Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Friday, June 12, 2009

June 11 and 12 - Olympia National Park and the seashore

June 11 - Olympia National Park

The original plan was to go up to Neah Bay to be as far west as we could go in the continental USA. We are getting better about not waking up at 6AM Eastern and actually made it until 8AM Eastern today. Housecleaning chores - how does a TC get so dirty so fast? Because you are hopping in and out of it all the time in hiking boots and the debris just comes in with you. Too much trouble to take the boots off for short time.

From Doswallips State Park we travelled north on route 101 to Sequim. What a beautiful little town, neat, clean, friendly with all the services you could want but not a lot of traffic or people. Looks like it is one of those places you would look into for retirement out of constant winter snow and ice. Talked to a lot of folk as we walked around town and found they get maybe 2' of snow in the winter which melts quickly but that it is dry in growing times so things have to be irrigated. Turn your head and look at the stunning Olympia Mountain range towering 5,200 feet straight up still covered with snow. Ah... to be younger and wanting to move.

Travelled out to Dungeness looking for seafood but everything was closed. Perhaps not the season? Back to Port Angeles and the local Ford dealer took us in very quickly for an oil and filter change and a general look at the systems. Flying colors, a hearty thank you for such good service and off we go again.

We stopped at the Olympia National Park ranger station for general information on the
camp grounds out on the west coast. Charming 72 year old ranger said we could not leave until we drove up the Hurricane Ridge Road to the top. What wise words! Great windy, twisty drive up with the engine and fresh oil just purring.

Very few people around and the scenery was breath taking. If you are ever out this way, you HAVE to go up this road. Snow still on the peaks, elk grazing feet away, formidable mountains and a view out to the Straits of Juan DeFuca and Canada.

The ranger had explained there is no south going road from Neah Bay but a lot of backtracking. We decided not this trip and went back to 101 and on to Crescent Lake and Marymere Falls. My leg muscle was cramping so Joe climbed up to the Falls alone - or as alone as you can get with two groups of teenagers on a school hike. He said it was a rain forest both dripping from the trees and at the waterfalls.

We are camped tonight in Mora Campground, one of the Olympia Campgrounds. Got to love those $6 fees with the Golden Access pass. Large site in the middle of a stand of at least 100' trees, ferns, dead silence. We spotted only one other camper in the entire park. I think we'll get hit with a pretty good rain tonight but maybe that will take a few more bugs off the TC.

Tomorrow, on to La Push to go to Rialto Beach just two miles away on the ocean to finally see the Pacific and get our feet wet. Then on to Kalaloch Campground just down the road to hopefully camp right on the ocean.

Hoping we don't hear an alert and have to make use of one of these signs.

June 12 - Rialto Beach to Willapa Bay, WA

How awesome are the beaches in Olympia National Seashore??? We spent hours today just walking on the "sand" and gawking at the huge washed up trees and the haystacks off shore. Sand is a generic name because this beach is all rock,r smooth, polished rock. We have a truck camper friend who makes jewelry with rock and silver so picked up a lot of unusual ones for her.

The truck camper was dwarfed by the size of the "driftwood". These are full size
trees washed out of the mountains and into the sea. They end up piled on shore.

Offshore are what are called "haystacks", remnants of the older shoreline that did not erode due to being of a harder material. It was low tide while we were there and we walked around one. No sightings of sea mammals but we did walk across a clam flat with squirting clams by our feet as we stepped. We also stopped at Ruby Beach and at 4th Beach to again walk. Very few people around.

Continuing south on Route 101 led us into just wooded roads similar to Maine except for the size of the trees. It was interesting seeing the clear cut logged areas next to the different sized trees as they were replanted over time. You have to think of forest as a crop but it is sad to see the devastation in the cleared areas.

We stopped for a late lunch in Westport and found it to be a mix of tourist town with lots of gift shops and a large working fishing fleet. Had delicious clam chowder and fried oysters. The oysters were the size of Joe's palm and quite a different taste from eastern oysters - stronger but good. Tomorrow I'll buy a pint for an oyster stew since we are camped near a seafood market in Bay Center.

Tomorrow we will cross into Oregon and start our trek down the coastline as far as Coos Bay. We are going to try to get a campsite at Fort Stevens next to Astoria, then
inland to visit relatives and friends and then who knows where????

1 comment:

WasSoggyInSeattle said...

You are in our old stomping grounds. We moved from the Seattle area to New Mexico last September. Thanks for the pics of 'home'.