The Road Less Traveled By.

Jeff and I planned out a few hikes and things we wanted to go see while we were visiting on the Washington Coast.  One of these things was Hole in the Wall, a really cool arch that has been carved by the wind and water. Now, we looked up directions, but when we plugged the information into our trusty GPS, it showed us a route that would get us there in half the time! Proud of our little nuvi, we set out on our way.

We drove up the coast confidently. Perhaps this sign should have stopped us, but hey! this is just past Tahola! I've been here many times before. No big deal!

Eventually we came to this old logging bridge.

Now, I remember this bridge from my childhood. We went out on a hike to Elephant Rock once (which is currently closed to anyone other than Quinault tribe members) and in order to get there had to cross this bridge. It was scary. I walked across it, that time. Morfar is a fearless hiker and a bridge like this never would have slowed him down.

The picture doesn't really give you the full scope of what is going on here. Only video will do:

Jeff took this video with my ipod while he was trying to convince me that the bridge was perfectly safe and sound. You may here me shout in the background, "Yeah, because you're a car!" in response to him jumping up and down to show me that the bridge was sturdy.

Well, he convinced me somehow. We drove over the bridge. I turned into my mother and kept saying "Okay, Okay!" the whole time.

We continued.

It was raining (big surprise) and the farther along we got the slower we had to go. The road was just dirt, there were all types of bumps and holes, and the foliage was closing in on us slowly. Occasionally we came to puddle so deep they encompassed the entire road, and Jeff would stop the car so we could get out and prod the centers with a stick to ensure that they weren't too deep for us to forge through. It was hard to judge just how far we had gone, since we were only able to go about 3 mph. Time ceased to mean anything. Our GPS lost satellite. Our cell phones lost service.

It was beautiful, though.

Then we came to the second bridge.

I have no photos of the second bridge. I was too busy freaking out to even think about taking a photo, so I'll have to paint a picture for you with words:

It was a bridge constructed only of earth. The majority of it had collapsed, a small landslide into the ravine below. It was no longer wide enough to hold any type of vehicle. There was the front half of a pickup truck sitting there, long abandoned, the steering wheel a stark circle amongst all of the organic shapes. Stray flip flops were scattered next to it, the remains of the people who had driven it there (who granted, probably went back the way they came safely.)

Suddenly I had this feeling that we were in a situation similar to Jurassic Park. Was there a way out? Was there any contact to outside civilization? Were velociraptors about to come crashing through these bushes? (I could well believe it if they did!)

It was still raining. It was very muddy. Doing our 20-point-turn to get out I had this fear that we would be stuck in the mud and left to die, our own flip flops left as a warning for the next traveler to find. As the car turned, I got a glimpse down the ravine and saw the other half of the abandoned truck down there, the river coursing through it. My "Okay, Okay!" became faster and higher pitched.

We began the long journey back the way we came. The worst part of this was that we had to go over the logging bridge again. Jeff asked if I'd rather walk the bridge behind the car. I decided that would be worse, because then I'd have to watch him drive it. I ended up closing my eyes.

He told me after that he was glad we made it over, because he was pretty sure he hadn't lined the car up on the tracks as well the second time.

When we told Morfar, he laughed and said that the old logging bridge was just fine, plenty strong enough for logging trucks, let alone the Volvo. Mormor looked a little less thrilled that we drove their car over it, though. Morfar also said that that road was originally planned to be a connecting highway up along the coast, but that was back in the 1930s. Guess Garmin needs to fix their GPS's on that.

So that, my friends, was the road less traveled by. And there was a reason for that.

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