Chez Cascadia

Trip Start Aug 04, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In the morning I visited the Hoh Rain Forest near the hostel, which was pretty cool - a lot of big trees and moss. Then I stopped by a Den's chainsaw carving workshop and learned a bit about the history of this craft from his wife. He's got pictures of some amazing work he's done for contests and on consignment. But He seemed to spend most of his time on significantly more mundane fabrications these days (bear toilet paper dispensers?!?). Onward!

Next stop: The Chez Cascadia hostel in West Olympia (capital of Washington). This place was clean and organized. It's run by Jonas who looked to be in his late 20's and had just returned from 2 months in South America - seemed like a very smart and capable guy. The street it was on - modest 1 story houses - was kind of a alternative living community, in the hippie way. Doors were open at most houses, and many had people sitting outside talking, listening to music, etc. Kids were running around, and there were lots of beat-up old cares with bumper stickers, even a spray painted van. Felt kinda nice. The hostel had maps to good places to eat and shop, a donation-funded washer/dryer, a vegetarian kitchen, and everything seemed to work pretty well. Kudos!

Had dinner on 4th Ave, which was the less flattering side of the same cultural coin - homeless-looking kids n the 20's with backpacks sitting on the sidewalk, lots of cheap bars and tattoo parlors. Not dangerous, just grungy. That said, I found a really nice bar/restaurant called the spar, and had a great meal of grilled local salmon over fresh greens, and a pint of a local ale. Man, the food in the middle of the country is so boring.
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