01 Jul 2020

Olympic Peninsula 2020, Day 3

This is the last day of our road trip. We had such a good time and learned a bunch too.
Today's first stop was Port Townsend. Just imagine a fresh pour over coffee with a deluxe bagel, lox and cream cheese sitting at a picnic table right on the water.  
What a quaint stop.
But the cutest was the Nifty Fiftys Soda Fountain. Talk about authentic.
Covid ensemble - a sign of the times.
The Hood Canal Bridge is the fourth longest floating bridge (1.25 miles) in the world. It is the only floating bridge over saltwater. It can handle 16.5 foot tides. All of the top four are in the Seattle area. 
By the way it is misnamed. Canals are manmade and Hood Canal is not man made. It is a fjord.
Then we visited Port Gamble (pop. 2,721) which, again, was yet another adorable place to walk around. It is right across the Hood Canal Bridge on the way to the Kingston Ferry.
Washington State Ferries operates the largest ferry system in the United States with 21 ferries carrying over 23 million passengers.
We took the 30 minute ride on The Walla Walla from Kingston to Edmunds. It hold 188 vehicles and 2,000 passengers. It was built 48 years ago, yet was perfect for the job - and immaculate.
We have arrived at our destination in Seattle. In the near future I will comment on the road trip concept, both in general and specific. 

30 Jun 2020

Kalaloch Beach 4 and Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic Peninsula, WA Day 1, 2020

This morning we drove four hours north and west of Portland to spend our last two evenings of this road trip at The Olympic Peninsula. We are in the far northwest corner of Washington State in the far northwest corner of the United States. I would doubt if 5% of the Seattle residents have been in this area. We are way far away.
Our first stop was at Kalaloch Beach 4 at the Pacific Ocean. It seemed like 25 flights to walk each way down and back. It was peaceful seeing a quiet expansive beach after so many days of other type of beauty.
Next we headed to the Hoh Rain Forest. Just the drive alone was worth the view. People talk about Seattle rainfall which is about 36 inches annually. By comparison, the Hoh Rain Forest gets more than 136 inches annually.
Somehow, even though I already handled the walk to/from the ocean, Allyn prevailed on me to handle two more trails at Hoh.
The weather was perfect. Allyn took about 150 photos which made my job of editing them down so tough as there were so many great ones.
Even the drive out was particularly interesting with an area of trees leaning to the middle of the street from both sides. We felt like we had an honor guard of sorts.
We found a food truck for take-out barbecue. They call it eat in because they have about three covered picnic tables. Cute place; great food.

30 Jun 2020

Sol Duc Falls, Olympic Peninsula, 2020, Day 2

Today's main attraction was Sol Duc Falls in the Olympic National Park. As usual just the drive there seemed to be worth the trip.
Right off the bat I wasn't thrilled to see the word "bear" though.
It was an easy .8 mile hike each way, and just that also was worth the visit.

As we got close, we heard the falls. Then we saw the rushing river which was incredible in itself. 
It was really difficult for us to capture their magnificence, but we tried. Allyn made a nice video that I posted on Facebook.
Then it was time to walk back and enjoy the forest again.
I had forgotten that we were going to be driving by Lake Crescent on the way to our destination by Port Angeles. That was quite a sight also. 

29 Jun 2020

Portland, OR 2020

Portland has been known as the Rose City, since 1888. They have thousands of rose bushes lining 20 miles of streets. 

We visited Washington Park,  a popular Portland tourist destination, with more than 9,500 rose bushes representing over 600 varieties. I was disabused of the notion that there were just red roses and a few yellow ones.

We called on Robyn Luchs and husband Perry Kenin, Crystal Cruise buddies, and absolutely loved their beautiful Portland woodsy home.

Robyn prepared a lavish five course feast that was worthy of a gourmet restaurant meal.

I have known for years that Perry dabbled in pottery and glass art. I had no idea how accomplished he is, nor what a major studio he has. 

The big kiln could only fit outside. He built it himself since there was no way to bring one in.

His pièce de résistance is a huge beautiful piece of glass art that hangs over their fireplace.
Thanks for hosting us.

28 Jun 2020

Bend, OR; Kayaking 2020

We had a half day to spend in Bend and did not want to waste it. After considerable research we signed up for a kayak tour with Wanderlust Tours. 
As alway this trip, we were quite concerned (due to Covid) about being with a group. They accommodated us quite well, in that we had our own kayak and we followed their group shuttle in our own vehicle to the lake.
Just the 45 minute ride up to Hosmer Lake would have been a worthwhile, gorgeous side trip. Mount Bachelor and two other mountains were right in our face.
Believe it or not I fell in to the lake. Our terrific guide Katie asked me to turn around and smile for a photo. She said it was the first time she ever saw one of these kayaks capsize.