Friday afternoon came quicker than expected. I had just switched my hours at the bank from 40 to 30 per week and my Friday shift only went until 3:30pm as a result. I looked out the large windows in the bank and saw Joey in his new blue Trail Blazer waiting in the tow-away zone to pick me up. I hustled outside and hopped in, grinning from ear to ear as my coworkers gave me sidelong jealous stares. Delilah’s wet nose poked at my elbow from the backseat so I leaned around to scratch behind her ear and she lay down satisfied with the attention.
Joey raced us home and we piled the car up with our camping gear and headed back downtown to pick up Tom from work one hour later. The drive up to Olympic National Park was going to be long so we couldn’t burn any daylight on the way there if we wanted to set up for the night easily. Tom had picked out a camp site in the Hoh Rainforest and we pointed our GPS that way.
The ride down was serene. Stress from the rushed morning and afternoon melted away as the highway stretched out in front of us. The sun hung low in the sky and we listened to music on the radio until we were out of range for anything but Church channels and then switched to a book on tape reading of Alice in Wonderland. Delilah mostly slept or rolled on her back and pawed at me to scratch her belly.
Night began creeping onto the scene and it was unclear whether or not we would make it to the camp site with time to set up so we settled for a closer spot that caught our eye from the road. We finished setting up and making a fire just after the last hazy light faded from the sky. We settled up by a campfire and Delilah defended us from any unexpected advance by the only other camper at the site and her two dogs.
Soon though, the long day caught up to us and sleepy heads sought pillows. Joey and I went to lay down in our tent and Tom took Delilah with him to cuddle with for the night.
The next day was mostly a driving day with several scenery stops and hiking breaks. Delilah hopped in and out of the car ungracefully before a backdrop of mountainous greenery. Olympic National Park is a unique place because it is made up of three different temperate zones: mountain, coastal and rainforest. We began our day on the coast wandering up and down the shore line while Delilah happily played tag with the retreating tide. A ranger was slated to join us on the beach and lead some sort of talk so we hung around to see what it was all about. It turned out to be aimed at a younger crowd so we made our way to the back for the group and slipped off to the car. We spent the rest of the day making our way around Hurricane Ridge in the Rainforest region of the park over to the mountainous part.
The day came full circle and soon it was time to set up camp again before the last of the day’s light disappeared. On a whim we plugged the apartment into the GPS and when we realized we would get there by 1am or so we decided to call it a trip and go home.
48 contiguous states later we pulled into the parking lot at our Apartment and silently trudged in through the early morning dark. As I began to drift off to sleep that night thoughts of my next big adventure began to dance in my head…