4. Exploring the Pacific Northwest…5.2008

day four            tuesday, may 6, 2008

mona is giving sherri a lesson on removing a cork from a wine bottle....mona and I were surprised to learn that she had never opened a bottle of wine before....this trip is not only an adventure, but a learning opportunity too (and we have our priorities straight on what kinds of things are important to know!)


we left the cabin around 10 am, driving northeast to soleduck falls trailhead, in the olympic national park.  the skies were overcast, but mostly dry and the temp was about 45 degrees.  before reaching the trailhead, we stopped to view the "salmon cascade" falls along the way....very beautiful


as we continued to drive closer to the trailhead, we were surprised by the amount of snow still lingering


the hike was so much fun....seeing this forest with deep snow all around was such a treat!  I just love to be in places during their "off season" and this one was great.  there were hardly any other people here (we passed only two hikers, on their way out, near the trailhead) and the snow was still deep and everywhere in the forest.  the many shades of green against the white snow was amazing, the birds were so loud and about the only other noise (besides us laughing alot/a lot) was the gurgling of the streams we crossed....just perfect


sherri climbed up and summitted this really cool rock


cornball picture #6



we played "trade cameras" for a little while...someone must have snapped this one of me with my camera


we had to climb over a huge fallen tree, so we went "off-trail"....the snow was really deep!


cornball photo #7 ....what is mona doing?


this was a shelter near the soleduck falls...really neat



these are the SoleDuck falls (although we've seen the river spelled "Sol Duc"....whatever) they were pretty neat.  the mist from the falls looks like a cloud hovering over the water


  this photo was taken from the bridge looking straight down on the side opposite from the falls....the water is funneled through the narrow "gorge" type walls....very powerful, beautiful and so much fun to watch

after the falls, we hiked back to the car and continued to drive toward port angeles.  we drove back into olympic national park and were headed up the mountain to "hurricane ridge" and the wonderful views of the olympic mountain range.  this is a photo, taken about 1/2 way up...if you look closely towards the top of the photo, you can see the outline of the shore in port angeles


the sky was filled with clouds, and at times everything looked like gray soup, but then the clouds would blow away, and the view would take your breath away


anxious to get out of the car and see EVERYTHING... we took a few minutes to ham it up....therefore.....

cornball pictures # 8....me making a "vertical" snow angel and #9....of a tourist using a natural space for a silly photo op


after looking around for awhile, we decided this was the perfect spot for our afternoon picnic lunch.  the visitors center on hurricane ridge was open, but not staffed (fine with us).  the rooms were lined with large windows, a fireplace, tables and chairs....just the perfect spot to sit and eat.  we visited with three people, also having lunch, (and one little toddler and one baby) who had just finished snowshoeing.  the food was good, company wonderful and the views spectacular!


but you can see for yourself. 

I just couldn't take my eyes off of these mountains...the range is so much bigger than I'd imagined...I'm sure on a clear day it would be amazing....but it didn't matter to me....I was blown away.  I kept wondering what it would be like to hike/backpack here?...and who was out there right now?...and about the wildlife here?....cougars, bears, elk, and deer.  where were the lakes and streams located?...my mind raced and I wanted to know the answers to all of it and experience the backcountry myself.  I really wish Danny could be here to share this with me now...he may not feel as "connected" to the mountains as I do, but I know he would love to see this beauty too


 mona had to step up onto this snow bank, just to see over the top of it so she could take a photo; her pants were muddy and shoes wet from the soleduck hike, but she "still promotes stylish fashion with those socks"!


mona cooked a wonderful dinner of pasta with salmon, asparagus, mushrooms, and corn in a light cream sauce, accompanied by sherri's fruit marinade (we are all experts at making it!)

 our mission for tonight (other than to finish-off the fruit marinade) was to make our plans for the next three days.  we've discussed many different ideas and after searching for about an hour, mona scored big and booked our lodging...we're all very excited for tomorrow and can't wait to go to .....


