On Monday we drove through the strip development around Port Angeles that went on forever. This is one aspect of housing, commercial and industrial development that amazes me. I suppose there is so much land that people take the easiest way, build along the main road. Today we have driven through more awesome forest, some man planted but huge tall spruce and douglas fir. We also walked up a fairly short but very demanding track to see a giant cedar. We experienced the natural rain forest. Walking in the rain forest was great but I need to find an easier trail, meaning not so steep, next time. The undergrowth was pretty too, lots of fern, mosses, wild blueberry, huckleberry, salmon berry which looked and tasted like a pale version of raspberries and many other plants which couldn't be identified.
We stopped just along the road at the nearest town ..... Amanda Park. if your name is Amanda I'm sorry to tell you it wasn't much of a town but I had a very good cappuccino. Amanda Park Mercantile looked like a 'we sell everything you think you might need' country store. Next door was a closed restaurant, and a short walk up the street was a post office, internet cafe cum restaurant and opposite the The Best Little Hairhouse and Tannery. The grocery shop had an outside board listing it's wares ..... eggs, worms, sand shrimps. I thought you'd like to know about your town.
At Amanda Park we learned a little about the town we had lunch in. Forks is on the edge of the Olympic Mountains and a vast area of State and National Park. It was not impressive but there were Motels with Twilight Rooms or Twilight Pool. This confused us no end as we knew that we had come further south than the long twilight nights. All was explained when we were told the town had cashed in on the Twilight series of books, Christian Vampire genre.
We found a cheap motel in the town of Aberdeen on Gray's Harbour, Washington State, feeling tired from all that driving and sleeping poorly last 2 nights. The room stinks with cleaning and deodorising chemical. It's very clean and bathroom seems good and bed hopefully comfortable. TWJ managed to open the window ... helps a lot. Just across the road was Denny's so we had a good old fashioned American meal.
There were signs of serious poverty in this town. It always surprises me to come across the contrasts between middle class/ wealthy areas and poverty. I guess if we had more time we would understand these things a lot better.
We had an amazing day driving 237 miles after a big breakfast at Starbucks inside one of the big Supermarkets. We wandered around the deli area with lots of food 'to go,' and ended up having toasted paninnis with our coffee. We stopped for a short walk and lunch at a little seaside town called Ilwaco on the coast of south Washington State. We sat at the wharf in the sun, the breeze cool enough to keep our jackets on, and just enjoyed a lunch pkt of crackers, cheese and luncheon sausage followed by a Starbuck's brownie with iced coffee to go.
Sadly our movie camera ran out of battery and we didn't have a free memory stick for the other one so missed a few photo opportunities later in the afternoon. At Astoria near the state line between Washington and Oregon we went over an amazing bridge...... divided into three long sections. The first over deepish water, the next more like a causeway on trestles and the last section a very high hump to allow for shipping and the tallest masts imaginable. We've seen deer and sadly a dead bambi hit by a car. We passed two accidents one of which held us up for a while as there was one way traffic while they recovered a truck. The other seemed to be a car off the road, did not slow traffic when we went by.
We passed by Greg's Marine on Franklin Street in Garibaldi town. We drove along the coast getting glimpses of amazing beach and over a hill covered in pine trees when suddenly we saw what looked like a lake shimmering in the sun on the top of the hill. It turned out to be golden/white sand and was right up to the road edge. The area was called Sand Lake for obvious reasons.
We passed by farms grazing cattle on the low country, sort of looked like sea swamp and then we smelled horses. Didn't see them but must have been a large stables, maybe breeding.
Tonight we are in one of the back rooms of a motel on the main road and directly up from the beach. I wanted to be away from the traffic noise so perfect price, perfect location. Just a walk down the hill to the beach which looks gorgeous. I'm not sure how energetic we will be tonight. It's already 7.45pm and we are going to snack on some fruit, bread rolls with jelly & peanut butter and some blueberry muffins we bought this morning. The wind here is pretty brisk and cool. I think we might chill out with TV and walk in the morning.
4 days from San Francisco. I needed to work out the driving time involved as I wanted to have at least half a day at the Redwoods which are just inside the State line of California. I also needed to get my driving times right so John does not feel pushed for time on the last two days.