My journey back to the state of my birth, Washington State, provided adventures of all sorts, that I will never forget. While a vacation in Washington State, the rainiest and most dismal state, appears boring (Seattle, Washington supposedly has a high suicide rate due to the lack of sunlight), my family and I ventured throughout the state in search of exhilarating experiences. In the Northwest, we attended a Mariners baseball game in Seattle, visited a museum in British Columbia, climbed the peaks of Mount Rainier, sailed across the Puget Sound, and stopped at a small town called Forks, recently made famous by a certain book (only my mother realized the significance). However, in comparison with all of these incidences, I remember one day trip in particular. My excursion through the Olympic National Rainforest left me soaked with more than just water.
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As our car pulled into the national park information center, my sister and I feigned boredom. While enamored with the rainy state, I felt as if after five minutes I would have seen all the rainforest had to offer: rain and forest. After receiving information at the center, we headed towards a massive tree (I cannot recall the type of tree, but it was the largest of its kind). My family and I hiked on a path through the soggy woods to the enormous tree while soaking up more water than Spongebob. After our share of pictures, we returned to the car and drove off for another nature hike.
Reflecting on my little escapade, I realize that I probably did not have the proper attire. All I had was a pair of jeans, my flimsy sneakers, a tee shirt, and a Hollister hooded sweatshirt. When we got to the hiking trail, rivulets of water flowed quickly down the path. I enjoyed that hike, probably more than any other hike I have ever taken. New discoveries in the rainforest fascinated me. To my surprise my overpriced Hollister hoodie was extremely absorbent. Though the whole sweatshirt was heavy and saturated with water, the only part of the sweatshirt that really felt the water soak through was at the wrist cuffs. I also discovered a many interesting wildlife from peculiar plants to enormous banana slugs. The exotic beauty of the forest amazed me, especially when contrasted with Pennsylvania’s seemingly ordinary wildlife.
After the trek through the forest, my family and I returned to the car. Now, we really began to feel the inconvenience of our soaked clothes. Our shoes squished and squeaked with water, and our socks clung to our feet. My sister and I complained as our clothes dried. Unfortunately, my family neglected to pack spare clothes, so we stopped at a convenience store for new socks. I was thrilled by the prospect of new dry socks for the first time in my life!
From that time that I spent in the rainforest on the Olympic peninsula, I learned lessons: practical and philosophical. I came to understand that nature should be appreciated despite the inconvenience. By stopping to search for banana slugs, I discovered surprises like the usefulness of a Hollister hoodie for absorbing rain. The nuisance of the torrential downpour and soggy socks was only temporary in hindsight. It made the acquisition of the warm dry socks that much better. It showed me that while there is cold damp suffering, “warm dry socks” wait afterwards. My time in the national park demonstrated to me the importance of being prepared. In the future, I hope to visit the Olympic Rainforest once more, but with an extra change of clothes.
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