(guess you will just need to check back to see where we go!)




we all bought gloves! our hands had been cold on several hikes, so we stopped at this really super funky old fashioned "general store" in port angeles and found these gloves...

PS:  today is my Mother's birthday....it's been so many years since she died...but I still miss her so much; we were very, very close.

  this time in May is always so hard for me...the 3rd is my grandmother's birthday, the 6th my mom's, and Mother's Day always follows close.

my dear, sweet friends indulged me this morning and listened while I shared some funny stories I remembered about my Mom...she was truly a special person and all that's good in me, is from her

day five            wednesday, may 7, 2008

we all woke up early this morning...technically mona is working today...she has a conference call scheduled.  so while she prepared for her call, sherri and I packed up everything and loaded it in the car (so the cabin would be quiet during the call; giving the "sound-appearance" that mona was really in a boring cubicle or office instead on looking out the window at a beautiful river while on VACATION!  I borrowed the car and drove the few miles back to sit at Rialto beach....it was a very nice morning


I stayed at the beach just "wave watching" for awhile, then explored around and took some more photos of the quillayute river


we were getting ready to hit the road again, but our stay here at the Quillayute River Resort had been great.  The place was clean, decorated simply, perfect for three, had a well stocked kitchen, we met linda (one of the owners) who was super nice and I would definitely recommend the place


we had to drive back to port townsend to catch ferry


we weren't sure if we were going to be able to make the 12:45 ferry, but we did with a few spare minutes!  the crossing was gentle and only 30 minutes


as we floated away from port townsend, I snapped these last pictures....the towns buildings and docks really do seem old and make you wonder what it was like a long time ago, when the first ships visited this area


we landed in keystone, on whidbey island.  to get off this island, you need to drive over "deception pass" and it's really cool bridge.  we took a few minutes to take in the views



our next stop was a little town called "laConner", which I had been to before.  it's/its just a small seaside town with some cute shops and restaurants.  mona's favorite place to eat is the laConner Brewing Co. which makes great pizza and beer.  the pizza was some of the best I'd ever eaten, the beer tasted good and the decor was great!


the northwest may be known for great fish, but I'll remember the fact that I've found more of my favorite socks here than anywhere!  I have been sooooo good; I've only purchased one pair....probably because I already own a bunch.  but the one thing I was shopping for on this trip (I thought I would buy them in Arcata, where they have a great selection) was a brown pair.  the company that makes these socks has a cool web site, with more sock designs and colors than you can imagine...except for brown.  I've found one pair of brown.....until we went into this store.....and I got so excited when, from across the room, I spotted the perfect color of brown with POLKADOTS socks.  as my heart rate quickened, I leaped toward the display.....but something was wrong when I picked them up...I was feeling so conflicted knowing I was holding the perfect pair of brown Ozone's yet they didn't look quite right....the sales guy strolled over and informed me I was clutching a pair of MEN"S Ozone's...how could that be?  for a minute I wondered if I bought them, could I somehow cut and sew and make them smaller?  they were too perfect to leave!  I think I definitely have a problem 

then he showed me he was actually wearing a pair.....wow...what a guy......I hope Danny's not jealous, because I was so attracted to this guy wearing these socks....well, just the fact that he was wearing MY perfect brown polka dot socks.  I briefly wondered if Danny would wear them.....that was a very brief thought.  we visited a few minutes, then sadly, I set the pair back down, and left


the area of laConner is known for the tulip festival...which just ended a few days before we arrived.  there were a couple of fields of daffodils that hadn't been cut; but most of the fields were bare; the tulips gone and fields plowed under   


there were just a few scattered tulips left; field workers coming in at the end of the day


after leaving laConner, we made a quick stop in bellingham and picked up some more fruit and all the "marinade" ingredients.  we had rented a 2 bedroom condo in Blaine for the next two nights; it's right on the water.  mona found it on hotels.com, and the photos looked great, but you never know until you actually see the place....and this one is great!  we got it for the same price as a hotel room, but staying in places like this, make me never want to stay in a hotel room again.  there is so much room to spread out.....it's/its just perfect


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