Friday, February 05, 2016

Explore Washington Vacation - Day 4 - The Penninsula

I think the only thing I don't have a picture of from our trip is the actual Olympics! Because of the weather we ended up sort of skirting around the edge of the park, and the clouds only parted to give us a peek at the peaks a couple times.

We headed out from Forks that morning heading for Port Angeles. As we drove along through more boring forestry lands without any sort of view, I saw signs for Neah Bay - the westernmost tip of WA state. I hadn't planned on the side trip, but we discussed it and decided what the heck, we might not be back out here for a while, we should go see it.

It was this sort of morning:

All along the way we stopped at pull offs to admire the beautiful, I'm not sure what you call this body of water. It's the water between us and Canada at the pointy end of Washington.

Finally we reached Neah Bay. It is a Native American village. They had a very good museum describing the history and the abuse of the Makah people, and how they almost lost their culture and had to get it back. Very interesting, and very sad.

We continued on to Port Angeles.

This GIANT oil rig was parked offshore. It is the Polar Pioneer, and apparently it's some sort of drilling rig. It was HUGE!

We had a nice lunch at a little pub, where I got some very good poutine. Then we continued the long drive back to LYH. Along the way we stopped at a wayside for a nap, and saw this sign. We were discussing it when Dave started speculating on what sort of animals were OVER 8ft in length, and therefor didn't require a leash. I was laughing too hard to correct him! 

We got back to LYH shortly after dark and found the trailer was just fine, as we had left it. Dave snuck off to the casino for one last evening of gambling. I stayed home and read and relaxed, but unfortunately I seem to have picked up a stomach bug from one of the many places we had eaten along the way. By the next morning all I wanted was to go home! So we cancelled the rest of the trip and headed home. We'll have to save the East side of the state for next time.

And next year I hope we get a chance to come when the weather is nicer, and actually visit the park.


Explore Washington Vacation - Day 3 - The Beaches

On Day Three we left the trailer safely parked at LYH and headed for the Washington coast. For MANY years I have wnated to visit Kalaloch after seeing it in a Sunset Magazine, and we were finally getting around to heading there. We had been close, but it is just so far up the coast, we had never quite made the trip.

The trip is actually pretty boring. From Grays Harbor Highway 101 actually goes inland and stays there, so it's just a long drive through mostly forestry land. We did stop for a quick look at a cool lake mid-morning.

We were also tempted by signs leading us to this 'biggest tree'. Pretty damned big, indeed.

Finally we got what we were coming for - Kalaloch, and a view of the ocean.

We stopped and had lunch at the fancy lodge, but when we tried to get the price for a room no one could tell us up front how much it was, and suggested we look online, which seemed odd. So we decided to head on up the road and see whatever else there was to see.

Up the road was Beach 4. A long trail led down from the parking lot, to a strange striated pile of rocks you had to climb down to get to the beach. Luckily there was a sign to explain everything!

 We continued on to another 'biggest tree'. Cedar, I think. It was big, and bits were falling off of it. We spent a bit of time photographing the 'Mulder' head there. Here's Dave holding it at the bottom of the tree. Big tree!

Continuing on, we went to Ruby Beach. We got there a while before sunset, and I wanted to be sure and get some sunset shots, so we parked the car with a view and took a nap. It was worth waiting for!

When the sun was down we finally left, and headed to Forks. It was dark by the time we got there, so here's a pic the next morning. We found this nice hotel off the main road. It actually had a suite, and for pretty cheap too. And the nice lady at the front desk steered us to a good restaurant in town.

Not bad. It was the first time I think that we took the trailer on vacation and left it somewhere while we went exploring and stayed in a hotel!

One more day...

Explore Washington Vacation - Day 2 - Seattle

So our plans for this day were to hit the Seattle Zoo, which we have never been to, and Seattle Center again, and just see how much time we had to burn.

The zoo was awesome! We love visiting zoos, and this one had really nice habitats, in fact sometimes it was hard to see where the boundaries of the habitats were. The animals seemed very relaxed. It rained on us a bit, but it was still a super nice visit.

THIS GUY was completely nuts! His picture is blurry because he could not sit still. He was running around, flying, flapping past us, climbing the walls, sittin on the bench, basically just all over the place. Fun bird to watch! And he was big, like a chicken. Busy bird!

I'm not even sure this owl was part of the Zoo. He was hanging out by some bird feeders watching the little birds that were cleaning up the seeds on the ground.

This guy was the odd man out at the party!

By afternoon we had seen the whole view and headed out in search of pizza. We tried a place that had great Yelp ratings near the zoo, but it was too foo-foo. We drove on into town and parked near the Space Needle, and found a good pizza joint a block or so away. Here is the view from where we parked. This will be more relevant in a moment...

 We stopped to snap a pic of the SN from the same point of view as the picture I took a couple years ago.

We debated quite a bit about going up in it. Number one - it's really tall! That's a long ways up! Number two - it was kind of expensive for just an elevator ride and a view.

Hey, I can see our car from up here! The silver Flex right in front of the black wall. And what the heck is on top of that building?

Had someone snap our picture. First time up for me!

We stayed up there watching the sun set and the ferries come and go until it was too cold, then headed back down.

Next tourist destination - ride the MONORAIL! Why? Because it's a MONORAIL! You don't need a reason!


Back to the view from in front of the museum. We waited to see the monorail go by and get a shot of that before we called it a night.


Explore Washington Vacation - Day one - Centralia

In November we had our big vacation planned for Yosemite. I had figured out where we could stay, where the best spots in the campground were, and reserved them way back in May or something. Then, just as we're ready to go, word comes in that an early snowstorm is blowing in! After much debate we decided to cancel our trip South and stay closer to home, rather than end up snowed in at Yosemite.

So we headed North instead. Only makes sense right? Snows coming in, so you head North to get away from it! Well, in this case, we were just heading up to Seattle. We figured we could camp at Land Yacht Harbor, explore Seattle, and then take a day to go circle the Olympics.

It was a lousy grey day, as expected for mid-November.

We stopped in Centralia to begin with. There is a nice McMinamins Pub there for lunch.

Dave at lunch.

And the Fox theater, which we once toyed with the idea of buying and restoring. It would have destroyed us! So glad we passed on that adventure. Someone else has been fixing it up and it looks pretty nice on the outside, and they are holding performances so it must be pretty good inside too.

Well, back to the trailer, and head up to LYH. That is always a nice safe place to leave the trailer while we explore. I believe that evening we 'explored' our favorite steak house and may have located a casino that needed exploring as well.

Street parking in Centralia. I love that little trailer, it's so damn cute!

To be continued...