On the Memorial weekend of 2012, I was sitting in my home office—sunlight tumbling out of the Seattle sky—complaining on one social media site about how I could not understand how to use another. Ironically, I stumbled upon a photo on that site that made me sit up. I had not even heard of a place called Lake Quinault located on the Olympic Peninsula. Before I knew I was calling up hotels in the Lake Quinault area. They were all booked
What are the chances that a room will be available on a long weekend, I thought? I decided to make one last phone call. Luckily Rain Forest Resort Village had just one last room available. They even offered me a deal! That sealed it.
Early morning next day, Rhea and I were out and off. For an impulsive, last minute decision, it was a memorable trip.
Our room had a magnificent view of the serene lake. We ate the most sumptuous breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Salmon house restaurant, a mere two minute walk from our hotel. Hiking was the main activity on the itinerary. We hiked every nearby trail. One led us to the the largest Sitka Spruce tree in the world. We discovered that the spruce was one of the six confers that could be found in the region that were each the largest in their category .
Others led to gushing waterfalls—singing streams with milky white water that toppled over moss encrusted rocks.
Not to forget an one hour hike through the temperate rain forest with centuries old confers living peacefully with thick undergrowth.
We met Sally at the town-run museum. Nostalgic, she showed us around the place. Her favorite exhibit was a wedding dress sewn out of a WWII parachute. She talked wistfully about how the Quinault—the local native Americans—have slowly moved away from the region, unable to keep up with modern times. On our way out, she stopped by a window and pulled aside the shade, revealing the historical Lake Quinault Lodge where President Roosevelt stayed briefly in 1937. Within nine months of his visit here, President Roosevelt went on to sign the bill that created the Olympics National Park.
“Now,” she said, “Quinault blooms only when travelers like you visit.”