Friday, October 15, 2010

Olympic Peninsula!!

Friday, Oct. 15, 2010
Olympic Peninsula!  We're taking US-101, which goes north on the east side of the peninsula, across the top, and down the west coast.  Amazing views, with the 2 lane road going along the coast line, straight down to the water - in some places, there's enough land for a house or cottages between the road and the beach.  Can see across the Hood Passage (120 miles long, 625 feet deep - as deep as Lake Superior) to the mountains on the other side.  To our left, there are really high mountains (when there is a break in the hillside that hugs the road on the west side).  We took a turn off road (4 miles) that was about 1-1/2 lanes (sometimes less) of twisty unpaved road with sheer drop off on Dan's side (going up) that we fervently hope is ended with a space big enough to turn this rig around!  The view is to be of Mt. Walker.  Because of clouds that covered the tops of the mountains, we couldn't see Mt. Walker - even without that, though, the view was spectacular.  On a clear day, you can see Seattle - today, we could see Puget Sound, but not Seattle.  The dense trees were all covered with some type of moss, and many were Sitka Spruce - lovely, lovely trees, some really big around and most very tall, and ALL very very straight!  
Some parts of the peninsula get 140 inches of rain per year - compare that to the 30 inches we get in Michigan! 
We talked to a young couple at the top of this overlook, who had climbed from the trailhead below - a hike of 2 miles, with an elevation gain of 2000 feet!  That's a pretty tough hike, no matter how young you are!  Another man who had driven to the overlook was planning on a bike ride tomorrow of 120 miles - I'm telling you, these Washington State people are FIT!!   (More narrative after the pics)
outhouse at the top of the overlook!

Sitka spruce

view from the overlook

Gena as part of the view....

more of the view

nice spot to enjoy the overlook

watch that first step - it's a LULU!!

from porch at Ft. Worden out to the water

beach - looks like Michigan

beach at Ft. Worden

lighthouse - still working, but automated

pier in Port Angeles

look at the pecs on that guy!!

huge  ship (oiler), waiting at Port Angeles for permission to go into Seattle

see the mountains south of town

view of the water through a bridge on the walking path
On the way down, I was treated to the view (note, extreme drop off WAY down) that Dan had on the way up - My daughter, Laura, would have had kittens at that sight!!
Next stop, Port Townsend.  On the turnoff for Port Townsend was a sign "Tsumi Evacuation Route"?? - yikes!  Port Townsend is in a lovely spot, has some old Victorian houses on the bluffs above the town.  Fort Worden is just west of town.  We rode our bikes to the lighthouse, toured the museum (Dan looked at the ordinance, talked to the volunteer guy; I hung around, talked to the volunteer woman about life in Port Townsend!).  We are camped for the night in Port Angeles, had a nice dinner, and will be on the ferry to Victoria, BC in the morning.  We're taking our bikes, and will have about 6 hours in town.
Life is good

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