Olympic National Park – large cedar tree
Olympic National Park – worlds largest spruce tree 58.9′ in circumference
Olympic National Park – Crescent Lake
Olympic National Park – Ruby Beach
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park – Ruby Beach in the rain
August 12, 2008
I made it across the border to the states with no problems. There were border police both sides, but they didn’t “swipe” my passport [in a computer] and just asked a few questions. Ya!
While I was waiting for the ferry to come in to board, I was in my car reading about things to do in WA when a different border police guy came up and started asking me why I bought a Jetta and how do I like it. We had an unusually long conversation about my car. I couldn’t figure out if:
* he’s just “making time” with me
* he truly is trying to figure out if he wants to buy one or not
* he is asking me what appears to be innocent questions, but secretly is gauging my responses.
The ferry ride was 18 miles, which took 1.75 hours.
So…I was back to the land of cherry dip for my dairy queen ice cream cones [and $1 less expensive for a small]. Back to the land where when you pump gas, you can lock in the handle to fill your car up, instead of standing there holding it. And as we all know…cheaper gas.
Olympic National Park is right here, so I thought I would check that out. I decided to travel 2/3 of the loop around it, traveling going west route and ending up in Olympia.
First off, apparently Mt Olympia is here. However, nowhere on my AAA map does it show Mt Olympia. Nowhere in any of my info materials does it mention Mt Olympia. As I drove the one road around the circumference of the Park, there are no signs stating “this way to Mt Olympia”. So, I’m not sure what the deal is.
The ferry docks in Port Angeles, which is an ok little town. I decided not to spend the nite, but to keep going and do some hiking.
First stop is Elwha. I hiked to the pretty waterfall. Deer were everywhere. Huge trees with moss all over them with the light from the sun setting sprinkling in. One can hear the various waterfalls and streams the entire way. Came across a really cool dam, with the lake water a pretty blue color.
I started driving up a path that probably would have been a fantastic view, but it was rocks/stones and 1.5 cars wide, twisty with blind turns every 40’ – 50’ with a drop off over one side. I realized I was NOT enjoying the drive, so decided to turn around. However, how do I do that? Sheesh.
It gets dark around 8.30!
They have an odometer check here! Just when I mention it a couple weeks ago in Canada, I found one here.
I then went to Crescent Lake and hiked around and spent the nite.
In the morning I got a very early start to the day. I hiked to a waterfall near Crescent Lake, and kept seeing these ?? 6” olive green snail like things, but without the shell. Crescent Lake is really pretty.
I had a much needed bfast at the Hungry Bear Café, near Forks. I like the name. I should have known the size of the bfast by the name…it was huge. There was a sign/xerox in the place with the names of the kids from the area who are in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I went to the farmers market, and again, there was that sign. The town of Forks is around 3,200. They claim the “area” is 5,000 people. They have 36 kids who are in Iraq and Afghanistan! Unbelievable. They said that “that’s where our young boys go when they leave here”.
I certainly don’t want to get into a war discussion with the locals here, but I did want to know what their view of the war was…since this affects the whole town so greatly [the main woman I was talking to – her son just got back home from his second tour]. I can understand reasons that they would be either for or against the war. They were FOR the war: “we’d rather have us over there, than to have terrorists over here”.
They have coffee kiosks [in parking lots] here. I got my Ice Rage…exceptionally tasty!
I then hiked thru a rainforest and the moss growing all over the VERY tall trees. Went to Ruby Beach with the monoliths in the ocean and driftwood on the beach. And as you know, checked out the huge cedar and spruce trees.
It was pretty much dark, rainy and 58’ along the coast. NO ONE was on any beach that I stopped at [besides tourists for a few minutes] except one fisherman.
They have a bunch of signs stating the years when trees were planted and then harvested. 50 – 65 yrs between planting and harvesting…”next harvest 2036”…
Saw only 3 cyclists on the road.
Along this loop, there is really nothing besides nature. Here and there are trailers/trailer parks and small run down houses. Be sure to have all you need before you arrive here. Also, and this is a MUST, have your accommodations booked in advance.
I didn’t know if I wanted to spend the nite in Aberdeen or Olympia. I had thought Aberdeen – cuz I like the name, and besides as I mentioned the other day, I was expecting Olympia to be dumpy. However, I went with Olympia and made the right choice. Aberdeen is the dumpy town. I need to add it to my “small” town worst list. It’s a real undesirable looking logging town, with 90% of the houses that look exactly alike [one story, square, front door in the middle and windows on each side, with an additional foyer ?? built to enclose the front door].
I’ve read that Kurt Cobain was from Aberdeen, and couldn’t wait to leave town. I now understand why.
For some reason, Aberdeen makes USA Today’s weather map. Wonder why. East of Aberdeen is really pretty. Farmland with 2 nuke plants.