Around the Olympic Peninsula

La Push Sunset

Ocean Breezes and a Special Guest

Moving on from the shores of the Columbia River, our next stop was at the Ocean Breeze K/M Resort at Ocean City, Washington, another of the ROD parks along our route. This was a lovely RV resort with spacious sites nestled in a heavily forested setting. We only stayed for three nights, very short by our new standards in retirement, just long enough to fill a gap in our reservations at our next stop up the coast.

Around the Olympic Peninsula

Our route around the Olympic Peninsula

We were very excited about our stay here because my mom, Marta, was joining us on our travels around the Olympic Peninsula. Our last visit with mom was about a year ago during our travels through Iowa and we were really looking forward to seeing her again. Mom had booked a flight from Des Moines, Iowa, to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac), arriving about 9 PM on the day after we arrived in Ocean City. I met her at SeaTac and brought her back to camp, about a six-hour round trip from Ocean City.

We had one more full day at Ocean City so we took mom on a long drive down the coast to Astoria and back. Mom enjoyed crossing over the soaring Astoria bridge and spending some time along the Columbia River. This was her first visit to the Olympic Peninsula and she really seemed to enjoy the scenery along the way. 

Beachfront Camping at Beautiful La Push, WA

The following day we broke camp and moved on to the Quileute Oceanside Resort at La Push, Washington, for an eleven night stay. The Oceanside resort is on the Quileute Reservation and features stunning beachfront views of First Beach and rocky offshore islands. The resort has luxurious cabin and hotel rooms, but a rather basic RV campground, albeit with 30 amp full hookup sites. The resort allows tent camping right on the beach and is very popular with surfers and fishermen.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at La Push. Our campsite was on the front tier facing the beach. Just a short walk from our campsite was a trail to the beach passing through a chaotic tumble of massive driftwood logs washed up by the winter storms. Several giant logs – entire trees – were washed up on the beach. Jasmine & Pepper certainly enjoyed the frequent romps in the surf along the dog-friendly First Beach.

We enjoyed having this time visiting with mom and sharing our travel experiences. Mom proceeded to spoil us rotten with home-made cinnamon rolls and made-from-scratch biscuits and gravy. Yum!

Weather was great during our stay here. Skies were often overcast in the morning with occasional fog and drizzle, but generally cleared by the afternoon. Nighttime temperatures dipped into the low 50’s F, but days warmed into the upper 60’s or low 70’s – delightful.

While touring the area, we stopped at the Quileute Marina. We enjoyed seeing the fishing boats in port at the and watching Coast Guard boats conducting training exercises in the harbor. Mom treated us to a nice lunch at the River’s Edge Restaurant at the marina, (featuring a basket of some of the largest clam strips we had ever seen).

We also enjoyed visits to nearby Rialto and Second Beaches, in the Olympic National Park. While in La Push, we found a stand with local caught smoked salmon – great fare for a quick-lunch with cheese and crackers.

 

Hoh Rain Forest and the Hall of Mosses

For one of our day trips we visited the Hoh Rain Forest in the Olympic National Park. We took a hike on the Hall of Mosses Trail – a short trail winding up the mountainside and then through cathedral groves of ancient moss-draped Big Leaf Maples – impressive! Along the trail, we saw several elk, including cow & calf, as well as a young bull elk in velvet. Afterwards, we had a picnic lunch. The rain forest was quite dry during our visit. Skies were overcast and we felt a few sprinkles, but it had been weeks since the park had received any significant rainfall.

A Twilight Zone – Vampires and Werewolves, Oh My!

Here’s something for all of you fans of the Twilight movies and books – the Twilight Treaty Line at the Three Rivers Resort, between La Push and Forks, Washington. We passed these quirky signs on the way to and from La Push and couldn’t resist stopping. There are many other Twilight-related sights around the Forks area.

Neah Bay and Cape Flattery

For another day trip, we visited Neah Bay and Cape Flattery, the northwestern most tip of the continental United States. Both Neah Bay and Cape Flattery are on the Makah Reservation – visitors must buy a pass before parking anywhere on the res (very inexpensive – $10 for an annual pass).

We enjoyed seeing and photographing the crusty fishing and sports boats at the marina, as well as watching a playful sea otter basking and grooming on the docks. We also enjoyed stunning coastal views along the Cape Flattery trail.

Onward to Sequim – Friends and Farewells

Our time at La Push seemed to just fly past – before we knew it we were packing up and moving on to our next stop, the Rainbow’s End RV Park in Sequim, Washington. The drive from La Push to Sequim passed along the shores of Lake Crescent, a spectacular deep lake surrounded by forested and craggy mountains, very reminiscent of a scene from Germany or Austria.

While in Sequim our friends from the Seattle area, Kim & Jeff, stopped by for a visit. We’ve known Kim & Jeff for many years, long before they moved to the Seattle area, and have gone on many camping trips with them. They were only able to stay one night and the following day – a short stay, but enough to catch up on things. We all took a day trip to Lake Crescent and hung out for the afternoon. Jeff did a little scuba diving and Kim snorkeled for a while. We had a nice time visiting and enjoyed dinner at a nearby restaurant (Granny’s).  Before we knew it, Kim & Jeff were saying their farewells and leaving to catch their ferry back across Puget Sound. (Kim & Jeff, we miss you both – the time was way too short – looking forward to our next visit!)

The following day saw another farewell as I dropped mom off at SeaTac for her return flight to Des Moines. Her visit had been just over two weeks long, but still too short a time. (Mom, we miss you & your cinnamon rolls! We hope you can come visit again, soon.)

Suddenly Quiet Time in Sequim and Truck Maintenance

The rest of our two-week stay in Sequim passed quietly, especially after having company for the previous several weeks. We took a few more day trips in the area, including visits to Dungeness County Park, Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park, as well as a drive back to Neah Bay and Shi Shi Beach.

We also caught up on shopping and other chores – conveniently, there is a Costco in Sequim. I also took the F-350 truck into the local Ford dealership for its 20K mile maintenance and to check the wheel alignment. I had noticed excessive wear on the truck tires, especially on the right front tire – disappointing, given we’ve only driven a little more than 20K miles on the set. The alignment was good, less than one degree out, but not enough to explain the wear pattern. Given how close to the wear bars all tires were, we purchased a new set of Michelin tires with a 60K mile tread guaranty. We hope this set of tires will last longer than the last set! (Kudos to Price Ford Lincoln dealership for getting us in and back on the road, quickly, and doing a good job of it.)

That’s all for now. Take care and enjoy the journey!

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