La Push and the Hoh Rainforest

My wife and I have been travelling in the USA checking out some of the incredible national and state parks along the Pacific Coast. We visited La Push, the westernmost ZIP Code in the Contiguous United States and to some really dramatic nature.  The name La Push is an infusion of the French la bouche, meaning “mouth”, into Chinook Jargon. We had sundowners on the beach and went for an early morning trail run in the coastal forests. Great fun!

We then headed for Portland, taking in the Hoh Rainforest in the Olypmic National Park. The dominant species in the rainforest are Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla); some grow to tremendous size, reaching 95 metres (312 ft) in height and 7 metres (23 ft) in diameter. Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), red alder (Alnus rubra), vine maple (Acer circinatum), and black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) are also found throughout the forest. Many unique mosses and lichens are also present in the rainforest, such as lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana), which “requires the cool, moist conditions found under the canopy of old-growth forests” and is consumed by deer, elk, and other animals. An amazing place!

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