Here is a view of Lake Crescent in the Olympic National Park.
Video suggestion: All videos shown below are very short and HD (1080p). I find best YouTube settings (for all but the few with Bob, Shirley, or animals) are HD (1080p), slow motion (0.25 or 0.50), and full screen. Actually, watching Bob and Shirley in slo mo can be amusing.
Flew to Seattle in the evening, checked into our motel suite, spent the next day touring the Pike Market and walking Seattle streets.
Bob and Shirley are driven to the Santa Rosa airport by their friend Reenie. Thank you Reenie! Bob and Shirley agree that the Santa Rosa airport is even smaller than the Key West airport was back in the 1990's when they would fly there to visit Bob' parents. Alaska airlines was on-time and in fact arrived a bit early in Seattle, where we rode the Link system to within a few blocks of The King Inn, the motel where we would stay for our first 4 nights in Seattle.
While we were spending most of the day at the Pike Market, we had a chance to visit the Gum Wall, where people stick their chewing gum on the wall, literally. Bob did notice that just down a bit there was a worker with a spray gun cleaning gum off a wall.
The market itself was amazing. So many vendors selling so many things. Of course, it being Seattle, seafood of all types was being sold, but also fruits and vegetables, flowers, home made guitars and knitted goods, the list goes on and on. Perhaps the best part was simply seeing so many different people doing so many different things. People of all ages from children to senior adults buying, selling, and playing.
Shirley, as is so often the case on such adventures, gets close-up and personal with various animals.
The artwork on the walls of buildings was also very, very cool, whether it was a mural or two people walking at odd angles as shown in the second photo below.
There were also food shops and restaurants of all types. One of these was a Russian pastry shop, where Shirley got (and Bob ate a lot of) a Cinnamon-Cardomon Braid, that was delicious. And our friend Bill translated the Russian on the back of the cook's shirt as "Here we have such [good] pies" with the further comment that "Piroshky are small pies (diminuitive of pirog) or pirogi (pl) the bottom word on the shirt". Even better, we then came across a Chinese bakery that was selling Sesame Seed Balls which of course Bob could not resist (sorry Marian and Rob, could not bring any over to you). Bob grudgingly gave Shirley one bite.
Later in the afternoon, after stopping at the motel for a nap, we walked up to Whole Foods for dinner and to see the streets near our motel. We were struck by these two sights (we wondered if the bus had been driven to Burning Man):
Bob and Shirley, being Bob and Shirley, felt they should have a photo together, so took one, getting curious glances from parking attendants:
Visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibits, Olympic Sculpture Park on the waterfront, the Seattle Convention Center, the Wooden Boat Museum, and generally wandered the streets (and rode the streetcars) of Seattle in a very fun day.
A couple of things really struck us. As far as we could tell, we were the oldest people in Seattle. The streets were crowded with young people (defined as 40 and under), including mothers with baby strollers. The people were so nice and friendly. Several times we would be looking at a map and some young man or woman would stop and ask if they could help.
Another aspect of Seattle is how tall the buildings are and how much is under construction. Tall building cranes seemingly everywhere. It brought to mind our visit to Christchurch, New Zealand, where the city had been devastated by an earthquake years before and cranes were quite common. Except Seattle does not look the least bit earthquake stricken, just new and getting newer. We also were told that building after building was occupied by Amazon, Inc. and that Facebook and Google were moving in big time. Seattle is a high tech city.
The following set of photos are from the amazing Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibits. All sculptures are of glass.
Amazing, Bob and Shirley take more reflective photos of themselves!
Here are a few photos from the Olympic Sculpture Park near the waterfront:
We also ate cannoli, bought at the Holy Cannoli store, which is what attracted us. Bob had a tiramuso flavor, while Shirley ordered lemon.
Later we shared a doughnut. I would like to emphasize that eating a doughnut, even when only a 1/2 block up from your Kings Inn motel, is, technically, legal and that the police will not arrest you for doing so. However, breaking it in half calls all into question:
After eating at Whole Foods, walking the streets, visiting the Convention Center and riding a street car, we visited the docks at Lake Union and the Wooden Boat Museum.
Today we visited the Columbia Center Sky Tower, the tallest building in Seattle, riding the elevators to near the top; Pier 52, which is where we will catch the ferry tomorrow to Bremerton; the Convention Information Center; the amazing Seattle Public Library; Pioneeer Square; the Waterfall Garden; and Pike Market - where we waited in line 45 minutes watching the crowd for a bowl of clam chowder and a crab sandwich, which were ok, but neither of which matched the Spud Point cafe in Bodega Bay.
Our first stop, after having ridden the Link Rail there, was the Columbia Center Sky Tower, which from the view near the top shows Seattle in all directions:
While at the observation room of the Sky Tower, we had a chance to identify Seattle next most influential couple, who happened to be right there.
Next we stopped at the Seattle Public Library, which is quite an architectural wonder. Shirley thought a very slight adjustment to one angle would be helpful and was able to do so, as shown in the first picture below.Inside there is a viewpoint where one can look straight down from the top floor to the bottom floor. Not something for someone with vertigo.
We walked around the historic old downtown. As in many places in Seattle, it was nice to see all the flowers and foliage that lined the streets and walkways. There were also occasional rememberances of the Indians who had once lived in and occupied the area, as shown in the 3rd photo below.
After visiting the Waterfall Garden, we then returned to the Pike Market that we had visited yesterday. Unlike yesterday, the weekend crowds were there. But Shirley was determined to get the clam chowder served by an award-winning restuarant. The second photo below shows what a 45 minute long line looks like. However, it was fun people watching and an employee of the store, who was quite humorous entertained and managed the line.
