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06/05-12/2013

Link to just pictures.

Wednesday
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.

Thursday
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.

Friday
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.

Saturday
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.

Sunday
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.

Monday
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.

Tuesday
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 long time!