Tuesday was chore day in the small town of Forks. Forks is famous for being the setting of the Twilight vampire books and movies and is doing what it can to sell souvenirs and conduct Twilight tours. I figured if Dave and I hung around the local high school that Bella went to, we’d be picked up as miscreants.
We drove the short distance to Salt Creek Recreation area, described as a great place to camp by one of the Lazy Dazers. It is indeed, with a great view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and perhaps Mt. Baker. There’s a little excitement at this campground. A couger has been sighted in the campground four times in the last two weeks. If I see it, I hope it is from inside the RV. Dave hooked up the television, but all we get here is Canadian TV with a few all-French stations. We got our first night of real rain Wednesday night and it was very nice to be snug in our waterproof (thanks to Dave) rig, listening to the pattering on the roof.
Thursday we drove west along the north end of the Olympic Peninsula To Clallum Bay. A local said that it was a good beach for finding beach glass, the bits of glass smoothed by the ocean. We had a good walk and found a lot of neat rocks and beach glass. I’ve started a collection that looks really good in my shoebox. It doesn’t equal Lucille Ball’s collection in “The Big Big Trailer” but it’s more portable and pretty.
We returned to Olympic National Park on Friday and walked the Hurricane Hill Trail, a short but steep trail that led to a point with spectacular views. The glaciers are receding and the clouds covered up Mt. Olympus, but we could clearly see Mt. Carrie and the Carrie Glacier. I was glad we weren’t hiking over there. As we went up the hill, we saw two very large birds that turned out to be Blue Grouse, browsing in the taiga-like meadow. They looked as big as turkeys! No wonder people want to eat them. We kept hearing a high-pitched whistle that we thought was a bird; it turned out to be two marmots, upset by how many people were nearby their spot on the rocks. The Visitor Center at Hurricane Ridge lived up to its name: the wind was roaring at the viewpoint there. But as we went up the hill, we alternated between heavy winds and sunny, humid areas. The clouds kept shifting and the light kept changing. It was a satisfying, easy hike.
We had planned to go into another mountainous section of the park, but the road was closed, so we decided to do the hike to the Sol Duc Waterfall. It was a longer drive west again and then we were back in the rain forest. The trail was very pretty but I wasn’t getting inspired for pictures. Three miles later, we reached what we thought was Sol Duc Falls (per a black-and-white picture in the hiking book). It was nice but not amazing, so we took our requisite pix and continued on the loop trail. Just as we were ready to start booking back, we found the real Sol Duc Falls. Wow!! Three roaring cataracts crashed down into a narrow chasm. There were great views from overlooks and from the bridge that crossed the Sol Duc River. After an hour there, we tired and were ready to trudge the 2.5 miles back to our car. Another great hike. On this trip, we’ve seen more of the coastline and rain forests and less of the mountains that we had hoped. We may have to return some time in the future to visit the areas we missed.
It was going to be a blustery, showery day, so we decided to go to Port Townsend, a harbor town with a lot of restored and not-so-restored Victorian houses. We had a nice lunch at a restaurant in an old brick building. The views of the harbor were interrupted by a sailboat that had dragged anchor and beached itself in behind the restaurant, with its mast leaning precipitously near the restaurant windows. The wait staff and customers kept going outside to check it out; the owners may not have known that their boat was way off course. We walked around town and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the Port Townsend Film Festival, but the strong winds discouraged us and we returned to Sequim (pronounced “Squim”). Our last day on the Olympic Peninsula was done.