Friday, August 17, 2012

The Last Day, Beaches

The last day of a vacation is truly bittersweet and sometimes downright depressing. Time to get back to the hot, dirty, noisy, city. But first a few pics of the last day.

The day started beautiful and looked to be another hot day. We actually had to ask for a fan for our cabin last night. The heat just stuck around. But this morning is was cool and welcoming.

From the front door of our cabin

We left our cabin about 9:30 to visit a couple of beaches. The first one was called Beach 4. Pretty original huh? My, was it beautiful! It was already warm and not too windy. This is the view at the top.

There was a small trail but pretty easy to navigate, even in flip flops. This was the view on the way down.

The tide was pretty high and the surf was pounding. There's nothing better than the sound of waves crashing on the rocks. From here we drove a few more miles to Kalaloch Beach. I haven't been here since I was a kid. It's not as picturesque as Beach 4 but it's pretty, clean, and not very crowded. We walked a ways, then had a seat in the sand and then when we realized we were feeling kind of hot and red, and decided we better head back to the car.

This is going to hurt tomorrow
When we got back to our cabin, we cleaned, loaded our suitcases and got the car packed with what we could. It was early to bed for us to get ready for a long day of travel back home.

As I type this last bit we've already been on the road for 6 hours with about another 5 to go. Ugh. Thanks for stopping by and following my trip with me, I appreciate it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Log and Mill Tour

Today was the Log and Mill Tour. We had to be in Forks by 8:45; it's about a 15 minute drive. Hubby wanted to leave at 7:30. Huh? I guess he thought there would be tons of traffic. This is the woods man, no traffic here. We arrived at 7:45, a whole hour ahead of schedule. We drove around town awhile and just took our time getting to the Logging Museum.

The van they use holds 14 people, including the driver, and we filled it. It took about 45 minutes to get up to the logging site and we had no idea where we were. It would have been nice if he told us which forest we were in, maybe it was top secret. Half of the drive was on a dirt road. We were bumping along so hard I thought the sides of the van were going to fall off. And it was literally shaking the pee right out of my kidneys. When we got to the site I was desperately looking around for a port-a-potty. I didn't care if it was used by a bunch of manly logger men, I would have used it.

The site wasn't as large as I thought it would be. I guess I watch too much TV.

The required attire of the day
Don't we look like we're having fun? The yarder was not working so there wasn't a whole lot going on. It looked like mostly loading up the trucks.

We then crammed back into the van and headed to the mill. On the way down the hill we stopped briefly to take a picture of Mt. Olympus, which is in the Olympic Mountain Range. Mount Olympus is the largest in the range at almost 8000 feet. When we all piled out of the van, you should have seen the bee line to the bathroom. I guess I'm not the only one that got shook up.

The mill is small with less than 20 employees. Our guide who was a retired logger, walked us through the mill. We had to wear earplugs so I'm afraid I didn't hear anything he was saying.

There really wasn't that much to take pictures of. Plus we were getting tired, hot, and hungry. So that's it for the Mill Tour. I'm glad we went, but probably wouldn't do it again.

Later that evening we took a short drive back to Rialto to catch a sunset. It wasn't as beautiful as some of the pictures I've seen but it was still a nice way to end the day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Was The Big Deal?

That's what I'm thinking now about Second Beach. I mean really, I've gone on and on about how hard it was, how high the driftwood was and how it about killed me.  Today,it just wasn't that bad. Sure, the legs got a workout and were a bit wobbly by the time we got to the bottom and I was glad I had my knee brace on.

But the whole experience was very pleasing and it was nice to be back.

It was cool, about 60 degrees at the trail head. We started out about 9:55 a.m. It was mostly quiet with only the sounds of dripping trees, crows, and a very unhappy chipmunk.

A little bunch of fungi growing out of a tree base
One patch of the trail it was very foggy. I just love this picture. So simple, but very dramatic.

Now, lets talk about the steps. My daughter and I decided to count them on the way up. We counted 128, give or take. They are mostly at the bottom though, so pretty concentrated. Some are short but some were very tall. It gives the legs a workout.

Finally we made it to the bottom, this is where our trek ended last time. We laughed as we got there. We couldn't handle this!? What a bunch of wussies we were. What was our excuse other than being overweight and out of shape? There had to be something!

This is the view from the other side of the logs. They weren't that hard to get over with several paths made from others winding through them. It was nice to get over and turn around to where we came.

The weather was cool and cloudy but still pretty nice. Some sun would have been nice but you take what you can get at the beach. It was more like a traditional beach too with a few rocks but mostly sand.

