We got up in the morning and went for a 2 hour hike on the Lower Gnat River Trail. The lower trail winds through a beautiful Temporal Rain Forest. Wonderfully moist and green. Green on everything! Moss on the ground. Moss on the trees. Moss and tiny plants on the dead wood. Ferns, ferns, ferns.
The ferns are soooooo thick and healthy and huge. Some are 4-5 ft high!

Love this emerald velvet ground.
Moss and tiny plants on a log.
More…
We stopped and just felt  this invitation.
An old first growth stump

When I saw this growing on the trees it reminded me of southern Spanish Moss. Then I wondered if it was a parasitic plant. Then I read it was a natural temporal rain forest moss — like Spanish Moss!
This lower trail ends at a fish hatchery. They are growing mostly coho salmon to release into the local rivers and lakes.
Past the hatchery is the Upper Gnat River Trail. This is not in the rain forest. The green carpet has been rolled up, or more likely, never rolled out. The ecological community is different. The trees, the ground cover, the dirt, the humidity, the smells… All in the distance of about 200 yards. Amazing.
A sweet little waterfall up the hill from the hatchery.
Later the trail went right by the river. Sherman was very thirsty!
The timer rings signaling our hour is up in the direction and we turn around and return to the van where we eat breakfast and head for Warrenton.
We arrive at the Car Stereo place. Abe comes out and we talk through the issue. He says that he can get the alarm reconnected and then put it in Valet mode, where the alarm is off but the key locks are on. I ask him about speakers? The van has a high end speaker system — the Symphony model. But the kids of the original owners who used the van sometimes while in high school blew two of the speakers. Not totally out, but I constantly was playing with adjustments to minimize the buzz. He said that these systems have more power than most and have bigger speakers — 7 inch instead of a more normal 5 inch. Replacing them with a good range speaker will be $150 a pair. About what I expected. I still had cash from the pottery sale before I left and decided that this was a good time to get rid of that cash. So we got new speakers. OMG! Music is amazing. Audiobooks…? Clear.
Now a moment for a comment about how things wind their way to happening. On my list before I left Ojai was to replace the van speakers. I never made it to even inquire about getting it done. But every time I had to readjust the fade or bass and mid levels I thought about new speakers. Then, there are two instances of the van not starting. In the end it turns out to be difficult to diagnose because of an after market alarm system whose speaker wire has been intentionally cut. I go to a Toyota dealer where the mechanic does a complete electrical system test that comes out perfect, and says the only thing he can think of is to unwire the aftermarket alarm system from the ignition-starter connection. This disables the keyless door lock fob. I call another Toyota dealer to get a replacement Toyota fob to program to the door locks. I’m told by a mechanic there that it’s not possible. That when they install an aftermarket system they replace the Toyota door lock motors. He recommends I go to a Car Stereo place down the street. I get there and am told that the real problem is that the alarm system came out of Valet mode. If I’d known how to put it back into Valet mode I would have been able to start the van the first time it happened, and avoid the second time. I ask about the replacement motors and am told that, no, those are not replaced. That would be silly. The alarm system and door locks are run from the alarm brain (computer) and wired to the door lock switches, NOT the motors. But the point of this whole chain of events is to get me to a Car Stereo place to get the speakers replaced. He wound up hooking the alarm system back up for $25. A new Toyota key and fob would have been $200-250 including their labor. So… in keeping with the best traditions of saving money by spending it… (A nod and a wink to my DA community.) The speakers actually cost me $75-125. The different between his cost and the Toyota cost. And in reality they took $300 out of my cash envelope.
We leave and head north. This time crossing the Columbia River into Washington.

OMG, that’s a huge delta. So much water. We continue north looking for a place to stop for the night. We drive off into a beautiful peninsula and go into the State Park Campground. I buy a Discover Pass so I can get into the State Parks with no added fee, and pay for a campsite. There are 5 left and we go tour them. No wonder they are left. Yuck! I go back and get a refund. We head more north.
I pull off onto a side road near a bridge to take Sherman for a short walk. The road is lined with the biggest Blackberry bushes I have ever seen. They are 8 feet high as go on for a city block. I eat and eat and eat. They are soooooo good!
The inlets from the bay on one side of the road and cows grazing on the other. I wonder if this was a natural boundary that the road followed or did the road create this boundary?
Huge blackberry bushes
And huge super ripe, super good blackberries!
I find a nice smaller road heading between town like have been good in CA and OR. I find a nice big pullout and we have diner.
An odd monument in the edge of said pullout
I’m thinking about getting the van ready to sleep and a small, big-wheeled, pickup truck pulls off and drives over. I’d seen this truck going the other way about 10 minutes earlier. She rolls down the window and asks if I’m planning on camping there? The question is not a good sign, so I say no. She says, “Good. The police patrol this road looking for campers. It’s a hassle to be woken up in the middle of the night by big flashlights.” I thank her. She drives off.
OK. Charge of plans. It’s now almost 8:30 and dusk is here. I get out my phone and go through the apps looking for a free/cheap campground within driving distance. The closest one is about 2 hours away. We start driving. About an hour later I pull over to reassess. There’s a small state campground that says it has $12 sites for hikers/bikers or people who don’t want to use the facilities. That could be us, so I drive there. Lake Sylvia State Park. It’s 10pm when we drive in. I circle the camping road twice. I can’t see the exit road. All full. I see the walk-in sites and go check them out. Well, I do have a tent. And, I don’t need to use the facilities. I only have $2 of cash in my wallet. And, I’m not going to pull three boxes out to get to my cash stash. It only has $100s and $20s. So that wouldn’t help the $12 site problem. So, I pull into the parking lane by these sites, set an alarm for 6am and go to sleep. Sherman and I are both awake needed to pee at 4:30. We get up and walk into the woods. Not using the facilities… I don’t quickly go back to sleep, so I get into the drivers seat and off we go. A free night in the park.
We head for the site I initially wanted to go last night, but it was too far. We’re headed to Campbell Tree Grove, Olympic National Forest. It’s wonderful. Huge trees along a river. Very quiet being 20 miles from PCH. We find a lovely spot that is level for the van and a 100 foot trail to the picnic table fire ring.
The view from the picnic table.
Sherman enjoys an after dinner stick. He’s becoming a connoisseur…
Modern pit toilets in WA. It’s a one piece molded plastic unit. (Like a shower enclosure.) With a wooded exterior. And, get this… a modern invention for pit toilets… ready? A chimney to vent the gasses created in the composting process. CA and OR don’t know that chimneys or vents of any kind can be added to their sealed room pit toilets. Dark ages…
We have a leisurely breakfast. Take a little walk.


We take a nap. Take a bigger hike. Have dinner, pack up for an early start.
I take a look at the mileage and estimated timeline. Since I want to be in VT the first week of Sept, I can’t stay or mozy as long as I’d like. I’m 2-3 days from entering Canada. I need another Zero Day or do errands which is factored into the time. Then 2 days to Banff. Maybe 2-3 days there hiking? We’ll see… Then 2-3 days to Winnipeg. A day or two with an old friend. Then 3 days to Michigan. That puts me at about 2 weeks from Michigan.
We know about the best laid plans… Yes…