Day 1 Road Trip

We had planned an early start but somehow it was 11 before we were ready to go. Lots of paperwork and last minute stuff for the offer we made on Patti’s house and on the refi on our house.

The weather was beautiful, though. Brilliant sunshine but not very warm. This is the typical two weeks in February that we always seem to get where we think it is spring – then we get slammed again.

The kitties aren’t old enough to understand what duffel bags and packing are all about so they were having lots of fun exploring and playing in the bags as we tried to pack. Autumn is kitty sittimg and there are sticky notes all over everything with instructions!

First stop was in Sequim at Staples for a file folder to put all my notes and collected paperwork from the trip. Then onwards. Port Angeles is an interesting town. When you drive in, it is pretty shabby but as you get closer to the center, you can see it is picking itself up. I had noticed last time I was there, this little drive through burger joint called Frugals. It looks sort of like 50’s diner but its drive through and there seems to always be a line. As we drove by, at 12 o’clock, there was a long line so we decided it must be a Best Place and did a U-turn and got in line ourselves. They were pretty good burgers and the line went fast so I think it will make the book.

Lake Cresecent is gorgeous and I have to find out how long it is – but it is 600 feet deep. With the mountains surrounding it, it really is a spectacular place. The lodge is closed in the winter so we don’t get to stay there. On to Forks – I can’t find (yet) anything to promote about it but we are going out there next week to a B& B so maybe I will learn something then.

We decided to go the Hoh Rain Forest on the way – it is the wettest place in the contiguous US with something like 140 inches of rain a year. The road in is through forest lands that have been logged and then through some farmlands. It runs along side the Hoh river which is very wide and a chalky blue from glacial chalk in the Olympic Mountains. There are huge trees and lots of logs washed up – evidence of the big storm that raged through last week. The road is littered with leaves and lots of trees were downed and looks like the rangers have been busy cuttting them to clear the road. We drove all the way up to the ranger station and visitor center but it was closed so we had a look around and drove back. The trees lining the road are covered with creepy moss. They look like something out of a spook movie or a sci fi movie – all ghostly and as sun hit the pavement, steam would rise making them even more ghostly. We saw some elk too, a mother and a one year old and then a herd of females in a field. Not quite like a game reserve in South Africa but at least there are still signs of wild life around.

The other wild life was on the river where there were several drift boats – they are usually aluminum and one guy rows and the others cast and fish for salmon – but is is all catch and release. Then there were some guys fly fishing too. Good weather brings every one out.

Stopped in at Kalaloch for a martini at sundown – beautiful sunset over the water and a very low tide. I expected a bigger surf after the storm but it was almost waveless. I called ahead to Lake Quinault to let them know we were running a bit late.

Arrived at the lodge in the dark to find that we had no reservation – somehow either the hotel had screwed up or th PR lady had but anyway they had a room for us. So not a good start! We have a funky room in the main Lodge, old-style hotel room and it’s nice being in the main lodge. The floors creak and the stair bannisters are worn absolutely smooth by the thousands of hands that have used them over the last 100+ years. Went down to the main lounge which has a huge fireplace that was putting out lots of heat and parked ourselves on one of the oversized couches and waited and waited for our drinks. When they finally arrives, the waitress said she didn’t know how to make them and had to find someone who could. Rather strange for such a big and well-known place. On to dinner and another long wait for service. When it finally arrived – Chris has steak and I had salmon – it was OK but nothing exceptional. Which means that the hotel may or may not make it into the book because I don’t know whether it actually rates as a Best Place. It’s gorgeous and historic etc but….