Olympic National Park

Dorie and I have not been to the Pacific Northwest in a while, and our friends, Hal and Linda, have never been. A trip to Olympic National Park seemed appropriate.

Hal and Linda went a day early to visit friends, so they picked us up at SEATAC and then to the Bainbridge Ferry. The schedule was to stop in Sequim WA for the lavender fields, then to Hurricane Ridge for a nice hike and summit of Hurricane Hill. However, a 2 ½ hr wait in traffic due to road construction changed our plans. We did make a quick trip to visit a Sequim lavender field which was pretty. A hike up Hurricane Hill was now out, but we thought we’d be able to drive up Hurricane Ridge and a get a view of Mt Olympus. The road was closed, having reached their quota of 174 cars. It was not a quota of 174 cars at a time as we had thought, it was the total for the day. We never heard of such a thing, and we couldn’t change the itinerary to return the next day. We were told the Park Visitor Center had burned three months ago, and a Federal investigation was closing the park for a 3-day investigation.  We were disappointed and had to regroup.

It was now Plan B. The next day we stopped at Crescent Lake for a beautiful hike up to Marymere Falls.  From there we went to Neah Bay and the Makah Indian Reservation. We needed a pass to go through the reservation and on to hike Cape Flattery. Nothing was open so we forged ahead, passless, to the cape – the northwestern most point in the continental US. A little 1-mile hike took us to the point where we viewed spectacular vistas!

For the next two nights we stayed at the Miler Tree Inn, a bed and breakfast in Forks WA. It is a great place and was also the filming site of The Twilight Saga, the 2008 vampire series based on the novel Twilight. Coming back from a burger place, we were treated to seeing a herd of 20-30 elk at sunset.

The next day was a very remarkable hike into the Hoh River Rainforest. The Hall of Moses was both spectacular and eerie. Missing the Hurricane Ridge hike to see Mt Olympus did not foil us. We found a river trail across the Hoh River where we were able to reach a river bend, affording us at least a distant view of the peak. The final night called for a sunset cocktail at Rialto Beach.  We grabbed a fish dinner to go, and found a good spot on the beach among the huge driftwood piles. The Pacific sunset did not disappoint.  We viewed pelicans and the rock islands called haystacks.

On the way back to SEATAC, we decided not to return the way we came due to the 2 hr. construction wait time.  We drove a southern route through Aberdeen, Olympia and Tacoma. The treat on this route was the Lake Quinault Lodge, where we had a great lunch and terrific lake views. A great trip!

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