Archive for the ‘Seattle’ Category

Seattle, Monday, April 11, 2011   Leave a comment

Our last day in Seattle, the day started chilly and gray.   After learning about Hurricane Ridge on Friday, I was hoping the road would be open; the road was closed Sunday due to snow.  Bill wanted to visit Cape Flattery – the most Northwestern mainland United States destination.   After breakfast we headed for Olympic Peninsula via Seattle/Kingston Ferry, the same trip Kathy and I took Friday.  It was going to be nice to  just be look instead of trying to drive and look at the same time.  The sky was intermittently clearing.  (Bill thanks for your willingness to drive when we take these road trips).

Bill sitting in the passenger waiting area of the Ferry.


Mountains view from Ferry

I had tried to explain to Bill the stacks of rocks and rocks on top of tree stumps that I had seen along the side of the road while driving between Kingston and Olympic National Park Visitor Center.  Look NOW seemed to be a theme for part of the trip.  We couldn’t get a picture of a rock topped stumps because there wasn’t a safe place to pull over but I did get a picture of the stacked rocks.  I couldn’t find much about boulders on top of stumps (possibly a way to keep the stump/tree from continuing to grow) and everything I found about stacked rocks are a form of Inuit communication/directions.  Here is information on the stacked rocks – Inukshuk (a stone figures made by the Inuit)  This might explain why the Inuit may have been in Washington creating these directional markers:

Directions to  the Gallery?

Along highway 101 near Sequim we saw the sign for “Purple Haze Lavender Farms”.  Friday I thought if given the opportunity I wanted to stop.  After driving quite a distance, we decided that we had missed Purple Haze and decided we would try the next farm.  The next sign was for  LOST MOUNTAIN LAVENDER FARM.   What grand luck we had!  This is off-season for this area.  The store was ‘closed’.  When they heard our car coming down the driveway we were warmly greeted and shown the store.  Heartfelt apologies extended for the cold conditions of the on-site store, if they had known we were coming they would have built fire in the wood burning stove.  While I shopped, Bill chatted with Mr. Hanna.  Oh the prices, oh the smells, oh my, wonderful customer service and beautiful pottery work Barbra has created!  If you get a chance to visit this area don’t miss Lost Mountain Lavender Farm! 

While gathering several things, (bulk flowers, Lavender Wands, candles, and Lavender Culinary Salt – YUMMO!)  I overheard Gary explain to Bill the weather situation in this area of Olympic Peninsula.  According to Gary this area is basically a desert and requires irrigation, without irrigation nothing will grow.  I thought – Humph! This is Seattle, the land of green, the land of moss growing on roofs, the land of rain in the forecast EVERYDAY.  I was beginning to think urban legend.  Google verification would be necessary.

 Between the view of the mountains and the Lavender farms I quickly decided this would go on a list of must visit again.  Here is a visitors pamphlet I found online while looking for the Olympic Peninsula Desert:

Irrigation vs Urban Legend:  Irrigation IS required because Sequim sits in the “Rain Shadow” of the Olympic Mountains:  The Rain Shadow phenomenon has just blown my mind!  (Bill keeps reminding me that my Dork light glows when I talk about the Rain Shadow.)  We live on and AMAZING Planet!

Our next stop was a quick subway sandwich and off to Olympic Park Visitor Center.  Even though we left the hotel by 9:30 it was already lunch time. The visitor center is on the way to Hurricane Ridge and only a slight detour on the way to Cape Flattery.   I wanted to get my National Parks Passport Book stamped and pick up a few postcards on the way to Hurricane Ridge.  Bill looked at the maps and talked to the park ranger and quickly decided that it might be best to skip the ridge.

Since it was already past noon seeing snow at Hurricane Ridge quickly became unimportant to me also.   We have snow in St. Louis, we’ll see snow again.  Bill had never seen any part of the rocky west coast and hey who can deny wanting to see the furthest Northwestern point of the United States Mainland (didn’t see from maps and research that the furthest point would be an island off Cape Flattery).  Bill mapped out our ‘tour’ of the Olympic Peninsula.  Our points of interest would be; Cape Flattery, La Push for possible whale sightings then on to Forks to get back on highway 101. Depending on time would determine if we returned the way we came or if we would get back on 101 and head towards Interstate 5 back to Lynnwood.  A very do able trip for the amount of daylight left or so you would think?

