Sol Duc Campground was our first campsite in this trip where we didn’t have luxuries such as electricity and free dump and fill-up options for Wobbles (our camper). The draw to this particular campground was the Sol Duc Hot Springs close by. The campground was in a wonderful tall growth forest which was beautiful! This is what we had lacked thus far on this trip, the woods!
We had a lovely site nestled in a wooded area. The girls, especially our 4-year-old, was absolutely thrilled with being out in nature and able to let her imagination soar. Right away she set out to create a fairy house and also made a puppet theater and a castle. From the highest turret of the castle is where the puppet shows were performed of-course! While the girls were playing in their fairy gardens, there was a group of 3 deer that came within feet of the girls. It seemed as though they wanted to play too. Seeing a child out in nature is such a simple and pure joy. It warms my heart!
Something I had forgotten about woody sites is the camping chill it brings to the air and the shady evenings. It was campfire weather for sure. We really appreciated a little help from the trees with making things darker for bedtime with the girls! The trees, however, did not have the sturdiest lower branches due to a moss attack. A branch actually fell on the front of Dimes and our bikes! Luckily it was a small one padded with moss so it did no damage. A good reminder though to be leery of camping under dead trees.
A short walk from our site there was a log that had fallen down across a river which made a perfect bridge for us to get to a little stream. On the rocky beach we spent our time tossing rocks into the water watching their splashes and drawing on rocks to tell stories. It was a very serene place. And due to Justin’s handy solar work with Dimes and Wobbles we had all the power we needed from the sun!
The Hot Springs
From the campground we walked through the woods on our way to the hot springs. On the path we saw a bubbler in which burning hot water was overflowing out of. A natural hot spring! It was really spectacular to see and hard to believe. Out of the stream of hot sulfur water was a different ecosystem with visible white mineral deposits. It gave me a little flash back to Yellowstone. What was even more odd was that shortly after the little stream disappeared into the forest, the tree, shrub and other plant life were exactly the same as the rest of the forest. It is amazing that the greenery adapted to the hot spring.
The Sol Duc Hot Spring Resort was a very different experience, as it was very commercialized. The hot springs consisted of 4 pools. One was a cold pool they kept at 70°, a 97° pool that both our 2 and 4-year-old were allowed in (this one was meant for sitting as it was only around 2’ deep), a 105° pool complete with a ramp gradually got your body used to the temperature and a fountain of burning water in the center, and lastly a pool kept at 109° which was set up more like a hot tub. My 2 year old and I stayed in the 97° sitting pool most of the time which was a perfect temperature to enjoy the warmth without sweating. The girls got a first hand account of why people should not stay in the hot pools for too long. An older woman had been submerged in the hot water for some time and when she exited the pool she passed out. With some helping hands from onlookers, not the lifeguard (who was stunned), she slowly recovered.
It was a nice relaxing break and we all could prove that we were there for days after with the lovely scent of sulfur we sported in our hair. 🙂