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August - September 14, 2015 - Our time in Forks has come to an end (for this year)

Ok, so I haven't done a post in a long time and I don't keep notes. Luckily we can usually remember what we've done by going through Marty's photos.  This may not be in exact chronological order but it's a pretty good synopsis of our last six weeks.

We arrived in forks on April 29th and are leaving tomorrow  (September 14th).  It's crazy how fast the time has gone!  When we accepted this position for the summer we did wonder if there would be enough to do to keep us from being bored, that has definitely not been a problem.  We have had three sets of visitors while we've been here which has been amazing.  We've also made new "Forks" friends and are happy to be coming back here next summer.

Paul, Katie and Emily at the Museum
The last of our summer visitors were our niece, Katie with her husband Paul and their baby, Emily Rose. Emily was born on February 23rd so this was our first time meeting her - what a cutie!!  They came in early August and stayed at a local B&B. The night they came in we gave them a quick tour of the museum and the next morning we drove them to the Hoh Rain Forest for a hike and to the ocean for low tide to view some tide pools.  I got my baby fix, it was wonderful!  No sharing this baby, I got to hold her as much as I wanted.
It's just as much fun walking behind her and making faces
Emily's first walk in the Ocean

Look, Emily, we're hiking to "Hole In The Wall"!
No more personal visitors so it's time to talk about all the visitors we have had at the Forks Timber Museum.  The best part about working at the museum (besides our awesome boss, Linda and her husband, Joe) has been meeting people from all over the world.  We've met people from every
continent except Antarctica.  Europe has been well represented -  Ukraine, Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, England, Scotland (and that's just on the days we've worked, I'm sure there have been countries that I've missed).  We've had visitors from Paraguay and Brazil in South America and many people from various Asian countries. Australians and New Zealanders have also visited along with a couple different groups from South Africa.  We've also had visitors from most of the fifty states; Florida to Maine to Texas and so many others.  It's amazing how many people come specifically to the Olympic Peninsula to visit the Forks Timber Museum.  It is so much fun talking to all of them and learning a little about them.

We have been working very hard at the museum, helping clean out the "annex" and entering items into the new museum software.  Marty has painted "Bella's" truck (he made the newspaper twice -once while painting it and then was mentioned again when they took a picture of the finished job, you gotta love what makes the news in small town).
Here's the article in the paper and me standing next to the finished truck
A small sampling of items on display and entered into the database
I am really enjoying working with the software, it's so interesting to see some of the items that have been donated over the years (I know -what a geek).  One collection is from a local doctor who spent time traveling in Sierra Leone.  He brought back a pith helmet and many "witch doctor" items; not quite sure what they have to do with a logging museum but it was pretty cool to look at them.  There are probably close to 8000 items to be documented into the software, I worked on "objects" and only did about 1000 (out of approximately 2500).  There are also many photos and documents to be scanned and entered; it is a huge job! 


Herd of Elk across the street on the runway
We haven't done much new as far as exploring the area. We have continued hiking the small trail behind our rig and we also walk the airport across the street (gotta get my steps in). We do see a herd of elk quite often on the runway (not while we're walking, they usually come around dusk). It's fun to watch them, especially the little ones. We have also seen their hoof prints within 50' of our rig, it seems they like the apples that have fallen to the ground from the tree behind us. They come after dark to the apple tree so we haven't had a "close and personal" encounter (yet).

There was a very bad storm here on Saturday, August 29th.  According to the newspaper, it was the worst Summer storm they've ever had. Trees and power lines were down and Rt. 101, which is the only road in and out of town, was closed in some areas.  In the Midwest people travel with shovels and kitty litter in their trunks for the snow; here in the Pacific Northwest they travel with chain saws!  They don't let a little thing like a tree in the middle of the road stop them from their travels.

Bottom of tree that fell during the storm on the trail behind the Museum
 
We did take one more trip up in the mountains to Hurricane Ridge.  This is one of the prettiest places we've seen, it really does remind me of "The Sound of Music" and this time, as we were hiking, we heard someone playing on their trumpet, "The Hills are Alive......"  It was the strangest thing and we never did see the trumpet player. 
with songs they have sung for a thousand years.....







You would think that the night sky in Forks would be really dark and you'd be able to see meteor showers pretty easily - you'd be wrong (at least by the museum). The parking lot and buildings all have lights so we drove up the hill behind us to watch the "shower", this is a photo of the only meteor we saw.











The only park we hadn't visited was Queets so we took a drive south down 101 and did a little hiking there.  The road was washed out so we only hiked about a mile in and then had to turn back.  At least we can say we were there.

 I have to climb over all these logs?  Seriously??
Queets River - Still very low water
When we originally signed up to work here we were only going to stay thru Labor Day.  However, this is the 10 year anniversary of the first "Twilight" book by Stephenie Meyer and there was quite a celebration planned - so we stayed.  Forks is a town of 3100 people but this past weekend there were over 1000 visitors!  Stephenie Meyer was here on Saturday afternoon signing books and posing for pictures.  There were activities and tours scheduled from Friday thru Sunday.  It was crazy busy but everybody had a good time.  People came from all over the world including Australia and South Africa!  We worked at the Museum all weekend and weren't affected too much although on Sunday there was a scavenger hunt and we were part of that.  On Saturday morning there were about 300 people in our parking lot for a group shot in front of the "Welcome to Forks" sign.  Marty and Joe were up early to direct traffic and park cars. 
Lissy (Visitor Center Director & Twilight Coordinator) and Joe (our favorite "voluntold")
Well, that's it from Forks, Washington.  We are leaving tomorrow morning and heading back to the Midwest (for some October baseball??).  This has been an incredible summer and, as someone famous once said, "I shall return". We were so lucky to find this workkamping job and can't wait to come back next year.