Sights along the way to Cape Flattery:

Bus Stop? There’s a little room carved out of this tree trunk.

Turn out along Hwy 112


This was not in Hoh Rain Forest but as far as I’m concerned – It’s a rain forest!


Cormornats: Phalacrocorax auritus Double-crested Cormorant


Vancouver Island between water and clouds



 These signs appeared along the way on to Cape Flattery on Highway 112 with various number of miles to be Cautions.

I really liked this turn out area with the trees slightly blocking full view of the strait.  It feels that these type of pictures have become a signature shot – we’ll see.

So Beautiful!

Sea Stack with Vancouver Island in the background.  How many years did it take to wash away the rest of the island?


Our first destination was Cape Flattery so we took Highway 101 and for Twilight fans we caught Highway 112 out of Port Angeles.  We were in and out of rain the entire way to Cape Flattery. It would ran for a bit, then the sun would come out, it would rain for a bit and then more sun.  The roads are good but a bit twisty.  There are many turn outs on the way to Neah Bay.   We laughed a bit repeating “I know international affairs because I can see Canada from my car window.”  (Hey, we were very close to Alaska and the rest is political and SNL history.)  Vancouver Island is within seeing distance across the Strait of Juan De Fuca. This is an amazingly beautiful shoreline with many islands beautiful beaches and Sea Stacks.  It was a quiet ride for us because we were so absorbed in the beauty of the area.  Every time I look at a map or look up something on the internet, I find yet another place we need to see that we missed on the Olympic Peninsula. 

Highway 112 takes you through the town of Neah Bay which is the Makah Indian reservation.  While driving through town I noticed several Bald Eagles flying around and sitting on a boardwalk (?).  Yes I was that passenger, “STOP!” At one point I counted 7 Bald Eagles, flying and walking about.  AMAZINGLY Close!  Amazingly close to people.  As soon as I stepped out of the car I could smell it – the smell of burning cedar.  I imagine there are several smoke houses in the area. I have one picture of a Bald Eagle flying with what appears to be salmon fillet waste. 

Eagle and Sea Gull

Eagle with fish scraps

Landing in the wind


Mighty windy

In Flght with fish

We drove as close as possible to Cape Flattery and then walked the ¾ mile trail the Makah Tribe’s have created to the tip of Cape Flattery.   I’m so happy that we skipped the snow for this beautiful world, words cannot describe it!  Below are a few links about this area:

Cape Flattery:

Cape Flattery Cave

Bill and I:  Another couple asked us to take their picture and offered to take ours.  Happy Anniversary Bill!

Another tree framed shore – Love it!

beautify clifs of Cape Flattery

It took a bit of internet sleuthing to figure out the purpose of the structure on the northern end of the island (looked in Flickr and Google Images but most ‘cut’ the structure from their pictures).  With aid from the camera lens I thought it might be a ship mast from a long ago ship wreck or some sort of ship sculpture.  I didn’t think – who’s going to see art out there or how they would have gotten it on the island.  After many dead ends but very interesting information on Totoosh Island history, I discovered that structure was a hoist used for island access.  The island top is 75 to 100 feet almost straight above very rough surf.   The basket hoist was used to raise and lower people to a waiting boat below.  Everything that was brought to the island was brought up using this hoist – groceries, furniture, children of the light keeper (first light keeper family arrived at the island with 7 children), building materials, EVERYTHING.  Post Pearl Harbor this island was used as a ‘listening’ post by the Navy.  A school and several additional buildings where added during the days Navy personnel where stationed on the island.  After making the lighthouse fully automatic with solar powered warning beacon and horn, The United States has remediated the damage done to the island (lead, leaking oil tanks, abandoned buildings etc.).  It was assumed that the United States ‘owned’ the island but after litigation it was determined that the island was originally part of the Indian’s fishing grounds which was not included in the original 1855 treaty. The island has been returned to the Makah. 

