Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Coastal Washington

We finally made it from one coast to the other and rode the weather roller coaster of the PNW for a couple weeks. We loved how we could travel a short distance and experience so many different environments.

Andy hooked us up with a conveniently located RV park for visiting the Seattle area. City visiting isn't our favorite but that's probably because Fred is enormous and people on the road are rude. But it's fun driving around in a big ass truck with Texas plates even if it is only temporary make believe. Here's Grizzly Adams grilling on the tailgate in the lot. 

A glorified parking lot. One guy kept coming outside with his kitten on a leash every time the kids were at the playground offering to loan fishing gear to Drew. That prompted us to remind them not to take candy, kittens or fishing gear from strangers in RV parks! 

In typical last minute fashion we didn't look into tickets for the tour of Boeing until a couple days ahead of time. We had no idea they sell out weeks ahead of time! We got very lucky and there was room for us.  

Unfortunately no photos are allowed on the tour. But it was so cool seeing the inside of the factory where these huge machines are built. 

It's always fun to pretend to be in the cockpit. 

From the deck you can see the construction bays and the planes that are ready for test flights. 

A brand spanking new 747 ready for take off! We only saw test flights and didn't get to see the traditional wing tip of planes headed home. But we did get to see a Dreamliner which flies in the pieces of the 787 to be assembled on site. 

Cubby playing with her souvenir. 

In downtown Seattle. Honestly in cities we never know what to do with ourselves. In the old days we would have visited all the museums and sights and eaten at nice restaurants. But since we are on a very extended trip we can't justify the expenses to see everything. So we just walk around, say no a lot, eat overpriced food and get frustrated with the kids for not simply soaking up the atmosphere or getting weird about crowds. They don't get it and we can't really blame them.  

Nope, you can't ride it. But you can look at it! Yawn.

So obviously we had to go here. It was a weekend and very crowded when we first walked past so everyone balked. 

So we walked in circles and had a fancy lunch at a nice hotel. It was really expensive, took forever and was left half-eaten. Ugh. 

And then we went back to the market, watched the fish throwing, saw all the lovely food, and kicked ourselves for splashing out on a dowdy lunch instead of some of this greatness. Double ugh. 


The original Starbucks with a huge line. It's Starbucks, people. 

Our early morning escape from the city to the Olympic Peninsula. 

Tight squeeze!

We departed from Kingston and went to Edmonds. 

Our first stop was Dungeness Recreation Area in Sequim. Yet another totally random and amazing campground! Sequim is in the rain shadow of the Olympic range. So they only get a few inches of rain per year. It was really pleasant and pretty and we had a nice walk along the trails and the beach.  

The kids worked really hard building this shelter. They always keep very busy on a beach. 

Cubby tiled the floor with stones warmed in the sun.

A fence, a fire pit and a walkway. How inviting. Too bad it was open to the wind and as the day wore on it got very chilly. 

I have no idea what they're doing. One tip: never build your shelter below the high tide line. The next day we could see that it had washed away. 

Sequim has a lot of lavender farms. So we bought some nice smelly stuff here. 

Heart o' the Hills campground in Olympic NP. We really settled in here and loved it. Drew is cooking bacon on the fire. When it gets chilly we have to layer up in our odd assortment of summer clothes and our jeans could walk around by themselves after a couple of days.  

All the moisture stays on one side of the mountains and keeps this side dry. 

At Hurricane Ridge we attended a ranger talk about black bears. I couldn't get over the view.  

Another pressed penny for the collection. This is a very inexpensive way to get a souvenir everywhere we go. 

After a ranger walk about trees we hiked up hurricane ridge. An incredible 360 view of ocean and mountains. 

It was a long hike for an end of the day activity but it was worth it. 

We saw lots of grouse on the way down.

From Heart o' the Hills we continued west around Olympic NP with a stop at Crescent Lake for a quick lunch and swim. Andy was game for being pushed in. 

It was agreed they would all jump together but at the last minute the kids bailed and Andy was on his own. I never swim in these chilly waters. 

Finally she was convinced!

So silly! 

We booked one night at an RV park in Forks, WA. We had no idea this was where the Twilight series was set. It was a pretty gloomy place. We planned to stay here for a night or two while we waited for an opening at a campsite in Kalaloch on the ocean in Olympic NP. This big girl lived in the field next door and Cubby named her Blackberry. She loved treats but you had to feed her carefully because she was a feisty biter. 

There were tons of blackberry bushes along the park fence. Drew started picking and couldn't stop. He is showing the scratches on his arm from reaching in among the thorns.

OK, Drew, I think you have enough. Time to stop.

There were so many blackberries Andy was inspired to make jam. It was delicious! 

We made a day trip to Rialto beach. It was very foggy and there are lots of huge trees washed up on the beach. We couldn't figure out where they come from but thought it would be pretty bad to run into one of these while sailing. 

Through the fog we caught sight of this super cute river otter family playing and fishing in the surf. 

They were so cute we watched them for a long time. 

Mom kept fishing and giving the silvery fish to her little guys.

We try to get a pic of all four of us together when we find an obliging person and we're all up for it. Aren't these trees huge? 

The fog rolls in and out. It's cool to see and visit but not someplace we'd want to live. 

So dramatic.

From Forks we made another day trip to the Hoh Rain Forest. We wanted to spend the night in the Hoh campground but a large storm with high winds was forecast to come in. With all the gigantic trees in the campground we decided to stay in Forks yet another night. 

We joined a very loooooooong walk and talk through the rain forest. We learned a lot about trees. Andy and Drew managed to escape for a little while but Cubby and I stuck it out and managed to stay awake. In August it's actually unusual for it to be so rainy. 


It. just. keeps. going. The ranger programs are usually great and we love the time and enthusiasm the rangers put in. But some are more engaging than others. We did learn that the big trees on the beach get washed down the rivers out into the ocean. 

On our drive out we saw this big elk just chilling. It turns out we made the right call not to camp in the Hoh campground. The forecast storm came in and so many trees came down that they evacuated the ENTIRE park! So we sat it out in Forks which is a pretty dreadful place to be stuck. There is literally nothing to do. So we sat in the office using the wifi and watching the refugees from the park campgrounds file in looking for a spot for the night. Then we had a super fried birthday dinner for me at Sully's drive in. Woot. 

 Even though we finally had a reservation at Kalaloch we couldn't use it because it was closed. Once the storm passed, Andy made a call and we got word that the South Beach campground was reopening. We went there in a hurry and got this great spot! It was really gorgeous and the kids immediately set to work building forts. 

And then it started to rain. And rain. And rain. It gave the kids plenty of time to finish up their junior ranger books and take the oath. 

And then it rained some more. The kids still played outside and we went for walks during breaks in the rain. 

The fort offers a little protection. 

After so many days of rain we decided to treat the kids to a visit to the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park which was sort of on our way to Mt. Rainier. Oh, look! A bear! 

We love seeing wildlife in the wild but this was pretty cool too. 

That's a serious rack!

Caribou! It was pretty tempting to reach out and touch those velvety antlers. 

Finally, a bear! 

No comments:

Post a Comment