We were told about the herds of Roosevelt elk in Olympic National Park. The Hoh Rain Forest, and especially the banks and certain sandbars along the Hoh River were supposed to be the ideal places to spot these herds. We were nearing the end of our time in Olympic National Park, and we had walked the trails around the Hoh Rain Forest visitor center and along the Hoh River. Although the rain forest was incredible for so many other reasons, we had not yet seen an elk.
We walked back along the Hoh River Trail towards the parking lot, and I decided to make a pit stop at the visitor center restroom before hitting the road again. I made a bee-line for the restroom while the gentle rain spattered on my hood when I saw a young man standing and staring at something. I looked in the direction of his gaze and stopped in my tracks as soon as I saw it. Right there next to the visitor center was a fully grown male Roosevelt elk munching on a tree! He was such a perfect specimen of a Roosevelt bull, graceful and masculine. He looked like a statue erected by the National Park Service! Michael made his way over from the parking lot, and we quietly kept our distance and watched as he foraged along the edge of the walkway. Eventually he strutted over to the grass patch in the middle of the parking lot, where he became quite the spectacle to lots of excited tourists!