Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mt. Rainier to Olympic National Park

Some great stops this past week, but not so great on internet and phone connections.

Jan and I said goodbye to Oregon, crossed the Columbia River and headed up Route 97 to Yakima Sportsman State Park in Yakima, Washington.

We had really enjoyed our views of the Columbia River.  The plan is to catch another view or two from the Washington State side of the river.

Barges on the Columbia look a bit small compared to the Mississippi River.

Yakima turned out to be a great stop.  It was Memorial Day weekend and we had no reservations.

But we lucked out with the last site--a host site--in one of the circles.  A well maintained park with miles of hiking trails.  Also, a good place for birds.  This was one of a number of yellow headed blackbirds. Also a number of red winged blackbirds-- all nesting.

There were high hopes for our trip up to Mt. Rainier National Park.

This was Route 12 from Yakima.  It seems almost every road is a scenic byway.

That is,  if you have good weather to see the scenery.

We were lucky to have a few peeks at Mt. Rainier through the showers.

Still a scenic drive----even in the rain.

Washington is the Evergreen State.

We know why--lots of tall evergreens , including some tall Douglas Fir that started life around  1200A.D. and also Sitka Spruce.

Lady Blue is happy in a level spot.  Once again, our senior pass grants us free admission to the Mt. Rainier National Park and half price for the campsite----$6.00

The campground is Ohanapecosh and most weekend visitors are leaving as we arrive.

It is dry camping--no hookups. But we are happy with our three solar panels.

Some beautiful trails in and around the campground.
This one will lead us up to Silver Falls.

Smaller falls along the way show off the many shades of green.

We can tell that the falls are close.  You can hear them from quite a ways away.

It is obvious that a lot of melting snow has added to volume of water.

Nice thing about the Silver Falls trail is that there is a different trail for the way back.

Jan and I are happy that the rain has held off for this day.

From Ohanapecosh, we follow Route 12 to Route 5 south and then west along the Columbia River again to Cape Disappointment State Park and another rendezvous with Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery.

The shores along the Pacific Coast are lined with logs that have come ashore after traveling down streams and rivers in high water.

Just one of the lighthouses along this section of the mouth of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.

This is the North Head lighthouse.

Some of these trees and stumps have been here for many years--occasionally moved along or back out to sea by the storms.

On our way out of the campground, we have to make a stop at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.  Part of the property gives a good view of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.

The museum is a great wealth of information about the Lewis and Clark trip.  Maps, replicas of clothing, firearms, and journals, as well as other information about their amazing journey.

Taking a recommendation from the locals, we make a detour out of the campground, back to the town of Ilwaco for Jessie's.

Located on one of the fishing piers, it has a good selection of fresh oysters and fish.

Jan and I settle on a pint of fresh shucked oysters for $9.20 and a pound of wonderful fresh wild salmon.

This view outside of Jessie's will tell you right away that this is an active fishing port.

All along this section of Washington coast, you can see not only fishing boats--large and small--, but also a number of seafood packing and shipping businesses.

One of the most popular state parks in Washington is Grayland State park.  Wonderfully maintained, it is usually full on weekends, even in December.  Another state park where the campers come to shellfish or just walk the flat, hard sand beach.

Jan and I get to stay one night anyway.

Also, a beach that is popular to drive on.

As at Cape Disappointment, the beach is littered with many old , washed up logs.  You can spend a whole day just looking at the different patterns in the weathered logs.

Another favorite campground is just up the road.

Kalaloch Campground in Olympic National Park.

Yes, this tree stump is as big as it looks.

Even Lady Blue, above, looks a bit small.

It's not all beach walking and checking on the washed up logs.

Some people came here just to fish.

Oh NO!!

There's nothing holding that tree up, Bruce.  Watch out!

 Can you find Jan????

As I said, you could spend the whole day------.

Kalaloch is part of the Olympic National Park and that means that this wonderful, ocean view site will be $7 per night.

We had to wait for this site until our second day, but it was well worth the wait.

A plus of Kalaloch (pronounced Clay-lock) is that there is this wonderful Kalaloch Lodge Restaurant within walking distance of our site.

The view from our table (inside).  The menu provided a good listing of Washington state wines and home made offerings for lunch.

We opted for Batter Fried Fish and Chips which were wonderful.

You can see that the chef was somewhat creative by the dessert list.

We were tempted by the Lavender Creme Brulee, but settled on the Washington Apple Rosemary Pie.
The rosemary was subtle and only on the crust, but it added a nice flavor to an excellent homemade pie.

By the way, the flourless tort substituted chick peas for the flour for the gluten free customers.

Still great to get back to our seaside home and watch the waves come in.

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