Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park


July 28, 2019

Dear Friends,

After spending a few days in the Seattle area, we made it through the metropolis towing the big rig and found a quaint RV park right along the Pacific Ocean in Copalis Beach.  While we were there we saw our first temperate rain forest, the Pacific Ocean, and the US Naval Undersea Museum by having long day trips.  This posting will tell of the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park with the other destinations to follow. 

Olympic National Park itself is diverse.  Separated, it has ocean front with several pull outs to view the shoreline. These beaches have cliffs with small beachfronts below.  A lighthouse on an island was visible off in the distance at one of the beaches.  The main section of the park has the Olympic Mountains.  West of these mountains are a couple rain forests.  My goal was to focus on the rain forest for this leg of the journey. 

I have been in rain forests before, but they have all been in tropical climates.  Hoh Rain Forest was the first temperate rain forest I had ever been in.  I wondered how they would look with no palm trees.  Will it be rainy like you see on Alaskan Bush People?   This was the day we would find out.  

Even on the drive into the actual park, we captured a glimpse of what we were about to see.  Gigantic moss-sided trees everywhere.  Green abounded all the more once we were inside the park.  I felt like I was walking through a garden.  The paths were well worn dirt, though not muddy.  Ferns lined the edges and lower areas.  Thick mosses changed according to where it was at in the canopy height.  This was the home of more huge trees and thick lush forests.  Because the trees were mature, they drowned the light out for the younger trees to thrive.  This left  a section around chest high and upward of open forest, revealing the massive trunks above the ferns.  

We visited this area on the right day.  The Hoh Rainforest receives up to 14 feet of rain in one year.  With so much precipitation annually, I had to assume we were fortunate to have a completely sunny day.  I even had the kids bring their raincoats, but I allowed the boys to keep them in the truck.  This was just another small way God was smiling down on us that day to allow us to capture some stunning photos of the greenery in His magnificent creation.  

Perhaps some of you would rack it up to “chance” and think of me sounding silly, but I know God is in control of everything, even the weather.  We are all familiar with the story where Jesus was sleeping in a boat and a storm came up.  The disciples thought they were going to be shipwrecked so they woke Him.  Jesus rebuked the weather and told it all to calm down, and it did.  Wow.  The Bible also tells how even something as small a sparrow does not even die without Him giving permission for the event to happen. 

Sure that good stuff happened back then, but I assure you it still happens now.  A couple years ago I knew of an airplane headed to India that had normal, everyday type of people on board that wanted to share the good news of Jesus over here.  A volcano erupted and the ash cloud was cancelling all the flights for days, if not weeks.  A group of us prayed and the wind shifted temporarily in a rare direction allowing them and perhaps two other planes to fly through.  No sooner did they get through when the wind shifted back again.  Many, many more stories like that exist in modern times but are only whispered.  

But, it does not really matter that these stories are not shouted on the mountaintops.  People do not like to realize they are not in charge and do not want to give up their control on their lives.  This reality set in on me in to a whole different level when I discovered my brain tumor.  There is nothing like waking up from surgery to realize it was three days later.  I then discovered the pride I used to have in my mental and intellectual capabilities.  I compared myself to my mother-in-law who has dementia with my forgetfulness and inability to multitask as I once did.  Everything was overwhelming and scary as I did not remember what was going on, nor did I understand when Joel explained stuff to me.  Within a moment’s time, my resume of accomplishments were wiped away as I struggled to remember to put flour in my chocolate chip cookies.  Frustration set in as people looked at me and saw me as “the same as before” which only reminded me of how short of their expectations I failed.  Peace about my situation came when I gave up trying to maintain control and reminded myself that God is the one in charge.  Jesus loves me and is watching out for my best interests, so I do not need to fret. 

I sure hope you do not have to go through what I did to come to a point of peace, giving Jesus control of your life.  Check out “Two Ways to Live” or message me for more questions about this.  Just don’t give God’s credit to chance or luck for even the small things that happen in your life, like my sunny day in the rain forest.  

Until we meet again,


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