The tide was a little high and so we didn't get a chance to go through the little archway, that would have been nice. But we still got about an hour's worth of beach walking before it was time to head back up. We were a little tired when we got back to the car but not overly so. We felt very accomplished though! After eating lunch in the car we headed back to the cabin. Hubby and the Kid took a nap but not me!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back And Forth

Yesterday we just hung around locally. First we headed into La Push to look for our Quileute Indian friend. We found him right where we left him two years ago and we know now his name is Tom.
Was I right about his smoking hut looking like an outhouse?

Then he obliged me with a picture, but he wanted Hubby in it too.

Look at that one piece of dried fish ready to jump out on hubby!
 After we left with an armload of fish, we took it back to the cabin to put it in the fridge and went into Forks for some shopping. Two of the stores have closed down that depended on the Twilight fame to keep them alive. We didn't stay long, just grabbed some t-shirts,  groceries, and a cup of coffee with a bite of fudge.

We then went back to the cabin for some lunch and decided to go to Rialto beach. The weather was cooler, a little cloudy but the sun came out eventually. I grabbed some more round rocks so I could make a few more rock towers. I've given enough away to warrant making some more.

I still can't get over the size of the drift logs on Rialto, I think it's my favorite part because the beach is certainly not 'beachy'.

You can see the perspective of the size of the logs by my little tiny turquoise dot of a daughter trying to crawl over them.

Me and the Kid

I don't remember this log from before but I'm sure it just didn't land there recently. I got on it from the other end and it's clearly 5 feet across. It's amazing to know that something that big washed up hundreds of years ago.

I love these bare trees too

The beautiful sun is finally out
And here we have Og again trying to drag some driftwood down the beach to the car. I'm afraid there won't be any room for us on the way home. When I ask him where he's going to put it, he says in 'the yard'. If you look around Mr. Og, you will see that the yard is full of driftwood and if we ever have to leave our home, the driftwood will stay. It would have to take its own moving truck to take it anywhere.

After we left Rialto we went back to La Push to look at the marina. It's pretty small but it looked bigger from Rialto. If you stand on the logs you can see the marina in the distance.

While we were at the marina we noticed several houses on the other side of the street also selling smoked salmon. We went to one house and a nice woman came out to talk to us. We didn't bring much cash with us on this jaunt but she invited us in to show us what she had. Big fat pieces, marked at 20 bucks each. Hey wait! her pieces were twice the size as what Tom charged us. Oh well. She told us she was a Yakima Indian, but has been living Quileute for 40 years and her spouse was from New York. I don't know why, but that struck us as funny. He looked like he could have just walked off the set of Bonanza with his long black hair and bandanna on his head. Well, he did have those few eyebrow piercings so that must have been the New York influence ;-)  While we were in the house I looked around and saw not one empty space on the walls or tables. Every available space was taken by Native American pictures, trinkets, handmade dream catchers, etc. They live in shacks on the reservation and it's kind of sad. But they're very nice, humble people and I'm glad we stopped by. We bought one chunk then we headed back to the cabin where we had a wonderful dinner of smoked salmon!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Marymere and Sol Duc Falls

We started the day Sunday with breakfast with Hubby's cousin and husband. They're both really nice people and we enjoyed our visit between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

After that we headed out of town and spent some time in Port Angeles. We drove out on a sand spit named Ediz Hook and could look across to Canada.

O Canada

Then it was on to Marymere Falls. The trail was narrow and had more steps than I thought it would, especially the closer we got to the falls. The steps kept going higher and higher and I was very glad I bought that knee brace.
View from the trail
Marymere Falls drops 624 feet and I can only imagine how it would look in the Spring with heavy runoff.
Marymere Falls

It's our Anniversary today, 30 years!!

We were pretty tired by the time we got back to the car. And hot, darn near 90, even in the cool trees. But we drove on to find the Sol Duc. The drive was deeper into the woods and was just as hot in the parking lot although a little cooler on the trail. This trail was wider and a lot easier to navigate. Sol Duc comes from the Quileute which means sparkling waters. We could hear it before we saw it. It's not a tall waterfall but is definitely more powerful.

Along the trail there were many little footbridges to cross little streams.

By the looks of all the moss on these rocks you can tell that at times there is a lot of water coming through here, now it's down to a mere trickle.

And sometimes the trail itself is just as interesting as the destination. Too bad I caught that dude coming around the corner.

Getting closer.......

The very top of the falls.

As usual, my shots are not near as good as my daughter's. She has a new long lens and is learning how to work with the shutter speed on water. But here goes.

It really does look better in person. This is a side view.

That's all the energy I had to take any more. By then it was after 4:00 pm and the kid wanted to stop at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort to look through their gift shop. We flew through there and then headed to camp. We pulled in at 6:00, unloaded our stuff, grabbed some dinner and sat around the rest of the night. We had only hiked about 3 miles but it felt like more. The next day will be a day of rest before we try to tackle Second Beach.

Our little cabin with the Dazed Two on the left. The couple next to us is from Spokane also and we met a woman on the trail who is from just a little north of Spokane; small world.