Washington State is home to the lower 48's only rainforests. When Michelle and John came to visit us in 2000, we just didn't have the time to drive the nearly 200 miles out to the Olympic Peninsula to see the large Hoh and Quinault Rainforests. However, there is a small rainforest trail at the Carbon River entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park, and that's a good one to show visitors when you can't get out to the Oly Pen. Since Michelle's pictures of the forest came out much better than mine, the ones with the date stamp on them in red are hers.
After we left the rainforest trail, we drove farther down the road so that we could hike to Chenuis Falls, on the other side of the Carbon River. It was late June, and we'd had a very dry winter, so the Carbon wasn't as swollen and rushing as it is normally. Otherwise we never would have been able to cross it. And the only way to cross the river is on log bridges. These are long gone now, and the flood damage that exists in this area is of epic proportions. This was the first one we crossed. It was narrow, but it had a rail.
Here Michelle is about to execute a cartwheel, flip, double twist and dismount. lol As you can see, there was no rail on the second log bridge, but fortunately the river was not deep or running swiftly enough to carry you away. The most you'd get is bruised from the rocks and wet feet.
There's John, sizing up the last log bridge, which had a wire to hold onto. I would not have wanted to fall into this particular channel as it was deep and fast. The river is filled with silt and minerals, which is why it's so cloudy.
It's a shame we had such a foggy day. This is looking east up the river bed (taken by Michelle).
It would be nice if they can fix the road so that we can access this part of the Park again, as it's the most remote corner of Mt. Rainier. However, it seems that all the repair funding is being channeled into repairing the buildings and trails at the visitor centers at Sunrise and Paradise, and reopening scenic Stevens Road, which has been closed for over a year now. It doesn't help that the other day we had another windstorm and a gust of 119 mph was recorded at Camp Muir, high on Mt. Rainier, so there is no doubt further damage to the Park.