Day 2 - Port Angeles -> Seaview
Trip Start Aug 30, 2012
15Trip End Sep 15, 2012
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Driven today = 235 miles
Total = 390 miles
Weather colder this morning but still an azure blue sky. Apparently this quite unusual for this time of year in this area so we can only be thankful. Cold to start with but warmed up through the day. First photo stop of the day was at Lake Crescent,
We drove on along the coastal route and gradually the mountains gave way to more forestation. The area we drove through once a very busy logging area though there is very little of this industry left and the towns here are suffering. Many of the timber plantations have signs to show when they were first harvested and then the following harvests which seem to be 40-50 year cycles. We went through Forks which had a 'Logging Museum' but is now better known because it is the setting of a novel called 'Twilight' which you may know is all about teenage vampires and an incredibly successful movie. The whole town probably now survives on Twilight tourism - cafes, bookshops, stores all advertise 'Twilight' connections. And we even saw some 'Twilight firewood' on sale by the side of the road.
The road turned south and we found the only accessible beaches in the Olympic Park area. We ventured down on to Ruby Beach. We weren't the only ones though. It is a holiday here this weekend (Monday 3 September is Labor Day) and we met people heading down to the beach through the trees with portable barbeques, coal and hampers of food.
Headed back to the road for a lunch at a lodge which overlooked the sea and then on down to Seaview. This was a long driving day but the scenery was very changeable. We drove through a logging town called Hoquaim which has a Loggers' Play
Day in September - log rolling, axe throwing - a sort of Highland
games. We went from high mountains to bog land where cranberries are grown. As we went further south much of the land marshy and wetland. Oyster fishing towns such as South Bend 'the Oyster capital of the world' in the area of Willapa Bay.
We ended up at Long Beach - 28 miles of uninterrupted sandy beach. This was as far as 2 explorers Lewis and Clark reached when they were commissioned in 1804-6 on an expedition to the transcontinental coast to find a passage across the American continent. They were accompanied by a 15 year old native American Indian called Sacajawea who helped track the route (she features in the movie 'A Night at the Museum') and we found a statue of them in the town. The Shelburne Inn - apparently the oldest continually running hotel in Washington State. It was, by American standards, rather old-fashioned. So no TVs or phones in the room. There was a collection of stained glass in the restaurant windows which the owners had saved from a church in Morecambe 35 years ago when it was being pulled down. Though a bit unsettling sitting in the restaurant beside a glass windows that said 'In memory of Florence May 1902'. But although the hotel was, as Neil described it, a bit 'creepy' they did have an excellent restaurant where we had good dinner and a huge breakfast menu. Breakfast included things like a 'Chef's Daily Omelette specialising in local mushrooms picked by Inn keeper and friends'. Full menu in the photos below.