Port Angeles, Washington – Big Trip 2019

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Cape Flattery

Thursday 29 August. – Off to Port Angeles. I believe it was a 2 ½ hour drive. We stayed at Elwah Dam RV Park site T5.  Hydro and water and it’s a nice little site. It costs one dollar for six minutes to shower so that’s not bad. We haven’t had to pay for showers too much this trip.  Two years ago when we went to the Yukon and Alaska, we paid almost everywhere.

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We went into town to the Visitor Center and got lots of information.

We stopped at the ferry to check out the times and the prices as we have to take the ferry over to British Columbia, Canada when we leave.

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Then we drove down to the Big Spit in Port Angeles and saw a loon. Not much else there though.  Normally you would see lots of waterfowl and other birds at areas like this.  Very quiet here.  Went back to town and walked around for a bit.

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Pretty cool statue
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Haha I love these things

Back to town to  Barhop Pizza and Brewery and we shared a taster tray but we did not like their beer.  The staff recommended a restaurant to eat at, and it wasn’t their own lol.

The Spruce restaurant was the one they recommended, so we walked down there.  Clint had fried chicken, gravy etc. and his was good. I had Coq au Vin pot pie, no gravy or sauce and it was flavourful but very dry and  hard to eat. We also shared a Cauliflower appetizer, awful.  It was very bland;  boiled and fried a little bit and then they threw some figs and chives on it. No flavor except for the figs.

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Friday 30 August –  cloudy and only 16 Celsius.  We left at 8:20 this morning to go to Madison Falls which is not far from where we are staying.  These Falls are small and maybe a 3 minute walk from the parking lot to view them.  Across from the parking lot was a big, gravel river which was pretty cool.

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Madison Falls
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Across the road from Madison Falls

On to Sol Duc Falls to do the trail, which was about .8 mile each way.  Took about 90 minutes.  Nice walk but the falls was more like cascades, turning into falls.  You could walk over a bridge and go to the other side so we puttered around there for a while.

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After that we stopped at a town called The Forks and went into an Outfitters store to look around.

Our main goal today was to head to HOH Rainforest in Olympic National Park.   The Rainforest averages about 140 inches of rain yearly.  That’s a lot and that’s why the vegetation is so lush here. We stopped here and there on the way  ending up at the Visitor Center.

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We looked around in the building and then we went outside and did the Spruce Trail which was about 1.2 miles. A really nice trail.

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This was one big tree!

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At the end of the trail!

Near the end of the trail, a couple that we were walking behind stopped. They had spotted a baby raccoon in a tree,  we watched him and as the couple started to leave, I spotted two more raccoons. They came back because I called to them that there were three babies now. We stayed quite a while and then ended up going back to the truck to get our better cameras. I did not get very good pictures even with my 300 mm lens. That was disappointing because they were super cute. One of the Park Rangers named Nicole stopped to talk to us for quite a long time and then we left and went home.

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Saturday 31 August   – sunny and 20 Celsius. We went to the Café Garden in Port Angeles and had a great breakfast. Omelettes and a big cinnamon bun for Clint, hash browns etc. This was a really nice place and really good food.  The staff were awesome and we really enjoyed this spot.

After that we drove to Dungeness Recreation Area, located in Clallam County Park and hiked down to the Spit. Really cute spot but very foggy.  Dungeness Spit is the longest natural sand spit in the United States.  It is 6.8 miles long! (10.9 km) and is very narrow as well as very long.  You have to park and then pay a fee to go to the Spit.  It’s not a very long hike and the area is beautiful.

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We hung around there for a while then drove back to town and stopped at Olympic Cellars.  We tried some wine and I bought a scarf and some tea towels.  They had a terrific gift shop in the winery, nice spot.

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Back into town we found a spot to park and we walked over to the Landing to meet our tour guide for our Underground Heritage tour, at $12 a ticket.

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The tour was two hours and we listened to a young girl tell the history of the town and she showed photos from years past.  Then she took us on a walk around the town and we went into two basements and an attic in another building, the attic used to be a brothel. Because of the water levels, years ago, they had to raise the buildings in the town.  There were flooding concerns in the early 1900’s so they decided to elevate the downtown streets.  This created underground tunnels and storefronts.  Many older buildings were lost but a few still remain.  It’s quite an interesting story.

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Used to be the main floor of the building, now it’s the basement
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Murals had been painted on these walls which are now the basement walls
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Another mural

There is a shoe store downtown and the attic rooms above it used to be a brothel.

