Friday, August 30, 2013

Olympic National Park: Part 1

On Joe's way to the airport to pickup Jackie's family, Rick, Sharon and Andy, he stopped in Fremont to pick up some cuban sandwiches for dinner.
We drove them to Alki Beach  to eat the Cuban sandwiches from Paseo. It was great to see the city skyline lights and listen to the seals barking away on the buoy in Elliott Bay. 

The next morning we drove straight to the ferry terminal in Edmonds to catch a ride to Kingston on our route to the Olympic National Park. We barely made the 8:40am departure. I don't think we could ever cut it any closer.
Stoehrs on their first ferry boat ride! 
We were on the Puyallap ferry boat, or as my Dad likes to pronounce it: Pull-ya'll-up! He may have lived in the south for too long now...There's no going back... 
The boys enjoying their technology devices on the ferry ride 
Once we arrived in Kingston, we drove our way to Port Gamble and stopped at the Country Store. 
The hanging cloud wisps over the fishing boats in the water mesmerized me. 
I think Dad was more mesmerized by getting to see his daughter 
Next we drove to Port Townsend: home of the most Victorian buildings outside of San Francisco. My Dad really liked this one perched on the hill overlooking the Puget Sound.
Walking around Port Townsend, admiring to old Victorian architecture 

We ate lunch at Sweet Laurette Café & Bistro for brunch food which was as good as we remembered when we took Nikki on New Years Day.
After lunch Mom and I peaked in a fabric store while the boys went to the Market for a bottle of wine, Graham crackers for smores and freshly ground coffee.
Next we drove to Lake Crescent, which ended up looking like a normal-colored lake on this cloudy day. We decided to come back to Lake Crescent on our way back, hoping for better weather. 
Next we drove on to Kalaloch Lodge, our cabin destination for the next 2 nights in the Olympic National Park on the Pacific Ocean site. We unpacked our belongings at cabin & then went for walk on Kalaloch Beach. 

It was a little windy! 
Little brother, big sister 
My parents are so cute! 
Guess what made all the birds vacate the area... 

Yep our overly excited dog, Chance 
So much for a natural picturesque setting you dump dog ;)
Kalaloch Lodge from Kalaloch Beach 
The gazebo 
Our cabin, L32 
Our cabin interior, studio style 

Joe got pretty excited about our source of heat: a wood burning fireplace!
Joe made quesadillas for dinner at the cabin & we opened a bottle of Merlot from Chateau Ste Michelle.
We roasted marshmallows in the wood burning stove for dessert. 

Joe made breakfast at the cabin: scrambled egg whites & hash browns.
We drove 1 hour from Kalaloch Lodge to the Hoh Rainforest. 
We hiked some of the Hoh River Trail in the Hoh Rainforest.
Now that is a tall moss covered tree! 
I love when the forest can make you feel so small, so minuscule, so young among the ancient trees 
Who knew my Dad was a tree hugger too?!?! To which Andy gives a double thumbs up ;)
Cool tree 

There's a lot of moss and ferns in the rainforest 
Our first view of the Hoh River 

Fallen mossy tree among a sea of ferns 
Mushrooms love the rainforest 

Packer siblings in the Hoh Rainforest 
Second view of the Hoh River 
Family hike in the Hoh Rainforest 
Third view of the Hoh River where we are not seeing more patches of blue skies! 
Family photo op in the Hoh Rainforest 

Hiking the Hoh River Trail in the Hoh Rainforest 
The environment in the rain forest is so fertile that some plants thrive on air! Clubmoss and licorice fern fasten to trunks and branches without harming their host while they dine on moisture and nutrients from rain and windborne particles. 
Hiking in the Hoh Rainforest 
We had some snacks on the trail before turning back.
We then drove to Second Beach near La Push, WA. 
We made sandwiches to take down to the beach. Dad enjoyed his sandwich and chips on the short hike through the woods down to Second Beach. It was a longer trail than we anticipated. It was 1.2 mile hike down a forested trail, which is just long enough to discourage large crowds but it seemed pretty popular to us. There were many families with little kids heading down to the beach to camp. We were starting to feel it in our knees going downhill, especially Dad. 
By the time we got there, it was a very foggy beach. We could barely make out the natural arch to the north. 
We ate our lunch of sandwiches and chips on the beach strewn logs. 

After lunch we walked along the beach close to low tide. 
Family photos at Second Beach near La Push as the fog hits 

Jackie likes climbing things 

Second Beach is home to dramatic bluffs and headlands. The offshore consortium of battered islets and sea stacks are known as the Quillayute Needles. 

Jackie at Second Beach 
Jackie's Dad sure liked to press is luck and walk as close to the water's edge as possible. He had a few surprise backside waves that almost gave him soaking wet shoes. A man living on the edge. 
Photo of Dad taking a picture 
The stupid Pacific black crows opened Joe’s backpack we left by the logs on our beach walk and got the chip and pretzel bags out for a snack!
Olympic rainforest makes some cool trees! 
We next drove to Ruby Beach a few miles north of Kalaloch Lodge. This Olympic coastline is a mere .25 miles from the parking area. You emerge in a barrier of surf-tosses logs. 
The contorted sea stacks at Ruby Beach are spectacular even in the fog. 
Dad skipping one of the rounded beach stones at Ruby Beach 
We had dinner at Kalaloch Lodge: salmon, blackened cod, fish & chips, crab & chanterelle risotto & crab cakes. 
I was in love with the old lantern lights 
Kalaloch Beach and lodge around sunset after dinner in the hazy fog. 

We enjoyed a bonfire on the beach in front of Kalaloch Lodge as a family. 

We had more smores and took in the stars. 
Andy loved having his buddy, Chance around 

There really isn't a much better way to spend the evening reflecting on God's great wondrous earth and spending time with those you hold dear. 
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