Back to Hoh

After a surprisingly uneventful night (with the exception of a 3am and 5am wake up, the kids slept, allowing us to rest too) we had a short breakfast, packed up the car and drove down to Forks, for our second breakfast at an ok-but-not-great diner, before taking half an hour at Forks’ public library, and then driving down to Rialto Beach, yet another of the countless beautiful beaches in this part of the world.

The girls made sandcastles, Canute-like against the incoming tide, and then we drove out of there and stopped at a cafe in La Push. Although it had a huge sign pointing out that it was vampire-proof, there was thankfully little other Twilight-related paraphernalia (you could have a vampire themed milkshake, I think, or a werewolf burger).

Back in Forks, we shopped for groceries and picked up some inflatable sleeping mats for the tent, to prevent spinal agony from sleeping on the ground, then drove down to the rainforest. La Serpiente took this opportunity to break down in hysterics when she didn’t get her own way about music/snacks/sharing things with her sister, the culmination of most of the day of grumbling and sulking. This too shall pass.

We got to the campsite and erected the tent just before the rains came in, and then tried to make a campfire, with less than impressive results. We’d bought dry firewood in La Push, and I also had our high tech BioLight stove. This is a small metal stove with a USB charger / electric fan attached, which gets charged by the heat of the flames via a thermocouple, and that allows the fan to blow air over the flames and generate a hotter, less smoky fire.

Well, that was the theory. Instead, it just generated smoke for twenty minutes. It sputtered into roaring life just as I was giving up hope: it turns out that the key to success is to cram it full of dry wood, more than you would possibly think necessary, and then crank the fan up to full blast. I cooked one sausage before it ran out of fuel.

Meanwhile the traditional campfire, which had been smouldering, finally burst into flames and allowed us to cook the hotdogs and s’mores the girls demanded. So we have a dry tent, a soft floor and perhaps we’ll all sleep soundly.

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