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Back in the US, our first major destination was the Olympic Peninsula in the northwest corner of Washington state, with the Olympic National Park and the only temperate climate rainforest in America.
But before getting there, we had to overcome a big obstacle: Entering the US of A! After waiting 45 minutes in line to get to the immigration officer’s booth, he told us our RV needs an inspection for conformity with US agricultural rules. So we parked the RV and waited 20 minutes for the inspectors to finish their investigation, the result of which was that we had to dump the fruit and veggies that we had forgotten about. When we thought we were allowed to resume our trip, the inspector said that we also couldn’t take the firewood that we always have in our truck bed, because it didn’t have a certificate for the special heat treatment that is required for importing firewood. “Ok”, I said, “then we must  leave it here”. However, she made it clear, friendly but firmly, that we have to bring it back to Canadian soil – first through Canadian immigration, and then back another 40 minutes in line for US immigration. My “you must be kidding” didn’t help much. Can anyone imagine how much I fumed? My question if burning it up right there on the parking lot would be a sufficient heat treatment almost got me in contact with the next law enforcement official. So, we turned around into Canada, made a U-turn a couple of miles later, threw all the firewood in the grass (which I determined was no pollution because it didn’t have the heat treatment) and lined up again – the whole process took us over 2 hours!
A nice new experience during the rest of this day trip was a ferry ride that we had to take to get from Whidbey Island to the Olympic Peninsula.
Our campground 20 minutes west of Port Angeles was located inside a county recreation area right at the sea border, with spectacular views onto the Pacific, specifically on the Juan de Fuca Strait that separates the Peninsula from Victoria Island, Canada.

At the Juan de Fuca Strait, with Vancouver Island in the distance

With over 930,000 acres (3.734 qkm), Olympic NP is one of the largest national parks in USA. The main features are a large glacial mountain range in the center, up to almost 10,000 ft, the temperate rain forest mentioned above, mainly at the western slopes of the mountains, and the Pacific coastline. The rain forest gets about 150 inches (380 cm) rain annually and is the wettest area in the continental US.

The center of the NP, photo taken from Hurricane Ridge
In the Hoh rain forest, near the town of Forks at the west side of the park
Benjamin at one of the giant spruces that strive in the rain forest
Driftwood at the Pacific west coast, close to La Push (well known to all “Twilight” fans!)
What a man…


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