So picked up a new hire car and left Seattle, home of fish and hobos. A hop on the ferry and we were off across to Bainbridge Island. We drove across the island which is quite small and back on to the Olympic Peninsula and the Olympic national park.
First stop was for lunch in Port Townsend. We had soup in a cafe next to the small marina. Alongside was an RV (Camper Van) site. A row of hard stands and hook ups looking straight out to sea. We know Bridget and Mick would have loved it.
The town itself is a complete change from the glass skyscrapers of Seattle. It has square 3 storey buildings which look like the buildings in 30's movies about Chicago.
Lunch over we drove some distance to Port Angeles. This is called the gateway to the park but is really a port with lots of motels etc. This was going to be our stop for the night. So we had to find a motel. We've never stayed in one before so didn't know what they would be liked. In the end we decided if we went for a cheap one it would give us a benchmark. So we pulled into a classic looking motel....2 storeys with parking spaces out the front.
$48 dollars (£32) for a double room for the night. I have to say what a nice suprise. The room was clean, well appointed with a big comfy bed, wide screen Tv and free wifi. We popped out for a beer and a pizza and settled down for the night. We both slept well and in the morning loaded the car for a long drive.
Our first visit was just outside Port Angeles. A long winding drive up to Hurricane Ridge. The weather was fantastic but it wasnt difficult to see how it got its name. High and exposed...wouldnt want to be there when the wind blows in winter.
We did a short hike to see the views. Then back in the car and on route to Forks we had a brief stop at Lake Crescent. Forks is the place where the Tv/Film 'Twilight' is filmed. Partly in the town and partly in Hoh rain forest. At the moment there is nothing much there....in fact Fork all !! However there are lots of Twilight stores so they will exploit it for sure.
We bought some sarnies from the local deli, come sweet shop, come cafe. On the way to Hoh rain forest we found a great little spot by a river and tucked in to lunch.
A short drive on and we turned off the highway 101 to Hoh rain forest. It was an 18 miles drive through winding forest roads. Once there we went for a short walk through it. Completely different to the mountains. Huge trees covered in moss and lichen. It is a place where they say you can see Elks grazing. We didnt see any in the forset but hey presto back at the car and there is a big buck grazing in the car park.
Now its an offence to get within 100ft of one. Mostly because they are big, fast, unpredicatable and have huge antlers. I managed to get some pics from a distance with my telefoto lens. There was a small group of Japanese there. We watched a girl walk towards this beast until he lifted his head and looked her in the eye. I thought she was going to crap herself. She backed off very quickly. Off course we know men know best so her dad decided he would show her how it was done. Off he walks towards the Elk. When he gets about 20ft from it up comes its head and it starts to walk towards him. It aint scared unlike him. 9.9 for 100 metres !!! What a t*** !!
As we drove from the forest we saw a herd of Elk a little way below us by the river. A big stag and his family at a guess.
We then drove on and suddenly we could see the sea. A quick stop to look at another amazing beach.
It was a long day today and we arrived in Aberdeen about 5pm. We booked into another motel. Bit more expensive but a bigger room and again very clean etc. A short walk down the road and we found a locals bar. We sat at the bar next to the obligatory drunk middle aged woman called Maisie Lou. Lots of garish Budweiser signs all around the room, but a beers a beer.
We had 2 pints the walked down the road to a diner for dinner. I may be being unfair but first impressions of this Aberdeen are its a port town and looks like Millwall with neon.
Tomorrow we think we will head to Mt Rainier national park before heading to Portland Oregon. I think this is going to be a big adventure.