Totoosh Island

Totoosh Island Light House

Totoosh Island Hoist


Below are several links that better explain the recent history of this area and links other’s beautiful photography.

“Find” Tatoosh Island, Washington

Great picture of the crane

Great pictures of this area and a few of the island and crane too.

page 8 Great source of information on lighthouse and the ‘problems’ with the Indians.  There is also a picture of the crane basket being used.

This site includes Island History and background with details about the Makah’s use of this island.  It also details remediation plans/accomplishments.

On the way out of Neah Bay we stopped at Raven’ Corner Makah Art, Craft and Gift Shop,  I bought the prettiest cedar bark “Ozette Spiral” basket   Wow just discovered another place that is normally closed on Monday.  Glad Melissa decided to be ‘Open’ for us, Thanks Melissa!

On to LaPush:  The sun was starting to set by the time we arrived in LePush.  We drove through town to the beach, WOW! The trees along the beach, the colors (not sure how much was natural to this area and how much it was the ‘color’ of things due to the orange light of the setting sun.  Everything had an orange/brown hue.   Again we could smell cedar smoke in the air. 

La Push Gull


Green rocks line this  part of the shore in La Push

We noticed the Tsunami evacuation signs and after a comment that was made in Forks, I’ve researched and discovered the Quileute Tribe has NO protection from a Tsunami    Please watch the video in the attached link to learn more about legislation (H.R.1162 and S. 636 Please contact your representative and remind them to support S.626 and/or H.R. 1162.  The Quileute Tribe living in LePush at the edge of Olympic National Park has 8 minutes to evacuate Tribe’s administrative buildings, school, elder center, and housing once a Tsunami warning is issued: 

…to provide the Quileute Indian Tribe with approximately 275 acres of land currently located within the Park and approximately 510 acres of land along the Quillayute River, also within the Park…

Next to last camera shot of the trip.  Taken from the shore of La Push.


We saw the Twilight Welcome sign.  We had heard about Twilight but unlike the Harry Potter series, never got ‘into’ it.  We stopped at a little store to pick up post cards when a bus full of Twilighters arrived.  The lady that checked them gave directions to First Beach a must see for Twilight fans.  There was quite a bit of Twilight ‘stuff’ in the store.  To be honest, I thought oh that’s cute when the lady gave us a very brief description of the series.  It was time to head to Forks.

Upon arrival in Forks, one of the first things we noticed was a sign that said “Edward Collin did not sleep here”.  There were several “Welcome Twilighters” around town too.  OK so Forks has embraced Twilight too.  Because it was after dark, we didn’t know where we were so we stopped at the first open restaurant which happened to be  Forks Coffee Shop. We had a good dinner and the waitress helped us understand La Push and Forks (rain fall estimates for Forks and the Tsunami issues in LaPush).  The signs below were near the register.  I made a mental note that it was time to become familiar with Twilight.  My research list was getting longer and longer, I had a lot of research to do when we got home. 

Twlight Tipping Point

Even though it was dark we continued on 101 until we could get to Interstate 5 to Lynnwood.  We arrived at the hotel at 2AM (day started at 9:30 and ended 2AM – 17 ½ hours sightseeing in the Olympic Peninsula and we just scratched the surface of things to do and things to see in this area).  Since I had slept in the car on the way back, Bill napped while I packed because we had an early flight and we needed to leave the hotel around 4 AM to make it to the airport in time to return the car and get through security.  It was a long day and a memorable trip.

Lynnwood to Kingston = 0:41 = 10.1 miles
Kingston to Cape Flattery  = 3:23 = 137.0 miles
Neah Bay to Cape Flattery  = 1:59 = 67.1 miles
La Push to Forks = 0:37 = 15.5 miles
Forks to Olympia (Interstate 5) = 2:56 = 157 miles
Olympia to Lynnwood = 1:24 = 77.4 miles
Total drive time without stops = 11.00 hours
Stopping/hiking/eating = 5:30 hours
Miles = 464.10
Start time = 9:30 AM
Return time = 2:00 AM

Next a few Black and White images and my thoughts on our trip.


Posted May 7, 2011 by cjaaron1 in Seattle, Uncategorized

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