Friday, June 1, 2012

Rain Forest


 Miguel and I drove by this cemetery on our drive east to the Olympic National Forest. We had to stop to survey the damage. Along the roads short pine trees were planted and have begun growing in an attempt to hide the destruction. There were miles of trunks and probably hundreds of pounds of tree branches and bark left behind--wood that Miguel considered, briefly, for firewood, until we found that it was wet to the touch. If you're going to cut down the forest, why not take all of it? I felt like a fairy-creature on "Fern-Gully."

I met Miguel last summer on my drive through San Francisco.
 This is the world's largest Spruce tree. It's 191 feet tall, and 1,000 years old. If you look at where Miguel is walking, you can tell how large the tree is in comparison. It was fun climbing around the trunk, which seemed like it was built for circling, because the base wrapped around like a rough spiral staircase.

The river is strong, the color like a pale blue flower, nearly white.
 This is a giant dreamcatcher made of barbed wire. I assume it's a dreamcatcher, anyway. We didn't see the "No Trespassing" sign until we were driving away.

 We move closer to the rain forest. Even the air tastes wet. The clouds were overpowering in many spots.
 We drove 14 or so miles down a pot-hole-studded dirt road, looking for a place to pull over and camp out. Finally we found this long U-turn, and pulled in there, hiding my car behind a stand of trees in hopes that it would not be spotted. Our first day there was no rain. It still took Miguel nearly two hours to get a fire started (well, it is a rainforest) with our damp wood, damp sticks, and damp moss, while I dissected onions and stuffed them with hamburger. As difficult as carving the onions was, I preferred my "woman's" task to that of starting the damn fire. 

The second day, just after we got back from our hike, it began to rain. The clouds weren't going away, and it felt heavy. "We better do something," I said, "it feels like it's going to pour." So far, we'd been able to lean under the giant tree behind us, and it kept half of the table dry, but rain was falling faster. I grabbed my tent tarp from the car and we started stringing it up. In minutes, the sagging places in the tarp were filled with puddles. Luckily Miguel had twine and patience, and we had a fairly protected eating-place. 

 The bark of some trees reminded me of the fire-resistant bar of the Sequoias, only whereas the Sequoia bark felt spongey, this bark was hard.
Branches like the weak arms of beautiful ladies, soft green moss dangling from their wrists. 
 Crossing a mossy log is easier than crossing one with no moss at all; bare bark has a slippy, dangerous surface. The only problem with moss is than it can hide rot or it can slide off and take you with it.
 This picture shows how large these trees are. They weren't as tall as the Redwoods, but hiking beneath them felt just as majestic.
 That's me. I really liked the giant roots sticking out of the ground. It reminds me of the frill of a triceratops (the back part, which tends to be spiky, much like the pointy roots).
 What does this branch remind you of? Have you ever seen "Rocko's Modern Life?" Remember Heifer?

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