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The attic of a house that used to be a brothel

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Shoe store beneath the brothel
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The Shoe Store has a lot of old fashioned items, so cool

After a tour was over we were already downtown and we noticed a festival called Jammin’ in the Park so we walked over  to have a look.  We got a table  and sat and had a beer and listened to some music.  Then a country band came on so we left.   We aren’t fans of Country bands.

We walked up to the ferry and chatted to some people while we double checked the times for our departure.

Sunday 1 September  –  cloudy and rainy 16 Celsius. Drove to Salt Creek County Park and saw the huge World War II bunker that was built there.   The Bunker was there for use as a harbour defence military base, Camp Hayden.  So now there are two bunkers and they used to house 16″ cannons, there were several smaller bunkers at the time also.

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Salt Creek Recreation Area County Park is 196 acres and has forests, sandy beaches, camping, rocky bluffs and more.  You can view the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island, Canada from here.

Then we walked from there down to the Tongue. It’s like a big spit but they call it the Tongue. It’s a big area where the tide goes out quite a ways.  You have to walk down some steep stairs and then climb down some rocks to reach the land. Tons of people were there, swimming, sitting, kayaking.  Quite an interesting place and some interesting rock formations.

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Then we stopped for a few minutes at Pillar Point at Pillar Point County Park but we didn’t stay too long.

We wanted to go to Cape Flattery but you have to purchase a parking permit.  The pass is managed by the Makah Tribe and is available at Washburn’s General Store, The Makah Museum, and many other locations in Neah Bay.   You can also use it for Shi Shi Beach.

So we purchased our pass and on to Cape Flattery.  Loads and loads of cars were parked there but finally got a place to park.  We had to hike down to the point. The walk was 3 km total and it was damp and spitting rain a little. It was a great trail but slippery because it was wet. This is a beautiful area on the coast, overlooking big rocks and an island that has a lighthouse on it.  Amazing scenery.  This is the furthest point northwest in the USA. It was a very cool spot. Took us about 90 minutes total and we got some nice pictures.

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This was a very pretty trail
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Views from the end of the trail
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Lighthouse on an island
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It was raining and muddy so I was not clambering into this chair!
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A view from a side section of the trail

We also saw two Juvenile Bald Eagles on a rock as we were driving home.  As soon as we stopped to get out of the truck they flew away.  Clint took this photo when we stopped to try to get a photo of the Bald Eagles.  This is a beautiful coastal drive.  Black and white photo of a huge rock just off the shoreline.

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We also saw quite a few deer along the highway as we headed home.

Monday 2 September –  sunny with cloudy periods 19 Celsius. Drove to the Quileute Reservation.  We went to Beach number one and it was really foggy you could not see anything. And yes they call their Beaches, Beach # One, Beach #Two etc .  We left and went to find some washrooms for me, when we came back there were huge big rock formations just off the shore. What a surprise ! It was quite something that we couldn’t see them when the fog was there and now Wow there they are. And they are big.  .

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We could see Beach number two and the shoreline but chose not to go but instead went to  Rialto Beach. This is a very cool beach with lots of bleached driftwood and huge trees. The water is very wavy and there was a “hole in the rock” rock just out past the water line. We walked around quite a bit and took a lot of photos. Unique spot.

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Rialto Beach

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It was about an hour drive from Port Angeles to these beaches.

We left and headed home and stopped at Harbinger Winery just down from our trailer park. We shared a taster tray and Clint liked their wine a lot which was mostly reds and I only liked one of their white wines. They also had beer on tap so we each got a glass, an IPA and a Porter, both pretty good.  They had a cute outside area out back, a nice patio and comfy couches. This is a really cute place and a really nice lady that runs it. If I lived here I would be frequently visiting for a nice relaxing afternoon.

We also drove up to Hurricane Ridge, this road is right in town and you take a drive up 17 miles and I mean UP. You end up at 5200 feet and the temperature goes from 23 Celsius at the bottom to 13 Celsius at the top.  This road is very cool. And lots of deer.

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View from the top
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View from the trail

There’s old ski lift up there and we walked some of the trails and stopped at different lookouts. At one spot there was a cute deer right beside the trail where we were.  We spent a long time watching him, he was not shy at all.  You can see Mount Olympus from here. This is a really neat place.

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Shy or not?
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Part of the old ski lift
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The road coming back down
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We stopped at a Lookout on the way back down

Back home to Canada tomorrow!

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