Seattle Trip 2016: Day 6

TIL: The Twilight Saga is set in Forks, La Push and Port Angeles, Washington. These are three cities on our journey during this vacation, and as we discovered while traveling through them, Twilight is all the rage. These cities all have Twilight related sights and signs for those that are seeking to visit the home of the books. I’ve never read the books, but I’m fascinated how these novels affected the culture in the area SO much that it’s basically one of the main draws for people coming to this part of the country.

IMG_4612Apart from learning about Twilight, Friday started early, before 6am, when I decided to head out to the beach to get some photos of the ocean. I managed to capture some shots of this amazing tree that was pushed on shore, as well as some of the local crows out for their morning meal. It was a beautiful morning to be out, and the waves were intoxicating.

IMG_4616Once Lisa woke up we headed out for our main stop of the day, the Hoh Rain Forest. This national park is about 40 miles from our hotel room, but it was one of the main reasons we wanted to stay on the coast. We made the trek to the visitor center and decided to hike two different loops that totaled about 2 miles. I brought my good camera along to capture images, but because of the lack of good WiFi right now, I’ll be posting those photos at a later date with a different blog entry. Needless to say, the huge spruce and maple trees were amazing, along with the coating of moss that hung from many branches.

IMG_4617At one point we got to walk along the Hoh River, and were treated to an incredible view up the mountainsides. It was an amazing walk and I loved being able to capture pictures of not just the scenery, but a bit of wildlife as well. We came across some immature Elk as well as some birds that we don’t have in Minnesota. The unfortunate side was that at one point I stepped on, and crushed, a snail.

After a few hours in the forest it was getting late and closer to lunch time. We headed back to Forks and found a nice little Chinese place to grab some food. It was a nice ending to our rain forest adventure. Our hope is to also see a bit more of Olympic Park up near Port Angeles tomorrow. There is another entrance to a different area just south of the town, and we’re going to have some time to kill before our hotel room is ready.

Lisa headed out for a run this afternoon, to tune up for her marathon on Sunday, while I decided that sitting out on the patio for a bit, with a bomber of beer, sounded like a great idea. The rest of the evening is just relaxing. We got dinner at the local restaurant again and then spent some time in the WiFi room. Soon we noticed that there was an amazing sunset in progress and headed to the beach for an hour of beautiful sky and waves. The tide was coming in, which made it fun to watch as it got closer and closer to land.

Tomorrow we move on to the next phase of this mega-vacation, Port Angeles and the North Olympic Discovery Marathon.


Seattle Trip 2016: Day 5

Thursday was mostly a travel day for us as we moved out of Seattle and over to the coast, where we will be spending the remainder of our trip. We left the hotel around 8 and caught the light rail train to the airport. It was very similar to the light rail trains we have in Minnesota, but went a lot father away and stopped far less once it was out of downtown. Our actual destination was not the airport itself, but the car rental building nearby. In order to get to this building we had to wait for the courtesy shuttle from the airport terminal. Apparently we got there at exactly the wrong time as there were around 100 other people waiting in line for the shuttle.

We eventually got through to the rental building, loaded up our Subaru Crosstrek, and hit the road. Our route took us down through Tacoma and Olympia before heading to the coast. Around lunch time we stopped in Aberdeen, WA and hit a Jack in the Box. I’d never been to one before, and so we thought it would be a fun quick lunch. The burger I got was fine, but the onion rings were inedible.

IMG_4581One of the things that we noticed when driving into town however, is that there is a Star Wars collectible store in Aberdeen. After lunch we crossed the parking lot and were amazed by the sight before us. This little store was CRAMMED full of old Star Wars memorabilia, from books, movies and action figures, to special autographed posters and specially designed props. They even had a room for toys from Star Trek and Jurassic Park. We wandered around for a while and I had a ton of fun looking at all the really cool stuff. I thought about purchasing something, but I really wanted an original Kenner A-Wing pilot figure, and he didn’t have that one.
IMG_4590After we were done at the Star Wars store we hit the road again and moved up into Olympic National Forest proper. Some of the route brought us right up along the ocean, but most of it was internal to the peninsula. Lisa was driving when all of a sudden she makes a turn off on to a small dirt road. She spotted a sign that said “Big Cedar Tree”, and just had to check it out. A short bit down the road we came to the pull-off point and found the giant tree. It was truly huge and unlike anything we have in Minnesota. Most of the trees out here are gigantic, hitting heights nothing like we can manage in such a short growing season back home.

Once we were back on the road again it wasn’t too long before we arrived at our resort. We’re staying at the Quileuete Oceanside Resort, which is on an Indian reservation, almost as far west as you can go in Washington State. It’s a beautiful cabin like resort with almost no connection to technology. The have a Wi-Fi room in the main office building that you can use, but otherwise you’re totally cut off from all communication. There isn’t even a TV in the rooms. We’ve basically moved from the center of technology in downtown Seattle, to the exact opposite extreme.

File_000However, the view from our patio is amazing. We have this beautiful 180 degree front-row-seat to the constant crashing of ocean waves along the beach. We will probably spend a great deal of time sitting on that patio for the next couple days. Tonight, however, we had to get some laundry completed before we can continue the rest of our trip. After a brief malfunction we were able to push a load through, and dry it while we ate a delicious dinner at the local restaurant.

Tomorrow is our trip into the Hoh Rainforest, and we’re both excited for a jaunt among more giant trees. For tonight, it’s time to crack open a beverage and relax as I watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.