Wednesday, September 5, 2012

DAY 15- Hurricane Ridge and Cape Flattery...

I woke up at 2AM to the sound of coyotes howling.  They sounded about ¼ mile off and I wasn’t too concerned because I was close to the bathrooms and other campers.  Besides, all my food supplies were in a plastic bin buried in my car.  Good luck to the coyote that could get to that!  I have enough time myself and I know which bin it is in.  Yes, I so need to figure out how to organize my car and I know I’ve got too much stuff.  Okay, it’s something I need to work on.  But  at least I survived the night and no Twilight vampires or Big foots ate me; so I’m still here and alive and relatively well.

I woke up again at 5:30AM; not because of a noise but due to cold.  I’m in a sleeping bag and I have almost every blanket in there with me.  I can see my breath.  MAN! It’s COLD!  And did I mention damp too.  There’s a layer of dew on everything and condensation inside my tent from my breathing all night.  I go to the KOA restroom and it’s warm in there.  It’s pretty sad when you go to the restroom to warm up.

So I decide I’m going to stay up and break camp early.  Now, to start a fire for breakfast; I have two logs left over from the bundle I bought last night.  BUT I have no kindling because I used it ALL last night to start the fire.  Oooopps!  So I wander around my campsite and am picking up leaves and what not that’s would be burnable.  I set it all up in the fire ring and start lighting matches.  Did I mention that it was damp?  Well, I got a great deal of smoke and more smoke.  It was perfect if I had smoke signals in mind but not one bit of flame. 

I finally remembered I had some paper bags in the car (another reason to ask for paper at your grocery store) and got those and then lite a match.  Go figure it worked!  It only took me a chilly 15 minutes to figure that one out.  Aww… life’s lessons aren’t they grand.  Thanks for the doritas tip mom!  Now, I know I can use those for kindling too.  I now know how to light a spicy fire!
Photo- Big boats at Port Angeles.

After I got packed and what not, I was on the road to Port Angeles, WA.  Some of you may remember that this town was in a few scenes of the Twilight vampire books and movies.  I went down to the coastline and took a couple of photos of big boats and then I went by the restaurant where Bella and Edward had their first date.  But overall, there wasn’t much scenic town area other than the port that I could find.
Photo- At top of Hurricane Ridge, a sea of endless mountains in one direction.
Photo- At top of Hurricane Ridge, the deeper blue areas just above mountain tops
that's Canada.  Yes, that's snow that will never melt in foreground. 
Photo- Me near the visitors center at top of Hurricane ridge.
Yep. there's snow and I'm running around in a skort!

Next, I headed up to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. OMG!  It was AMAZING!  It was like I was driving up to the nose bleed section of the mountains in the area to get the ridge.  But the 17 mile drive was VERY worth the views.  It was like seeing forever mountains one way and you could literally see all the way to Canada the other way. Wow!  I would highly recommend putting this on your list of things to see.  There is a fee to get into the National Park but it's well worth the price.  I decided to get an annual pass, since I'll be seeing more National Parks this year.
Photo- The "Indy 500" Shelby that I followed on a gravel road.

Then, I headed back to Port Angeles, and headed west on Hwy 101.  I took the turn off of Hwy 112 to go to Neah Bay.  This has got to be the most winding highway ever!  The speed limit was supposed to be 50mph but they kept throwing these 20mph and 15mph curves at you about every 5 miles; if not more.  Then, they of course had road construction going on.  Go figure!  There was this pattern of 10 miles of curve, 15 minutes of waiting and 5 miles of construction.  Then, I turned onto Hwy 113 as I got closer to Neah Bay.  It was the same thing.

I had to laugh because there was this guy from South Carolina in a brand new Shelby all muscled out that was in front of me.  He was racing around the curves like he was at the Indy 500, and I was always catching up with him at the construction zones.  He would be careful of every little bump in the construction zones but would pour on the speed as soon as we cleared the zones.  Then, we had a long part that was nothing but gravel roads.  I imagine that was not making him happy at all.
Photo- The trail at Cape Flattery is made of boardwalks and tree stumps.

I finally made it to Neah Bay after the three hour drive that should have been an hour and a half tops.  It was pretty but it wasn’t what it had been built up to be. I thought that the John Wayne Marina was more scenic.  Next, I went on to Cape Flattery which is the most northwestern point of the 48 US states.  It was about another 25 to 30 minutes to the parking lot to the trail head for it.  The trail is about half a mile long and is put together of boarded walk ways, tree stumps and winds through a forested area.  It’s a fun trail to go on.  I grabbed my camera and headed in. 
Photos- Scenes from Cape Flattery.

Photo- Tatoosh Island off Cape Flattery that has a light house on it.

Later, as I get down to the bottom they have a warning that there had been cougar sightings.  I thought that it was interesting that they put that information at the bottom of the path way.  But the look outs and the views were beautiful.  It was very worth the ½ mile hike.  I will say that it can be a bit of a climb back up for those that are out of shape.  I saw several older people pausing quite often on the way up.  Meanwhile, I was almost running back up to the parking lot.  I needed to use the restroom facilities and didn’t want to go off to the side of the trail.  A picture of me having my pants around my ankles and being stared down by a cougar flashed through my mind.  
Photo- A thick fog coming into near Hobuck Beach Area.
Pretty to look at but I didn't like the idea of camping in it.

Next, I went over to Hobuck Beach area where I was thinking of camping for the night but there was quite a bit of fog and I really just felt like a night in motel with a shower sounded better.  So I drove back through some of the construction on Hwys 113 and over to Forks for the night.  Yes, another Twilight hot spot.


  1. Lovely. And thanks for the postcard jeanne!

    1. Thanks Diane for commenting and I'm glad you got the postcard.