"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Great Adventures Continue

I slowly turned away from the Olympic National Park and focused on making my way back east. The first stop along the way was in Port Townsend. Upon the recommendation of several friends I made reservations for an all day whale watching tour that included a tour of some of the San Juan Islands and a stop in Friday Harbor for two hours.  

I also opted to stay at the RV park at the Marina in Port Townsend.  The price between the marina and the state park was about the same and I liked the change of scenery.  I also liked the laundry and restaurant.

Wooden sea kayaks are made in a building right next to the RY park. They look gorgeous but I don't think I would want the upkeep of the wood.  And I bet they aren't as light as a Hornbeck!

Nothing between the rigs and the water but sea breezes.

And the next day all I had to do was walk over to the dock.

In the mean time the dogs and I just walked around in general.

Think it's small enough to pull with a Honda Fit?  It was a classic and it was tiny.

Our boat for the tour.

The morning was bright and mostly clear.

Look one direction and you could see the mountains of Olympic National Park peaking around clouds.

Off in another direction was Victoria, B.C. sitting out under a cloud bank.   No time for a Canadian visit this trip.

A small family compound on the western shore of San Juan Island.

And there were several pods of Orcas to follow around here and there.....

And some folks just hung out on their yachts.

Must remember where the boat is parked so we can find it again.

Taxi/Tour services do need both bike and kayak carriers for either their own equipment or for the equipment those that walk on the Ferries carry with them.

Leaving the harbor and heading back we passed this gentleman and his trusty Golden Retriever settling down for a sleep behind him.

I walked past one of the Real Estate offices while I explored Friday Harbor.  If you can afford the price of land and real estate  here on the island the price of the commute is nothing.

It was very peaceful up on the bow of the boat until it wasn't.  The water got a bit rough about the last 45 minutes out and the young ladies enjoying the quiet all got a bit damp all at once.

This picture is especially for Nan because I know how much she "loves" ferry rides.  I took the short ride from Port Townsend over to Whidbey Island.  I got to see most of Whidbey Island and came out north of Seattle and close to where I wanted to pick up the North Cascade Highway.   I may need to get back to Ohio in a timely manner but I didn't want to miss everything.

The new GPS knew exactly were I was even if it was in the middle of the water.

Another first for me, taking a Ferry in the rig while towing a car and knowing that neither my rig nor my car has a bunch of clearance on the bottom to work with.....

The drive up Whidbey Island was very nice and there were several beautiful sections.  Stuart refused to come up front and man the camera.  Once we picked up the highway there was plenty of eye candy to look at and a couple of pull offs.

More mountains for the Louisiana Woman.....

But eventually as you head farther and farther east the lands begin to change.  Northern Idaho is still beautiful and for an interstate, I-90 is pretty spectacular across Idaho and on into the mountains of western Montana. Eventually the mountains begin to smooth themselves out into the look of the western B movie.

And for $5 you can stay in a National Park campground right off the rest area on I-90.  All the dogs agreed that it was a better choice than the Walmart located 40 minutes farther down the highway I had initially selected as a destination for the day.   It was pretty and I was tired of driving.

Even stopping for gas in Montana provides nice vistas.

Now the next night I did made the pups stop at a Walmart. It was time to refill a prescription and pick up some fresh salad makings.   I drove too many miles a day but it will all work out.  Took an extra night at the National Park Campground at Devils Tower in WY to rest up.   Pictures to follow sometime.  

Currently sitting in Custer, SD and listening to the purr of motor cycles and thinking of Nan and Sharon.  Sturgis Week starts this weekend and many many of the faithful have begin to gather.  Nan, I think you need a Trike like Sharon's.....I can so see you zooming around these roads.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Rialto Beach and Huricane Ridge

I am calling tomorrow to try to get a reservation for my boat ride for whale watching and a visit to San Juan Islands.   I made a mistake, maybe. I took out my calendar and started to figure backwards from my South Dakota driveway reservations.   So many things to see and beautiful roads to drive down but then I remember back to all the things that Mitch and I started out on our "maybe" list.  We did make many of them and truthfully we knew we couldn't do it all.   So I decided to be glad for what I have been able to wander around and see and able to experience what I have. I will now remember that I have reasons to come back to the PNW another time.   Li's Seattle driveway will be ready by then and, I will be honest, I may drive around the wilderness by my self just fine but I much prefer the local knowledge of the "tourist" guides that live in these larger cities.  (A credit to the excellent guides of my past city adventures.)

So I need to finish up these last pictures from the Olympic National Park.  Tomorrow I don't drive far but there is that laundry pile to be taken care of and three dogs that need baths. The dog bedding is giving off the aroma of well seasoned, wet, sandy, beach dogs......

Rialto Beach is known for the size of its driftwood and its driftwood piles.  Each time I headed over to visit the beach the weather seemed different.   The first evening it was way to blustery from comfortable walking but did make dramatic sounds of crashing waves.

Stuart's morning was much brighter and warmer.

I think I saw a painting like this once depicting some of Dante's levels of Hell.

"It is fun to be "only dog" at the beach"  says Stuart. "Can those other dogs do this and look so regal?  Audrey better start practicing her "sit/stays" or she will never make it."

I wasn't expecting the beach to be so full of colorful stones......Stuart was fine with me picking through the treasures.   In the evening Audrey came back with me for another walk.  It was much more blustery and for the longest time Audrey seemed to think that if I was going to pick up something she needed to check it out to see if it was anything eatable.   Really, Audrey, you just had supper?

Two young women hikers making their way down the beach with packs fully loaded.

Two young men wading down the beach not far behind the women......

A lone hiker with two home made wind spinners sticking out of his pack. 

Where's Waldo?

And if you are lucky enough to have a dog that makes you walk down the entire length of the beach you find Ellen Creek and the tide pools.

And just like I had to explain Stuart about how dangerous "riptides" can be, I now had to explain what "Photo Bombing" someones photo means.... He claims he meant nothing by it.   

And back to Mora National Park Campground to walk around the camping loops and amoung the trees.

Killer logs temporarily asleep. If you watch closely you can see them breathing but so still until it is time to roll and crash some more.

And today after moving around to Heart of the Hills National Park Campground we all drove up to Hurricane Ridge to get some views of the mountains that make up the Olympic National Park.  The dogs can't walk on trails within the National Park but the weather was cool and they didn't have to stay in their kennels in the RV.   We gained some elevation as we drove.

Bambi's cousin Fred was lunching in the parking lot.

Mountains for Vickie.....

People of the mists.

Apparently Fred is not put off by the barking Spaniel in the front seat.  The car remained untouched by the wayward forest highwayman, though.

No lingering snow this year.

Fred's sister Susie, entertained the tourists as they walked past her lunch spot only a few feet from the hiking trail. She was not concerned.

Our quick drive through Port Angeles.

Here in Heart of the Hills there was a tremendous storm some thirty years ago that blew down 92 trees in the campground alone.  This is what "Blow Down" looks like.

Fortunately this is what regrowth of 30 plus years looks like.

 So I explain again to Stuart that he can't go in the ocean to swim without his leash on because of riptides.  He explains again to me that he is a dog and dogs don't understand stuff they can't see, sniff hear, chew on or experience directly.  He thinks that it is just another evil plot to keep him from swimming.   He doesn't really believe there are alligators all over Florida either.  

"How about the pond in Tennessee? Can I still swim there and be safe?" asks Stuart remembering past adventures fondly.