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July 05, 2016

Olympic Peninsula–Central Coast and the HOH

We arrived at the Mora Campground near Rialto Beach in the rain, the first open and level site we saw was A5.  No we did not look for the best site, but A5 turned out to be just fine.  After securing the site, I wanted to head up to the Hall of Mosses and hike the rainforest in the rain.

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That did not work out as planned, it was 10 degrees warmer under sunny skies in the HOH Rainforest!  The Hall of Mosses is a short trail under a Capemoss laden old growth forest.  The Capemoss looks a lot like the Spanish Moss of the South.
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During our lunch stop along the Sol Duc River we received a call from our San Diego friends who were also camping at Mora! 
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Although we’ve played volleyball and euchre with Tony and Nancy, and we are all avid campers, a common outing was never in our schedules.  It was great to finally camp with them and their dog Sasha.

Rialto Beach is less than a couple miles from Mora campground.  This is a dog friendly beach (Sasha loved it!) with lots of driftwood and awesome sea stacks to explore.  This would be a great place to watch a sunset, but alas that is not to be during our stay.
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Hole-n-the-Wall Rock is about a 2 mile walk north on the beach.  This is another site we missed with the tide in, the rain coming down and it’s a bit cold.  Plan your adventure better.

Both Fran and Sasha enjoyed exploring the arches carved into the driftwood.
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First Beach is the La Push water front with James Island as the dominate landmark.  IMG_3071 (640x472)IMG_3076 (640x424)

Second and Third Beach are both within the National Park and thus not dog friendly.  They are also the best known, perhaps since both were brief filming locations in the Twilight series.  The limited parking for both was full on our wet visit, perhaps another time.

Forks is right on the 101 offering all facilities including the tours of the Twilight filming sites.  Although most of the outdoor scenes were filmed in OR where there is better weather and easier permit processes.   We did take advantage of a nice modern laundry facility and an RV wash in Forks, before continuing south.

Ruby Beach is a very popular day use area at the north end of the Kalaloch beaches.  Like all the Kalaloch beaches it is leashed dog friendly.  It sits north  of the point collecting more than its share of driftwood and home to a nice collection of sea stacks.
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This kid must be 6 or 8 and can play in the cold water, in the rain, without a shirt...  But at 68, just the thought chills my bones!
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Continunig south Beach 7 to Beach 4  the sea stacks give way to black sand beaches and lots of clam condos.
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The Kalaloch Campground is the only campground in the National Park that accepts reservations.  If you can, reserve site D24! – this prime site that will accept any size rig and offers a private open view.  Most sites are better suited for tents or smaller RVs, check when you make a reservation.
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From Kalaloch Beach north to Beach 3 is more SoCal style, with wide light colored sand for walking, and it is also dog friendly.
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The rocks separate Beach 3 from Beach 4, it is a good place to explore before turning back.
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Heading south is Beach 2 and Beach 1, South Beach is the last in the chain of the dog friendly Kalaloch beaches.  We have a late start on a rising tide as we head toward Beach 2.
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After an hour the wide sands of Kalaloch give way to the rocks along Beach 2, and soon the sentinel marking Beach 2 trailhead comes into view … but so does the incoming tide!  It is an easy, unanimous choice, to get our feet wet rather than take a bypass or continue on to Beach 1 and return on the road.  Since the moon influences the tide it is a bit like ‘Racing the Moon’.
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The Kalaloch Lodge is less than a half mile walk via trail and road, but the Nature Trail is a welcome detour.
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Meanwhile back at the Lodge …
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… the reward for a long day awaits …

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Cape Disappointment and another family gathering next
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