The days are ticking down on our Seattle countdown clock! With less than 40 days to go and over a dozen open items on our bucket list, we need to get it in gear! On the list is a drive around the Olympic Peninsula as well as a visit to the Hoh Rain Forest. Claire planned the trip for Monday and Tuesday this week, but on Saturday evening we realized that the weather was not going to cooperate on Tuesday. The great thing about being retired is you’re almost totally in control of your own schedule. So, we decided to head out Sunday morning…
The original plan also called for taking a Ferry across to the peninsula, but at the last minute we decided to do the trip counter clockwise and use the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to get back. You may remember the original bridge collapsed in high winds in 1940 that was captured on video.
We headed south through Olympia and then out to the coast. The drive up the coast was nice, but we got a bit spoiled driving down the Oregon/California coast. We stopped at Ruby beach. It was a beautiful spot. My only disappointment is that like most scenic spots we have experienced in Washington State there were more people than you would expect in a relatively remote location. The parking lot was full, and there were more than 50 people on the beach. We spent a little time strolling the beach, climbing in the rocks, and searching through the driftwood, and then headed up the coast.
We did a side trip through the Hoh Rainforest. The Hoh is one of the only remaining temperate rainforests in North America. Not exactly sure what we were expecting, but it was kind of like the redwood forest covered in moss. It was a great Harley experience since the twisting roads were fun and you really get the sense you are in the forest as feel the mist on your face, and smell the pungent air.
From the rainforest, we headed to our first night destination, Forks Washington. Forks is semi-famous as the setting for the Twilight books and movies. Hard to imagine what is was like for this sleepy little logging town when moony-eyed teenage girls and their mothers starting showing up in town to see vampires! But in the “is America great, or what” spirit, they embraced the hype and now most of the town has added twilight to their offerings. You can stay at the Twilight motel, buy twilight trinkets, eat twilight pancakes, etc.
We chose the Pacific Inn Motel, and treated ourselves by upgrading to the “suite.” I suspect the suite was once the owner’s apartment. It was clean, well appointed, and cheap! Not much in the way of fine dining in Forks. We walked down the highway to the Mill Creek Bar & Grill, which is now called something else. Somebody put some money into the place. The oak work around the bar was nice. We ordered their “famous” burger. It did the job.
The next morning we continued heading northwest along the twisting winding roads to Neah Bay. The roads were almost deserted as we headed up the coast. When we hit the most Northwest point in the United States, we turned around like Forrest Gump and headed back from where we came. Enjoy the pictures!
Claire believes that research and planning are the keys to a good trip. I just drive …
Entering the rainforest on one of the few sunny days of the year. They get 12-14 feet of rain per year!
Claire likes to collect literature at all the visitors centers.
I like to drive
The rainforest is mostly giant sitka spruce covered in moss.
Climbing through the driftwood as we enter Ruby Beach
Motorcycling gear is not ideal for hiking.
Another beautiful west cost beach.
Love the rock formations
It looks almost deserted … (thanks to PhotoShop)
How YOU doin’?
Last look at Ruby Beach.
A stop at the Forks visitor’s center where they have Bella’s truck from the Twilight movie.
I don’t know about the movie, but I would like to have the truck …
Claire loves her big trees that you can walk or drive through.
I like big trees that I can sit in.
Artistic shot through the hollow log.
Stopping to look for whales near Neah Bay.
A stop along Lake Crescent