to just pictures.
We stayed in a Denver hotel close to the airport and woke to a rainy
morning. Our 9am direct flight to Seattle went well, with great views of Rainier
and sunny skies in Seattle. Our rental Toyota Yaris was hesitating and not
driving correctly, we questioned whether to take it back to the airport, but
decided not to. We choose to take the ferry to Bremerton since Miles would enjoy
the scenic 1hr boat ride. On the way back to the lower deck, Miles was standing
in front of a door and below the window, a guy couldn’t see him and opened the
door which just about tore his big toenail off… ouch. Then our car wouldn’t
start on the ferry! After several tries it started and putt-putted along into
town. Jean got on the phone with Hertz and fortunately someone had just
cancelled the one car at the one Hertz in Bremerton! We laughed that it was a
mini-van, but it was quite roomy and like a giant Swiss-Army knife. The
hour-long drive to Port Angeles was scenic and we stopped at the awesome Silver
City Brewery for lunch. Once in Port Angeles we got some groceries for the week,
walked along the breezy pier, and had dinner at the not-ever-updated restaurant,
Joshua’s, next to our hotel. It was a good score since Miles loved the grilled
cheese and red apple sauce.
After a decent night’s sleep (despite my jacked-up back) we had breakfast
at the hotel then headed up Hurricane Ridge. The 17 mile road went from the
ocean up to 5300ft. Snowy peaks and great views all around. We hiked up to
Sunrise Point and soaked in the scenery and great weather. We had lunch on the
porch then walked along the closed portion of Hurricane Hill Rd. We drove back
into Port Angeles and west to Lake Crescent, where we parked at the Storm King
Ranger Station and hiked through the rain forest back to the 90ft Marymere
Falls. It was awesome seeing all the giant trees and moss hanging off of
everything. The waterfall didn’t suck either.
Back to Port Angeles for tasty carne asado steak tacos and fish ‘n
chips at the Kokopelli Grill. We also discovered the local giant playground for
Miles to run off some steam.
In the morning we drove west to the Hoh Rain Forest. It took a couple of
hours, but the drive was beautiful and it was rainy (we were in the rain forest,
afterall). We checked out the visitor center then hiked along the Hall of Mosses
Trail. WOW…. Everything was so lush, green, and super-saturated! Giant trees
with other trees growing off of them, nurse-logs, and moss everywhere. We were
slightly bummed that we didn’t see any giant slugs though. Next was a drive to
Rialto Beach to see the “sea stacks”. It was drizzly and foggy (no wonder
they filmed vampire movies here) but the views were awesome…. Tons of giant
logs washed up on the beach and sea stacks jutting out of the ocean.
Next was exploring the town of Port Townsend and Fort Worden State Park.
Fort Worden had a cool artillery museum, a Marine Science Center (lots of
please-touch tanks full of anemone and star fish), and old bunkers/battery’s
from the early 1900’s to explore. We had a headlamp and went in all of the
dark corridors and rooms pretending there were monsters and spooky things.
Really interesting stories how they strung miles of “submarine barbed wire”
through the bay, and how they fired the weapons without all of our modern day
technology. We also walked along the beach to see the lighthouse and the seal
pups swimming around.
We drove along the very scenic and curvy highway 112 (reminded us of the
Road to Hana in Hawaii). Our destination was Cape Flattery, the
northwestern-most point in the contiguous United States. It was a fun little
hike past lots of cedar trees and through the rain forest again. A lot of the
trail was on boardwalks and it reminded us of where the Ewoks live in Return of
the Jedi. From the lookout we could see the rugged coast in both directions and
Tatoosh Island. Next was Sol Duc hot springs and waterfall. We ate at the
pool-side deli…. I had raw chicken fingers while Jean and Miles had green hot
dogs. GROSS! We soaked in all of the hot springs, but the people watching was
the most entertaining. Especially the very old and skinny guy in a tye-dye
speedo who kept dipping his long beard into the source of the springs and doing
poolside yoga! Glad to be out of there, we hiked up to the Sol Duc falls. WOW!
Awesome cascades surrounded by mossy rocks, then the enormous and roaring falls!
Cool stuff. Along the way driving back Jean spotted a group of 5 bald eagles
standing along the beach. The awesome Mexican food at Fiesta Jalisco made up for
the stomach-churning lunch.
This was our day to relax a bit and let Miles pick what to do. We spent a bit of
time at the Ranger Station, where Miles took his Junior Ranger oath, and then we
played with the giant lifecycle floor puzzles and displays. Since Miles was such
a good kid most of the week he got to pick out a souvenir, he choose a little
stuffed sea otter puppet that he named Roosevelt. We hiked up around Hurricane
Ridge again, but the weather wasn’t nearly as nice as a few days ago. Back
into town to the Marine Life Center… funny how Miles was more interested in
playing in the sand then touching anemones and star fish! Great displays and
tanks full of sea life and miniature jellyfish. We drove through the marina and
out along the Ediz Hook then went back to Miles new favorite playground. Since
he got to pick where we went to dinner, it was back to Joshua’s for grilled
cheese and red apple sauce again.
By now, sleeping, standing, and sitting were painful for my back and neck….
Fun! We got all packed up, said goodbye to Port Angeles and headed back towards
Seattle. We went slightly south of Quilcene and took a hike through Falls View
Canyon, then to the overlook of the 120ft waterfall. We had a great lunch in a
small diner/brewery then caught the ferry in Bainbridge Island. Back in Seattle
we parked near the pier and walked around. Miles and Jean rode the giant
over-priced ferris wheel, then we went to Pikes Market to see the flying fish.
We stayed at a hotel near the airport, had dinner, and caught up on the terrible
news of the Black Forest fire.
Wednesday was an easy travel day back to Colorado, despite the terrible Denver
traffic. Another awesome vacation to a place that we’ve wanted to go to for a