With Fort Worden/Port Townsend and Port Angeles behind us we have driven west to La Push on the Pacific Coast. We are staying in a great campsite right on the ocean and exploring all sorts of parks, campgrounds, beaches, etc. in the extreme northwest corner of the peninsula. Pictures of this area will follow in the next blog entry.
Street scenes from our walk around Port Townsend, Washington. This is the town immediately adjacent to Fort Worden shown in earlier pictures. Its first settlers arrived in 1851 and the town boomed because of its harbor, timber and fishing. Many of the old buildings along the main street were built during the 1880s and 1890s. One by one they are being completely refurbished.
Note the date…
The Palace Hotel.
A stylish 19th century commercial building.
Another building complete with a very popular Sulivanesque arch.
Bold, original colors.
After four days at Fort Worden/Port Townsend we drove west to the Port Angeles area and set up the motorhome in this KOA campgrounds. Notice when you travel in the springtime prior to May 15th you have very little competion for space:)
On our second day in the Port Angeles area we took a day to visit Hurricane Ridge. The views are spectacular. This photo is from a viewpoint at about the 3,500 foot level. The body of water out there is the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The roads were all clear of snow and dry but the parking lot at the top still had mountains of snow. That's our car in the center to give you an idea of the snow depth.
Interesting information inside and big windows to survey the surrounding Olympic Mountains.
Somewhere among those peaks is Mount Olympus…the highest mountain on the Olympic Peninsula and within Olympic National Park.
More peaks and valleys.
This topographical relief map is in the Hurricane Ridge Lodge. To give you a few points of reference, we live just off the right margin of the map on the east shore of Puget Sound. We began our trip to Olympic Peninsula with two ferry crossings and about 40 miles of driving. Our first stop was at Fort Worden/Port Townsend in the extreme upper right corner of the peninsula. The Strait of Juan de Fuca is the water of the top (north) of the map. The Pacific Ocean is on the left (west) of the map. Our extended camping trip will take us completely around the Olympic Mountains, first going west (left) along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, then south (down) Washington's Pacific Coast all the way off the bottom of the map above to the Columbia River area and then northeast back home. How long will we be gone? It looks like 4-6 weeks right now. What's the mileage? We haven't calculated it yet but I am guessing 500-600 miles. While there are no deadlines…we'll probably be home by Memorial Day to avoid full campgrounds and increased holiday traffic:)
Coming down from Hurricane Ridge we stopped at another viewpoint.
Here is a partial view from that viewpoint showing the ruggedness of the Olympic Mountains. Wilderness has real meaning here.
Once we got back down from the heights of Hurricane Ridge we drove a few miles to see the site of a dam being removed from the Elwha River. There are over 75,000 dams in the USA…many have outlived their usefulness. By removing this hundred year old dam, and a second one further upriver, the river is being returned to its natural state. I like it and so will the Salmon! :)
I took this picture of a picture on the sign above showing the dam as it has been for the past 100 years.
Here's the site where the dam has been removed. Complete restoration of the land, river, plant and wildlife is now in progress. The removal of the two dams on the Elwha is a model for other states to follow. These dams on the Elwha River have been providing hydroelectric power for a large paper mill in Port Angeles. Today the mill has other sources of power.
From the Elwha we drove back to the Port Angeles area, then out on the Ediz Hook that forms the harbor for a bit sightseeing and beach combing.
We walked the dog, sat on several benches, watched maritime traffic on the Strait….
And after stacking a few rocks for fun…headed back to the motorhome and called it a very good day.