee! Both you and Mr C. are great writers!
We missed you at the dance Sunday.