Ford Vehicles In Grandville, Michigan

Ford Explorer Charges Through Olympic National Park

June 10th, 2013

Ford Explorer in the WildWe at Borgman Ford love the outdoors. Nothing beats a summertime drive into the heart of nature, and Ford has the best cars around for exploring! Check out this article in My Ford Magazine about author Jeff Wise’s journey through Olympic National Park in a Ford Explorer.

As we press deeper into the forest, the forms around us grow taller, stranger, more deeply enveloping. Crooked limbs overhead are draped with fluorescent green moss. Massive columnlike trunks swoop up to disappear into the canopy far above. “Pound for pound, there’s three times as much life in this rain forest as you’d find in a tropical one,” says ecologist Jamie Glasgow, riding beside me in the front passenger seat. We bump over a pothole in the rutted dirt road, dodging limbs and branches. “Each tree supports several tons of moss, lichens and other living things.”

Glasgow is my cousin—Little Jamie, I used to call him, though now he’s 40, has a good four inches on me and moves with the sinewy confidence of a man who makes his living forging through mountain habitats. When we were kids growing up on the East Coast, we both loved to play in puddles and throw sticks in streams, but for Jamie that childhood passion grew into a career. After college he moved to the Pacific Northwest and devoted himself to protecting the native fish and waterways. By now he’s probably spent more time exploring the streams of this area—Washington State’s 5,300-square-mile Olympic Peninsula—than the average river otter.

For my part, this trip is providing me with my first chance to visit Jamie in his office. It’s a largely wild region, extreme, sumptuously lush and gorgeous, yet also forbidding: The Hoh Rain Forest is deluged with an average of 12 feet of rainfall a year, which nurtures ancient trees of massive size and creates violent tumbling creeks that carve through precipitous gorges. I’m glad to have at my disposal an Explorer Sport, a high-performance version of the iconic SUV that’s especially well equipped to handle a variety of punishing conditions.

We meet up by the roaring fireplace in the lobby of the Lake Quinault Lodge, a rambling cluster of wooden buildings overlooking the eponymous lake on the southern end of Olympic National Park. Built from native timber in 1926, it’s a park lodge in the classic mold—think washbasins in the bedrooms and deer antlers in the lobby. “You’re going to want to use your auto-start tomorrow,” says Jamie, referring to the Explorer Sport’s available remote ignition system that lets you warm the car up before you get in. “When the sky’s as clear as it is tonight, the mornings can be really cold.”

Read the rest at Ford Social!


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