Upon Further Review - How Wet Is a Rain Forest?
Most people have a mental picture of what to expect on their first visit to a new location, and that was definitely the case for a woman at Olympic National Park.
High on a list of prime destinations in that park is the Hoh Rain Forest, one of the wettest places in the country. My first of several great visits to Hoh was on a spectacular summer day, with clear blue skies and perfect temperatures. When it comes to the weather, however, it's hard to please everybody.
Shortly after my arrival, a bus carrying a group of senior citizens pulled into the parking lot. The passengers unloaded, and a spry older lady marched straight into the visitor center. She spotted a young ranger on duty behind the information desk and zeroed in on him with the unerring aim of a heat-seeking missile.
Reaching her target, she rapped her umbrella smartly on the counter and spoke in a commanding tone that carried across the room. "Young man!"
The ranger gave her a friendly smile. "Yes, ma'am?"
"I thought this was supposed to be a rain forest!"
The enthusiastic ranger had his facts in order. "Yes, ma'am, it is. We can receive as much as 140 inches of rainfall in a year. If all that rain fell in one storm, the water would be deep enough to fill this room to the top of the ceiling, and …"
This lady was apparently well acquainted with the facts, and she interrupted with another resounding rap of her umbrella. Fixing the young man with a fierce glare, she snapped, "Then why isn't it raining?"
I conclude from this story that travel is a lot like a blind date—how happy you are with the experience depends a lot on your expectations!
This story is adapted from the book Hey Ranger! True Tales of Humor and Misadventure from America's National Parks © Jim Burnett and Taylor Trade Publishing, used by permission.