Posts Tagged ‘Twilight series’

Exploring the Pacific Northwest: Twilight and Sunsets on First Beach La Push, Washington

 

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Sunset at First Beach in La Push, Washington 

The Olympic Peninsula in Washington State has some gorgeous beaches. Ruby Beach is my usual go-to, so I made a point of heading to First Beach and Rialto Beach to check them out for myself.

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A summer afternoon on First Beach

Rialto Beach is part of Olympic National Park but First Beach is not. First Beach is accessible by car, and is located within the Quileute Nation . The Quileute Oceanside Resort is the nearest lodging. I stayed at the pet-friendly Forks Motel, located about 15 miles away.

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Boat passing Little James Island as seen from First Beach

First Beach is sometimes known as La Push Beach. It has a crescent-shaped swatch of sand as rocky points and views of James Island and Little James Island. It’s a favorite of both surfers and vampires (the location is featured in the Twilight series of books). La Push is one of the most popular destinations for Twihard tourists.

Summer sunset at First Beach in La Push, Washington

The Forks chamber of commerce has seen a 600% increase in tourism since 2000, and Stephanie Meyer’s YA series of books is often credited as a major factor. Fortunately, my visit was vampire free.

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 Stylish totem outside the Lonesome Creek Store in La Push

The Forks Chamber of Commerce has set up a First Beach Webcam so you can visit virtually if you can’t make it in real life.

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Pacific Northwest Surfer Girl

First Beach is a great place to watch the sunset and take in the twilight. I enjoyed watching the sun dip below the horizon between James Island and Little James Island.

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A panorama of sunset seekers enjoying the view from First Beach

First Beach is also a favorite of storm watchers and one of the most popular stops on the Twilight Tours. La Push is where Bella learns the tale of the Cullens and later goes cliff diving and almost drowns

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First Beach driftwood frames trees on Little James island  

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Pacific Northwest Summer evening on First Beach

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Clouds and sunset on First Beach

Only members of the Quileute Tribe are allowed on James Island. But there is a James Island webcam.

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Twilight view from First Beach in La Push

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Dusk view of Little James Island from First Beach

First Beach is easily accessible and open to all. Located near LaPush (about 15 miles west of Forks). Put the Quileute Oceanside Resort in your GPS as your destination and you’ll find it.

Quileute Oceanside Resort

330 Ocean Drive

La Push, WA 98350

 

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Fifty Shades of Green: A Photo Essay on the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, WA

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 Among the trees in the Hoh Rainforest

The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the world’s biggest stretches of temperate rainforest. I got a chance to explore Hoh Rainforest, located in Olympic National Park, for the first time and I found the scenery spectacular.

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A fern in Hoh Rainforest

Highway 101 loops around Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula and it took about 4 hours (and a ferry ride) to reach the Hoh Rainforest from my condo in Seattle. I spent the night in the tiny town of Forks, Washington, which is the former “Logging Capital of the World.”

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Left: moss grows on the bark of a tree Right: shafts of life peek between the tall trees

Today Forks is best known as the setting for Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series of novels. Forks has a new found popularity among Twihard fans and has no problem with that. The city even has a page on it’s official website devoted to the Twilight series, and hosts an annual gathering of Twihards and fanpires in September.

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Dripping moss clings to a tree in the Hoh Rainforst

The drive from Forks to Hoh Rainforest is rather beautiful, and it was sunny the day I visited, with shafts of light peeking through the tree tops. After stopping at temporary visitor center, I explored with my cameras.

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Shafts of light peeking between evergreens

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Light illuminating ground growth 

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Fifty Shades of Green in the Hoh Rainforest

Expect to see giant spruce, cedars, and hemlocks dripping with moss throughout the Hoh Rainforest. It was elk foaling season, and there elk along the trails and even near the visitor’s center.

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A pond in the Hoh Rainforest

I hope to return in the fall, when the leaves have turned and the Hoh is rocking full autumnal splendor.

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A peek at a stream along Upper Hoh Road

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Entrance sign to Hoh Rainforest, elevation 573 feet above sea level

Entrance Fees for Olympic National Park went up on June 1st. You can check the rates here.
I entered in Private Vehicle $20 valid for 7 consecutive days. This fee admits one private, non-commercial vehicle (15 passenger capacity or less) and all occupants. The $40 Season pass might have been a better option since I plan to return to Olympic National Park a few times this year.

Visitor Information
(360) 565-3130

Olympic National Park Visitor Center
3002 Mount Angeles Road
Port Angeles, WA 98362

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