OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
Activity: Beach Hike, Sight Seeing
5.5 miles, 100′ feet elevation gain, 3 hour duration, rated Easy
My son Alec and I, on our adventure through the Olympic National Park, heard about the Tree of Life and it sounded quite intriguing.
But first things first, we had just come from our trek at Ruby Beach, which was not only stunningly beautiful, but the starfish were incredible. Now it was lunch time and my sister had mentioned that during her trip she had camped at the Kalaloch Campground and had a great dinner at the Historic Kalaloch Lodge, so we decided to check it out for ourselves.
The Lodge itself is pretty cool, but it really looks like a splendid old beach house so don’t be expecting anything like the Lodges at Yellowstone or Crater Lake. The Lodge is set back from the rough Pacific on a quaint little creek. You can see the ocean and the drift wood piles, but the Creekside Restaurant dinning room is not right on the ocean.
Alec and I love to sample exotic and local fare so we splurged on Elk Burgers, and wow they were so good! (Btw I was not compensated by the Creekside Restaurant at Kalaloch Lodge for this shoutout, but probably should be, lol!) Alec and I also have sampled our way across the PNW trying different clam chowder and this was one of our favs.
My beach hike began past the Lodge in the area of the cabins. I went down the bluff to the beach then I had to ford the creek I spoke of earlier. It seemed the best spot was up aways from the ocean where it was a little calmer in a wide section. It was about knee deep and chilly, but fun to maneuver through as part of my outing. Once across I had a big beautiful wide beach and a simply gorgeous day along the deep blue Pacific. There were stacks of massive gray drift wood and when I reached the bluff below the Kalaloch Campground the huge logs had been vertically placed as a protective barrier for the entrance to the little trail up to the campground making a pretty cool and attractive fence.
I hiked to Brown’s Point, this was the beach hike that I had selected. It was a wonderful 5 mile trek with an evergreen forest to one side and crashing surf to the other.
I then hiked back stopping at the main attraction the Tree of Life. My son, whom had been “chillaxing”, having opted out on the long beach hike, joined me. Alec came down from the Kalaloch Campground onto the beach. And what to our wondering eye should appear, but a giant tree seemingly floating in space.
The Tree of Life also called the Tree Root Cave is a spectacle to behold. We clambered over piles of enormous gray driftwood logs to gain access to this strange and unusual sight. The vision of a tree, bare naked to the world with no protection for it’s root system, fully exposed strikes all who gaze upon this tree as so odd and utterly unbelievable.
The Tree of Life is a Sitka Spruce, the largest type of Spruce Tree. Laying eyes upon this fantasy is awe inspiring. Defying all odds the Tree of Life flourishes where that is an impossibility. Isn’t this against the very laws of nature, science and even gravity? I mean the top is green and thriving, but this Sitka Spruce’s guts are basically hanging out. How does it receive nourishment? This certainly is a marvel of nature, this mystery of biology.
Trees along this rugged coast that are massive and well anchored are constantly being taken down by powerful Pacific Storms with gale force winds, and pounding massive waves. How can this freak of nature survive suspended in mid air?
The Tree of Life is a strange and wonderful phenomenon with a tiny waterfall running through it. This tiny stream obviously has eroded all of the earth from under this Sitka Spruce to the point that it should not be here, but year after year, decade after decade here it floats in space. Alec and I did something that should be impossible, stood directly under a massive tree. I don’t mean next to it’s trunk, nor under it’s shady branches, but right under it’s roots, truly magical.
Thanks for joining Alec and I in the OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK on the enchanting and mesmerizing Washington Coast as we were ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’, but found ourselves dumbfounded instead, with our eyes wide and glossy, taking in something that simply cannot exist, but somehow Nature has found a way. It was like seeing a unicorn or something, pretty crazy. There are more adventures ahead so stick with Alec and I as we continue our journey through the outstanding Olympic Peninsula by doing this: COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. Go to the menu above and you will discover that PBTA ventures all over this great West of ours in search of that elusive Balance that we all need to get reacquainted with and through magnificent outings in nature this can be accomplished. Our lives are hurried and stressful, Nature can help, it certainly can’t hurt- well unless you are eaten by a bear or something. The menu is categorized mostly by location, but sometimes by activity. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. It is our hope that these stories of adventure will ignite something deep inside of you so that you will get off the couch, put down the video games and venture out on your own exciting excursion. While you are on adventure you will need to be properly outfitted and looking the part, so why not pick up a hat or shirt at SHOP APPAREL where you can checkout my line of top quality Adventure Wear adorned with the PBTA logo and mantra.
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure