The Hoh Rainforest was pretty, but I’m afraid my camping experience was a little downed by the mosquito situation.  Stinkers wouldn’t leave me alone, no matter how much bug spray I poured on myself.

Still it was a great location and the following morning I did hike around while it was still cool enough for the mosquitos to be sleeping.  I was hoping to find Roosevelt Elk, but ended up on my hands and knees photographing a banana slug instead.  I do so love banana slugs!  They make me think of characters in fairie tales. 🙂

The banana slug wasn’t my only run in with wildlife though.  The night before I woke up at 3 am thinking I heard something chewing…like a mouse or a chipmunk.  I rolled over, dismissing it and thought something ran over my feet.  I dismissed THAT has my half-asleep imagination.  Only, later in the day, when I pulled out my insulated lunch bag from under my bed platform in my Element:

Paw prints!  Tiny, tiny paw prints!  I KNEW something ran over my feet!  So…either a chipmunk or a mouse found its way into my Element.  I left the doors open for a while, so I really, really hope he found his way back out!

I suspect, though, that my little hitchhiker didn’t depart until many miles later when I stopped for the night just over the border from Oregon.  I think I heard some noise a couple of times during my drive.  My imagination has me picturing a bold adventurer of a chipmunk departing for parts unknown as his friends chatter in dismay from the shadows of ferns.

In the morning I had to head back to Forks, which was the nearest place to get gas.  It was only 12 miles in the opposite direction, so it wasn’t a big deal.  But there WAS a big deal going on in Forks.  It was officially Stephanie Meyer Day.  The quiet town of days before was replaced by streets lined with rummage sales, craft and bake sales, sidewalk sales and a car show.

I spoke with a very talented photographer, whose business card I’ve misplaced, but I plan on bringing her up again later when I find it again!

When I finally left Forks again,  I headed down Route 101, which I’d been following since I reached Port Townsend.  I didn’t have a real destination in mind, just stopping as the mood struck me.  Which is how I found Ruby Beach:

I stopped a lot over the next few hours and ended my day at the Ilwaco KOA.  REALLY nice KOA and the host was such a sweet man.  I had my choice of quite a few sites, the entire campground was clean and manicured and I had the bonus (and slightly unsettling, haha) experience of sharing my morning at the picnic table with no less than two dozen robins.  It was just the quiet night I needed.

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