Earlier this week when I was at the Hypatia in the Woods residency, I drove up to the Hoh Rainforest to hike and photograph in the Hall of Mosses. I admit that I picked this location because I wanted to visit a national park but I was a little concerned about doing a difficult hike by myself with a camera and felt that this location would reveal some beautiful plant life and it would not be as likely I'd encounter a wild animal. The short story is I did anyway (Elk). All the literature I read about hiking in the Olympics advises to not hike by yourself.
Well, after driving 3 plus hours into the rainforest where there was still snow on the ground, it was clear to me I was in a mountain and that there had to be bears and mountain lions there. Sure enough I exited my car and read warnings that bears are seen often and at close range and to not hike alone. And, there was a problem of Elk charging at people too. While I love all animals, I will happily respect the their space and I do my best to avoid wildlife.
Luckily, there were plenty of people on the trail so I decided to go for it. I was still mostly on my own though. Below are photographs of my very fearful and distracted hike. By the end though, I was totally blown away by the place. The Hall of Mosses is truly unlike anything I've ever seen. The Hoh rainforest is very special, the only rainforest in the continental United States. It deserves preservation. It was a sunny day too and the way the light filtered between the tallest trees I've ever seen, it was like being on a movie set. After the hike, I ended the day at the beach (more photos to come). It was probably one of the best days I've had in a very long time. So I recommend it.
Over the next few days I will be editing the images I took at the residency. I photographed while in residence more than I have in years. My goal is to keep editing and perhaps have a project to show soon.