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Posts Tagged ‘forests’

Forest, Beach, and a Hundred Miles of Strip Malls (Day 102)

October 28th, 2009 2 comments

Panama City is the worst place this side of Gatlinburg.

Here are pictures of trees, though:

apalachicola_t-intersectionI took the road more-traveled. It went back to the highway.

apalachicola_treesThis is what trees look like in Florida (some of them).

So I hadn’t seen the area around my campground prior to waking up, given that I’d pulled in way after dark. And that was what it looked like. There was a lake by my campground too, as it turned out, with fish in it. I saw one fish jump out of the water about four feet, fly sideways for a bit, then go back in — and then it kept doing it until it had made a complete circle in the lake. Fish don’t do that where I’m from.

And if they try? We stop them.

Went to some fort near the campground also (Fort Gadsden — named after the Purchase guy, not the Flag guy). There wasn’t much of a fort there, but the site caretaker’s dog ended up being a stalwart tour guide. Hopefully she found her way home once I lost her in the cemetery. And hopefully she’s not a digger.

Then I went to the beach. Pretty much all southern beaches look something like this one on St. George Island:

st-george-island_duneThey always have dunes like this.

st-george-island_grassAnd grass like this to keep the dunes in place (picking a blade of grass results in a $500 fine!).

st-george-island_stairsAnd boardwalks and stairs to get you over the dunes and grass.

Went swimming this time. It’s colder than it looks, but warmer than the Pacific on OC beaches in August (not that that’s saying much).

After the beach, I turned the truck toward Pensacola — 120 miles from the beach, IIRC, which was about as far as it was from Tallahassee, even though I’d driven 150 miles somewhat west-ish since  Tallahassee. I checked Google Maps when I was still 100 miles away from Pensacola and it told me it would take over 2.5 hours to travel those 100 miles. Because the rest of the highway was littered with strip malls and suburbs-without-cities. Que triste! I’m so pitiable. Anyway: they should probably build a new highway from Panama City to Pensacola, an interstate maybe even. And develop a logo so that we know how brilliant the current government is for paying for it.

And there were an unreal number of Air Force bases along the way. I guess they need to give the hurricanes something to aim at.

bkd

Hoh Rain Forest and Five Mile Island (Day 29)

August 11th, 2009 4 comments

With the truck still laid up, my dad was kind enough to let my brother and me borrow his Jeep and head out to Olympic National Park, which we now know was almost named Elk National Park. We didn’t see any elk or Greek gods while we were there, though. Maybe they should have gone with Option C.

I wanted to do this hike along the Hoh River in the Hoh Rain Forest, supposedly the greatest example of a temperate rain forest on earth. There were no toucans in the rain forest or three-toed sloths. Just a lot of trees and moss. Some rain. Went on it with my brother and three nephews with the goal being Five Mile Island (10 miles round-trip if you can believe it).

The rain forest is probably cooler than these pictures make it look, although I had fun trying to re-correct the colors in the photos to match my perception of reality.

rain forest realityAnd then the fairies came and performed a merry jig.

hoh rain forest mossStill not sure whether the trees like having the mosses and ferns growing on them.

hoh rain forest moss 2This one, for instance, seems a little irritated. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

hoh rain forest sam rickSam and Rick negotiate a deceptively difficult portion of trail.

rain forest cut logWhat the trail looks like. Sort of. Depending on your monitor.

mineral creek fallsMineral Creek Falls

hoh river trail stream crossingA treacherous stream crossing.

hoh river bridgeWe found troll scats under this bridge.

hoh rain forest treeAnd then we saw a tree!

five mile islandThe Hoh River at Five Mile Island. Sadly, we witnessed no nuclear melt downs — heck, we couldn’t even find the containment facility (although that might have just been more evidence of failsafes working as designed).

five mile island and meProof I was there.

Only one of my nephews (Ammon) and zero of my brothers made it to the island, and not without getting eaten alive by deerflies first, which only added to the richness of the experience — for both of us, really. Plus I got to use my first-aid kit for something. Finally.

bkd

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