Port Angeles and Thanksgiving
On Thanksgiving day, my mother and I decided to get up early and head out to Sequim and Port Angeles to see what there is to see up there. Although it was overcast and rainy for almost the entire trip, once we got to the north side of the Olympic peninsula, the clouds lifted and we had cheery sun for the rest of the day. The port area of Port Angeles is quite nice and we strolled around a bit in the sunshine.
November 25-26, 2004
The ferry to Victoria was sitting in the harbour and reminded me that I needed to get over to the capital of British Columbia. You can't get Strongbow in the States, it seems, and a pint of good cider seems to be as good of an excuse as any other to visit my northern neighbors.
Standing around and taking pictures of things also reminded me that I shouldn't criticize tourists too much during outdoor trips, as I am frequently a tourist as well.
I did climb up a few flights of stairs to an observation deck on the end of the pier, further enhancing my tourist qualities.
Near the pier there was an interesting sculpture of an octopus, complete with moss and bark to give it texture, and metal hooks for its brutal claws. I'm not sure if octopi have claws, but it doesn't really matter since they don't have moss growing on them either.
After lunching at a place called The Crab House we drove up the long road to Hurricane Ridge to see what was up there. I was rather surprised at how little snow was on the Olympics in this area, as further south in the Skokomish area it is getting to be rather thick. There is a large visitor center on top of the ridge with nice, informative displays. But, mostly I liked it because it inspired me to come back with my pack and ramble for a while in the area. The Olympics here look much gentler (at least in places) than further south, and the lower snow levels seem to indicate that there is some rain shadow effect taking place.
Unfortunately, we couldn't see Olympus due to clouds, but I took a picture in its general direction anyways.
My mother thought the land rather grand, but seemed more reassured when we began the drive back to Lakewood and dropped into the thick forest once again.
Thanksgiving dinner was not very traditional, as we had salmon and scallops. As you can see, this is neither salmon nor scallops, but rather a pot full of shell fish that we cooked up the next day. I neglected to take a picture of Turkey Day dinner and so this will have to do. Although it isn't Turkey, and it isn't on Thanksgiving Day, it was very tasty and pretty.
From Lakewood, drive I-5 north to Tacoma and head over the Tacoma Narrows on SR 16. SR 16 changes to SR 3 somewhere around Bremerton. Just follow the signs for the Hood Canal Bridge, which eventually takes you onto the Olympic peninsula and junctions with HWY 101. Follow 101 north to Sequim,(pronounced skwim) where there is good coffee to be had at Hurricane Coffee. From Sequim, drive another 15ish miles on HWY 101 (now heading west) to Port Angeles. In Port Angeles, the turn off (to the left) for Hurricane Ridge occurs before you reach the pier and is marked with a sign. From the turn off, it is about 17 miles to the visitors center. Just after the turn off, if you continue on 101, you'll reach the pier, which is nice to walk around on. From Lakewood to Port Angeles is about 120 miles. To return, take HWY 101 south all the way to Olympia, and then I-5 north, for a different route.