After catching a fairly early ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, Washington (Back in the USA!), we began our exploration of the Olympic Peninsula, and particularly Olympic National Park.
One comment on the ferry service--those folks are absolute masters at the art of fitting vehicles onto a ship! We were #14 on the stanby list and when they squeezed Byron into a space that I was amazed at, they still fit on something like six or eight more vehicles, including one that arrived ~5m before the ship departed.
|OK, this was actually done on Vancouver Island, but I decided to add the pic to this post. Nice work Meghan!|
We were reminded of just how wet the area is though, because the mosquitoes were relentless!
|Sol Duc Falls, Olympic NP|
|Cape Flattery lighthouse|
|A clear day, or hour, at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic NP|
|The patrol shack at Hurricane Ridge|
The next morning, we caught a short ferry across Puget Sound and proceeded to the home of a college friend of Rebecca's, Bernie Thompson. Meghan immediately headed to the trampoline in the back yard to jump for a while...that got out some good energy!
Later that afternoon, we caught a bus into downtown Seattle to explore a bit. We first headed to Pike Place market and saw the vendors throwing fish, visited the Gum Wall, Rebecca stood in line at the original Starbucks to get a collectible mug for her growing 'You Are Here' collection. We then walked over to Seattle Center to see the space needle and lots of other stuff around there, then had dinner back near Pike Place. Overall a great day in Seattle!
|The 'Gum Wall' at Pike Place Market in Seattle. Curious, and sort of disgusting.|
|Cool outdoor art at Seattle Center. It was really a beautiful day there!|
This fountain is timed to the music and shoots to some amazing heights. Think Belagio, but smaller, and you can play in it!
From Bernie's we crawled along through Seattle / Tacoma traffic for a while heading toward Mount St. Helen's. This would be Rebecca and I's (grammar???) second trip to the mountain, but this time the weather actually looked like we might get to see it!
|Mount St. Helen's Crater from the new visitor center|
|This ridge is well behind the visitor center, maybe 5 miles from the crater. The 'blow down' trees are still there from the 1980 eruption, and a clean line where the energy of the blast was sent upwards at the ridge line. Wow!|
Pics below are from our trip down the Oregon coast.
|Meghan found this cool depression in the rock that led to this big 'cave' where the waves were crashing through from the other side. It was quite a scramble to get down in the hole, but really cool!|
We all really enjoyed the drive along the Oregon coast. I'd highly recommend taking the time to do this and explore some of the scenery and many little towns, each of which seeming to have a unique character. After a long day of driving and exploring we found ourselves 'between' any state & national parks again. Luckily, we found the Secret Camp RV Park in Gold Beach. It is situated along the south shore of the Rogue River and offered some nice amenities and reasonable seclusion in our 'Honeymoon Site'.
After a restful night, we headed out to cross the border into California where some big redwood trees awaited in Redwood State and National Parks. While we didn't have a ton of time, we took the scenic byway through the park, stopping to do a hike where we saw and touched some amazing trees. Interestingly, this route ended up taking us out the east side, and significantly north...back into Oregon, where we caught I-5 to head south toward Sacramento where we would reunite with the Carey's (who were with us at the beginning of this adventure).
This does not do justice to how tall these trees are!
|That's a BIG root ball on a fallen tree!|
|How many of us would it take to join hands around this one?|