Camping on the Olympic Peninsula has been on my bucket list for over a decade. Every summer, Josh and I talk about what our ideal list of summer fun activities should consist of and every summer I suggest camping on the Washington Coast. I don't know why he's never taken me seriously, or why I haven't just planned it out myself, but for one reason or another we've never gone.
That all changed this year thanks to the brilliant researching and diligent efforts of my dear brother-in-law, Micah, who booked two perfectly placed campsites at Kalalach Campground six months in advance!
I looked forward to this trip all summer long and was ecstatic when Labor Day weekend finally rolled around despite the somewhat formidable weather the coast was promising. I may or may not have over packed in the "cold weather clothing" department; however, after the gorgeously warm summer we have had our thick skin for tolerating cold and gloomy weather has nearly vanished. I was determined to be toasty and warm despite braving the elements.
As luck would have it, we never even pulled out our warm jackets, wool blankets or hats. Instead, I found myself silently patting myself on the back for having the good sense of also packing swimsuits and shorts amidst the flannel shirts and fleece pajamas. I, for one, did not partake in the freezing cold waters of the Pacific Ocean any deeper than my mid-calf; my children, on the other hand, were a different story.
I am eternally grateful for husbands and fathers on trips like these as they willingly pull on their shorts and dive into wave chasing with their children. We quickly learned that it is entirely impossible to keep 8 children out of the water regardless of whether the weather encourages a dip in the water or not. Rain or shine, warm or cold, they are going in that water.
Most of our four day trip was spent at various beaches, making fires, or preparing meals but we did manage to make it up to the Hoh Rainforest (another portion of my bucket list). I found it too overwhelming to try and capture the magnitude of beauty the old growth rainforest holds to offer. Maybe, that was because a "walk in the forest" with 8 children doesn't afford much time for stillness or pause for photographic artistry, but mostly, I wanted to soak up what I was seeing with my own eyes rather than see it through a lens.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend of camping. I'd love to go back and camp a littler further north in the park but Kalalach was a beautiful spot in its own right. I imagine we will save further explorations for a few years down the road when naps aren't required and little legs can walk farther than 1 mile.