Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oregon Trail

On Monday we stopped in Aberdeen, WA to wash clothes and stock up on some supplies.
On Tuesday we headed back to the coast for a stay at Cape Disappointment State Park.
Our site was hardly 100 yards from the shore. Nikki did a little frolicking before we headed back to our site to make dinner.

On our way we found these mushrooms and wondered how big we'd grow if we ate them.
As we cooked, Nikki thought she saw some movement in the bushes and hopped up on the picnic table. Shining the flashlight in the direction of the movement we saw a big, fat raccoon staring back at us several feet from the fire pit. He froze for a second and returned to the bushes.
But as I started washing dishes he came back, only this time he ran under the Dod to sip from a puddle when I shined my light at him.
We only saw Ralphie the Raccoon one more time that night as he once again drank from the puddle under the Dod, although Nikki swore she heard him down there later that night.
After another walk along the shore we crossed the state line into Oregon. Our first stop was Astoria, at the Rogue Public House. We drove onto a dock to park and headed in for some excellent brews, clams, and beer-cheese soup.

Then we drove into Portland where we were greeted by a drum corp.
Thanks Portland, we're glad we're here too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Seattle to Olympia National Forest to the Pacific (aka Longest Post Ever)

Apologies in advance for the length of the post and the amount of photos. We've had no internet access and a lot has happened in the past three days. Moving on...
We had to leave the fantastic Pike Place market to check out the Science Fiction Museum and Experience Music Project...
"Hasta La Vista Baby"
"Give me pizza, Splinter" (Chris thinks I'm a dork. First prize for anyone who can come up with a better Terminator or TMNT quote).
"E.T. phone home." (Beat that suckers!)
The Jetsons scene in the Science Fiction Museum.
The "If Six Was Nine" Hendrix tribute in the Experience Music Project in Seattle.
An outdoor shot of the EMP / SFM building.
Chris in front of the famous Space Needle.

After a day at the museums we made our way back toward the bay for sights and soup!
Sylvester the mummy in Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe.
Sylvia the mummy in Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe.
A true-life Vampire Killer Kit, holy water and all.
People must really be taking this sign seriously: "Do Not Be Afraid Of Overfeeding: Seagulls Are Dainty Eaters" You could have fooled me! This is the fattest gull I've ever seen!
An evening view from Seattle Bay.
Ivar's Fish Bar where they recently found two underwater billboards placed in 1955 intended for submarines. Chris and I were lucky enough to take advantage of their 1955 special: a cup of chowder for 75 cents!

After Seattle we drove through the quaint town of Port Gamble to Port Angeles where we decided to take a stroll.
In Port Angeles, we found this store which is exclusively dedicated to the Twilight book series by Stephenie Meyer who evidently had a dream about the Twilight plot after visiting here a couple years ago. These "Dazzled By Twilight Stores" blacken the state of Washington. As much as I am for the popularization of authors through any and every medium, I'm a bit sickened by the shameless ballyhoo of Twilight. Where the hell is the J.D. Salinger superstore? Or the Cormac McCarthy megacenter? This faddish author gets her own line of mercantile but what about the Kerouacs, or the Whitmans?
The seagull says, "Screw you, I have my own boat, thankyouverymuch!"
Time is flying by!

The Sol Duc camp was outtasite! Every campsite was straight out of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel. We couldn't decide on just one so we moved from mossy site 29 to riverside site 11 on Saturday morning.
"Yes, krrchh... this is God speaking... Can you hear me now?"
According to Chris, this is an especially long slug and Michigan slugs only get to be about an inch or so long.
The river view from our camp.
Wee little Dod snuggled up in the mossy needles.
Old man's beard moss.
The picnic table can give you some idea of the enormous height of these pines.
Sun-dappled beauty.
The Dod, brilliantly shining in all her glory.
Moss like this covered everything around us.
A dozen foot-long salmon swam upstream through the river next to our campsite. We stood around with Bloody Marys in hand cheering them on: Go, salmon, go!!
Photos do no justice.
Chris, checking on the determined salmon.

And then, the deer. When I awoke Saturday morning and opened the curtains there was one deer resting not even 30 yards from the Dod. I did not suspect that I would be within 3 yards of a deer later in the day.
Chris had never known the feeling of being so close to a deer without the hope that he would soon feast on it. Similarly, I had never known the feeling of being so close to a deer, period. Glee is how I would describe it. They're such calm and tame creatures. You want nothing but to touch them. Or, well, eat them.

Chris cracked up after he took this picture. The deer looks like she's about to toot on me!

Yesterday we took a six mile hike to Lover's Lane falls. I have never seen so much greenery in my life. It's an honest-to-god rainforest. Ferns blanket the ground and moss covers the trees. Everything is wet and sweet-smelling. If trolls do exist, it is here they undoubtedly live.
One of many bridges we crossed throughout the hike.
The longest bridge we crossed. A zombie fish floated near this one.

See what I mean,
Greeney, green, green!
Finally, the falls!

That's me in the background to give you an idea of the scope of things.
An early moon casts over a misty mountain.

Today we dropped $8 a piece for a shower and a luxurious soak in the Sol Duc Hot Springs. Luckily for us, today marks the last day of the season so we got a discount to dip in the natural hot mineral waters of northwest Washington. The water makes your skin silky smooth and according to legend has powerful healing qualities. The only downfall - it reeks like rotten eggs due to the sulfur content.
42 degrees and in a bikini.

Today marked our first taste of the Pacific. Sprinting through the sprinkling rain we at last emerged from the trail to... a gigantic pile of driftwood with no way around but over.
The giant pile of driftwood blocking us from the ocean.
Our first peek at the great Pacific.
We clambered over the slippery logs and welcomed the Pacific Ocean with open arms and open lips (just to make sure it was salty).
Chris kicked off his shoes and ran right in the water.
A wave got him up to his knees right after this photo. Gotcha!
A friendly log took this picture.
After a couple photos and toe-dips, the skies opened up and we had to race back over the wood and up the trail to the Dod.

Tonight we are camped somewhere in Quinault/Amanda Park, Washington. Here's to less rain drops and more internet access.

Your loving, wet, blogging, happy travelers,
Nikki, Chris and the Dod