After visiting the market, picking up groceries, eating a chocolate fudge brownie, we returned to the Kings Inn motel and took a couple of photos before settling down for the evening. Tomorrow we leave Seattle and head for Port Angeles via Bremerton, which we reach by ferry.
We left our motel, took a ferry to Bremerton, rented a car and drove to Port Angeles, where we got our motel room. Then we drove into Olympic National Park, visiting the Marymere Falls and eating at the Lake Crescent Lodge.
We got up early and headed toward the Link line pulling our suitcases along behind us. The Link took us within a few blocks of the ferry. We got there about an hour early, ate Subway sandwiches for breakfast. We boarded the ferry and had a very pretty, smooth ride across Elliot Bay and Sinclair Inlet from Seattle to Bremerton.
We had called up Enterprise so they would meet us at the ferry terminal with the car. They said they would meet us in front of the nearby Starbucks. We stood outside Starbucks. No one there. Got a message asking where we were. Starbucks. He told us he was in front of nearby Hampton Inn. We walked up there. Saw probable car. Stood by passenger front door, asked. Driver nodded his head. Asked him again. He rolled down passenger window, said yes. Closed window. We figured out we should put our luggage into trunk. Then we got into car. He drove us to Enterprise. Then we drove a couple of hours to Port Angeles and checked into motel.
Then off to the beautiful Olympic Park, starting with the visitor center where a very, very nice young lady gave us a lot of good suggestions, including visiting the Marymere Falls. So we drove there, walked through beautiful woods, and saw the pretty falls.
Bob had forgotten to put a back-up battery in his pocket at the motel. First time he had not done so. The camera said the battery was completely dead. Every photo taken after the first one below, was taken with the dead camera battery. Only a piece of one has a bit missing.
After visiting the falls, we went to Lake Crescent, which also was quite pretty and in addition had a lodge where we ate a salmon dinner. The salmon had the same problem as the Seattle clam chowder and crab sandwiches. Although it was quite good, we had eaten the best imaginable salmon dinner in Alaska once, just as we have eaten the best imaginable clam chowder and crab sandwich in Bodega Bay.
Nevertheless, it was quite good and eating at the lodge overlooking the lake was the perfect way to end the day before driving back to our motel, The Flagstone Motel.
Drove along Olympic Parks Hurricane Ridge road and hiked along trails at the top. Returned to Port Angeles and walked streets and waterfront in occasional light drizzle.
Videos of the day:
On the way back we saw 5 deer by the side of the road as we drove along. 3 of them posed for pics. None of them were the least concerned about traffic.
Spent most of the day in the Hoh Rain Forest on the west side of Olympic National Park. On the one hand, it rained much of the time. On the other hand it stopped the two times we were on the shore of the Hoh River and wanted to take video. And the other times the forest overhead protected us. And we had umbrellas!
We visit Rialto beach and First beach, then Sol Duc in Olympic National Park, which was beautiful with the Sol Duc river, cascades, a waterfall and salmon. As we drove and hiked many of the trees were in their fall colors.
Videos of the day:
The following photos were taken at Rialto Beach, which was covered in smooth, small, rounded stones of many colors. Bob skipped stones on incoming waves while Shirley collected smaller stones that looked particularly pretty.
After visiting Rialto, we drove to another nearby beach, First Beach, which was a bit disappointing, except for the very large flock of sea gulls that would suddenly fly up, circle and return when they were interrupted, for instance by a guy with a camera who wanted to take a photo and a video.
We then went to Sol Duc and saw a wonderful rain forest. The road through the forest ran parallel to the Sol Duc river. At one point there was a pull off to look at some cascades called Salmon Cascades. So we did and the cascade were quite pretty. Bob began doing a short video and was taken aback when he saw a salmon fly through the air trying to get over the cascade. A complete surprise. Then another made an even longer jump. Both captured on the video at the top of this page.
After oohing and awing over this, we drove on to the end of the rode. There we hiked along a wonderful path through the beautiful woods of the rain forest for just under a mile. At the end of this were waterfalls.
We drove up to the most northern town in the contiguous United States, Neah Bay, then up the road to Cape Flattery. We had thought we would be driving along the Strait of Juan De Fuca, but in fact there was too much foliage between the road and the water to see the Strait very much. We had an easy going day, no hikes, driving through forest, then returning to the motel.
Video: At the beach at Clallam Bay
But before really getting going, it was necessary to stop outside a particular cafe in Port Angeles for these pics:
Today we began our trip home. We did it using 6 forms of transportation. Drove our rented car to the Enterprise Rental Car office; they drove us to the ferry; we took the ferry to Seattle; we walked several blocks to the LINK train station; we took the LINK to the SEATAC airport; and, finally, the Quality Inn shuttle took us from the airport to the motel, where we spend the night before our flight to Santa Rosa.
Oops, I skipped one adventure. That was when I was going over the speed limit down the highway and I saw these bright red lights flashing behind me. So I pulled over for the chance to meet a very nice, young police officer. He treated us well and gave us a well deserved ticket.
But we still made the ferry on time! Yes!
We stayed at our motel, doing the final packing, until it was time to check out and take the shuttle to the airport. We got there a few hours early for our flight, which in fact left 1/2 hour late, but all went smoothly. It was a nice flight back with a view of Mt. Shasta at one point.
The map below shows in red where we drove from our motel in Port Angeles to various destinations in the Olympic National Park. As the daily text above describes, there was usually a hike or walk at each destination.
Bob Phillips [phillips bob 27 at yahoo dot com - no spaces]
Santa Rosa, CA