Labor Day Weekend

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

This holiday weekend, J. and I went for an adventure North to the Olympic Peninsula. Our rental car propelled us through highway and narrow winding forest roads, from ocean to mountain top. The peninsula is a vast area that can only be navigated by ring roads because of the mountain range in its center. There is a lot of green to be seen, as the area gets a lot of rain. And this green is asking to be cut, as the trees are big and plentiful. It’s pretty disturbing to drive through so many patches of logged land, but there’s also an abundance of untouched nature too. And in this untouched nature, must hide convicts, because the area has a few prisons that can’t be entirely secure. The area is like Alcatraz but with forest instead of water. It was a long drive, but a good one.

Some photos with captions:


The route.

Satsop Nuclear Plant seen from highway 12 near Olympia, WA.

Power-lines by the river in Aberdeen.

The endless forest road.

View through the grass of our first stop: Lake Quinault. Clear blue, frigid water. There was a Wedding in the background and a red eyed and exhausted park ranger who had been answering questions all day.

One of an almost continuous speckling of forested land around and in the park. It’s an eye sore, but hey, we all need toothpicks.

World’s Largest Spruce. Use the person in the background for scale.

Beautiful, moody Ruby Beach. Home to a large pile of driftwood, stones, and ocean carved rock islands.

Beach stones.

A black slug on driftwood.

Weathered rock formations.

Sloppy Andrew Goldsworthy rip-off I made out of rocks.

The zen art of stacking.

The first evening, we search for lodging. All was booked or taken, including most of the campsites. We eventually found a free campsite by this stream. Pictured is a dragonfly at sunset. Not pictured, the millions of mosquitos that followed.

With some difficulty we started a fire. It was a nice night under the stars, though sleeping in my small musty tent proved impossible since we didn’t have a mat or sleeping bags. I’ve learned the lesson again that just bringing a lot of blankets doesn’t cut it. The bathroom at the campground was the stuff of nightmares: an unlit shed with a dark echoing void to hell. Luckily, we found a pay campground up the road to eat dinner, and we were able to sneak back and use their slightly better facilities that night.

The following morning, we kept on driving and took a quick hike up to a waterfall near Lake Crescent. Here is one of many mushrooms growing on the forest floor.

A cool Ewok style bridge across a stream.

The walkways of Endor leading up to the falls.

The falls.

Lake Crescent.

We kept on driving and headed up into the park to an area know as Hurricane Ridge. There was a brief moment of clear skies before the clouds drifted in. Here are some deer with the mountains in the background.

The same mountains minutes later as it started to drizzle.

View through trees.

J. Looking down to Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Violet flowers.

One last glimpse of the the Olympic Mountains before heading out.

Continuing on, we waited for a ferry at Kingston. Mt. Rainier can be seen across the Sound.

Driving onto the ferry to Edmunds.

Inside the ferry it’s a cross between a boat, a dinner, and a bowling alley.

That evening we stayed at the Ace Hotel in Seattle. Nice cozy room with a firm futon and a glass-walled shower in full view. Not good for non-kinky families.

J. sitting at Lake Washington.

700 miles. 650 good moments.

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