Hubby and I just returned from a trip to the Washington coast, where we enjoyed two rain-free days by the ocean – and one rainy one in the aptly-titled Hoh Rainforest. After an autumn filled with an influx of business, we had decided to enjoy some quiet before all the end-of-year (not to mention end-of-decade!) busyness.
The lush rainforests of the Washington state peninsula top my list of favorite places. If you visit in the summertime, you’ll enjoy the most pleasant weather but you’ll also be joined by hordes of curious tourists taking selfies and wondering why they can’t instantly post to Instagram. (How come I don’t have any bars?!) However, if you grab your warm clothes and venture out in the winter, you’ll encounter a wilderness that reverts to a haven for peace-seekers.
Our first stop was the quintessential Pacific Northwest lodge at Lake Quinault. Nestled between the lake and the rainforest, the lodge welcomed us with a roaring fire, but was deserted. After taking trips here in the crowded spring and summer, we were surprised and delighted to find ourselves the only visitors.
After relaxing in rocking chairs by the fireplace, we made our way to our reserved cabin at Kalaloch. Kalaloch Lodge and Cabins sit atop a rapidly eroding beach that unlike many other Washington beaches, actually has more sand than rocks. The cabins are equipped with a kitchenette, wood-burning stove (with a bundle of wood for each day), two walking sticks and a pair of binoculars. The beaches were also empty this time of year and perfect for walking long stretches when the tide is low. After noting the “Beach Logs Kill!” sign-overkill, we spent a couple of hours traversing the beach watching bald eagles and keeping an eye out for murderous dead trees.
The Hoh Rain Forest is about an hour’s drive from Kalaloch. On our third day, the rains returned in time for our trip to the forest. In winter’s quiet, the ranger station was shut down (but thank goodness the bathrooms were open!). In a parking lot that experiences daily overflow in the summer months, we were one of only three cars there on a gray Wednesday. As we squished along, we paused often to notice, look, and listen – a luxury not available on congested trails in May through September. Other than the steady drip-drip-drip, the forest was blissfully S-I-L-E-N-T.
The shorter days, longer nights and lack of wi-fi allowed space for the slower comforts of building crackling wood fires and tackling puzzles borrowed from the onsite game closet. Following a day of wilderness wonder and rain-chill, we ate at the Kalaloch restaurant and I treated myself to their Pear Hot Toddy. Mmmmm, what a nice nose-and-toe warmer. I’m sure that much of its culinary delectation was from Heritage Distillery’s Brown Sugar Bourbon. Regardless, several diners had ordered the hot toddy and it was good enough to strike up conversations of appreciation with strangers. (Oh! Have you tried that yet? It’s amazing!)
When I discovered fleeting wifi connectivity in guest services, I was delighted to find an email from Learning Herbs with a new Spiced Hot Toddy recipe. If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic alternative, substitute apple cider vinegar. If not, I highly recommend the Brown Sugar Bourbon.
Recipe from https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/hot-toddy-recipe/
Text from https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/hot-toddy-recipe/
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