When you live in the Pacific Northwest, it’s not like you need a getaway very often – at least not if your goal is beautiful scenery. Still, there are times when it’s nice to be relatively inaccessible for a change, and away from internet access where you won’t be bombarded by texts, phone calls or emails. In my case, I like to spend a long weekend every year at the Lake Quinault Lodge, a grand and rustic place built in 1926 in the heart of the Quinault Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula. At risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I prefer the winter off-season when occupancy is down, guests bring books instead of their kids, and it’s not standing-room-only in the hotel lobby. Pleasantly, on my visit earlier this month, the oversized leather chairs in the lobby – warmed by the majestic fireplace that burns 24/7 – were almost always up for grabs!
For the quintessential rain forest experience, I would have to recommend the Hoh Rain Forest, which is north on Highway 101 about 72 miles away (with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean during the middle one-third of the trip). But you definitely don’t want to overlook the Quinault Rain Forest, as shown by the below image from one of my prior visits to the area. If primeval giant trees, incredible hanging moss and myriad lush green ferns are your thing, take two hours and leisurely drive the 32-mile-loop around Lake Quinault.
One thing I have learned from photographing Lake Quinault is that no two days are alike. One of my favorite places to shoot is on the South Shore about two miles east of the lodge. (If you drive past the Salmon House Restaurant, you’ve gone too far.) The two images below were taken on two different days from the same approximate location.
Sadly, although I’ve seen this sign (left) while driving the lake loop, I haven’t yet seen the real Sasquatch. That’s probably my only disappointment from all my trips to Lake Quinault over the years.
If you own a camera, happy shooting! And if a relaxing visit to the Lake Quinault Lodge isn’t in the cards right now, please come by The Gallery at Bergh Images and check out my assorted images from Lake Quinault. Here’s a good link in case you want more details on the resort: www.olympicnationalparks.com/lodging/lake-quinault-lodge. (If you look closely, you might recognize a certain rain forest shot.)
Ciao for now!
Andrew (“Andy”) Bergh