Thursday, May 29, 2014


We're currently criss-crossing Washington state, looking for good campgrounds and sunshine. Stayed at an I-5 Rest Area last night, then drove south, then drove back north, and ended up in Littlerock, WA at a campground where we stayed way back in September. The price is right: Free.

We're both pretty tired and a bit road-weary, so we're just taking it easy for a while. If you don't hear from me for awhile, I'm probably just taking a nap...

Friday, May 23, 2014


The campground is filling up for Memorial Day Weekend and we're settling in for some rainy weather.

Happy 3-Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Spent today checking out 5 different campgrounds around the Port Angeles area, both within Olympic National Park and around it. We will be here until Memorial Day weekend is over (it seems as if campgrounds are going to packed for the weekend), and then we'll likely move on to one of the c.g.s we saw today...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


We drove into Sequim to get pizza at the Pizza Factory, a small franchise pizza place that we had been to before, back in California, and that I had seen a sign advertising when we were in town earlier today. Turns out the place is no longer in business (please remove the sign!), even though they still have a website up that we checked before driving into town. I asked a local where the best pizza was, and she said "Costco" so we went into the Costco. I re-upped my (actually, my mom's) membership, which we had let lapse, and bought a pizza! $10.82 for the pizza, and $110 for the membership renewal. Note to self: don't drink 3 glasses of wine and then go into town seeking pizza. I blame Pizza Factory. But we will enjoy the Costco membership on our travels, and the pizza is pretty tasty, so all's well that ends well on a quiet, peaceful Wednesday evening in Sequim!


Today we are just sitting around recovering from yesterday's 11-mile (roundtrip) hike out to the lighthouse on Dungeness Spit. The trail goes from the campground, into the Dungeness Wildlife Preserve where the trail onto the spit begins. There is a half mile trail down to the beach, and then you hike the beach for 5 miles out to the New Dungeness Lighthouse. The hike is level, and the weather was fantastic (although a chilly wind came up a few times on the way, and was pretty constant all the way back, which made for a rather uncomfortable return trip!); I'm totally wiped-out today!
Someone must've put this starfish up on the driftwood
Seagulls abound, and they don't seem very frightened of humans; we also saw a bald eagle
The lighthouse, which is still operational and prevents ships from hitting the spit. Before the lighthouse, there were shipwrecks aplenty.
This is the lighthouse keeper's house, added in 1904. Working volunteers live in it now, different volunteers each week.
Back to Reality...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014


Sequim (pronounced "squim") and Dungeness Spit sounds a bit like one of Captain Haddock's (from the TinTin book series) colorful expletives, but it couldn't be further from  it - Sequim is one of the most beautiful cities we've seen on our trip so far, and Dungeness Spit is a narrow piece of land that juts out five miles into the heavily traveled and gorgeous Strait of Juan De Fuca (waterway between Washington and Canada - we can see Victoria, British Columbia from our campground).

We plan on staying here a week or so, exploring the Spit and Sequim and the nearby National Park campgrounds, trails, and waterfalls. We've only really just arrived, but I sense that it's going to be awesome.

Here's the trail down to view the Strait, that fence on the left borders our campsite (#12)
This is the trail to the left, looking toward Port Angeles
Looking down from the trail is the beach, the seagulls, and the surf

A big cargo ship passes through the Strait (Canada behind it)
To the right, you can see Dungeness Spit (sounds like Crab saliva, but it isn't) - we may hike out there tomorrow
Some rosebuds along the trail

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Drove down to Olympia today to meet up with our youngest son. We had lunch at a great restaurant called "King Solomon's Reef" - outstanding food (and the company was fantastic!)!

Friday, May 16, 2014


Our campground hosts kindly shared a local "jewel" of the area: a waterfall just outside of the city of Brinnon (that's the city we're in!). We took their advice and drove out Dosewallips Rd. to the 3-mile marker, parked in the turnout, and walked the short distance (past the Rocky Brook hydroelectric building) to the hugest waterfall we've been able to get close to; 229 feet! You can feel the spray, and in the summer, it's said, kids swim in the green pool at the base of the crashing falls!

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Today is the 9-month anniversary of us moving into the Chinook. Two humans, a cat, and a huge litter box in about 70 square feet of living space - some said it couldn't be done. Nine months of getting dressed in our kitchen. And still at it!

The Hamma Hamma area of the National Forest was our destination today. We drove out to Hamma Hamma Falls, and then did two of the many hikes the area has to offer; the Beaver Pond and the CCC Interpretive Trail that comes out of the Hamma Hamma campground. We started off by driving out Forest Service road #2500 to reach the majestic falls that are well worth the drive out. We even took the little steep footpath down to get a closer look, and sat there for quite some time taking it all in. Unfortunately, it's really hard to get good photos from above a waterfall, so interested parties will just have to come out here and see for themselves! There was also a fantastic (although smaller) waterfall on the way, which we hiked down to.

The Beaver Pond trail was quiet and picturesque, but we didn't see any beavers. A woodpecker, a pigeon, a couple of ducks, and a ton of water skeeters supplied all the wildlife. I did see some lovely flowers though! And the CCC Interpretive Trail was very nice, too. It goes along the river, where we stopped and ate sandwiches, then along a pretty creek, and past a very quaint historic cabin, that people can rent and stay in, before we looped back to the Hamma Hamma campground.

Here are some flower photos taken at the Beaver Pond trail:
Some sort of wild columbine, I think
Not sure what this is, but it sure looks like a dogwood!
Bleeding Hearts, setting seed pods
Trillium - I just liked the weird wiggly twisty parts
Perfect star-shaped blooms on every specimen of this plant we found
Oh, here's one of the upper part of the Hamma Hamma falls, after all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Last night's full moon over the Hood Canal, with the water high and the moon's glow shimmering all the way across the canal, was a sight to behold! We saw the moon peeking between the trees and walked down to the beach to see it in all its glory! Beautiful!

Today, we did the .8 of a mile hike out to Murhut Falls, in the Duckabush Recreation Area. On the way, we checked out Collins Campground, which is slated to open this weekend. The campground was very nice, with most of the campsites right on the rushing river. But the waterfall was our real goal for the day, and it was well worth the short, steep trail. There's a lovely tree trunk bench to sit on while you listen to the crashing falls and watch the spray as the first cascade hits the top pool!
The Murcut waterfall drops about 125 feet - gorgeous!
These little falls were just downstream

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Time to dump the tanks, hit the showers, and park in the sunshine to give the old solar panels some tanning time, so down the road about a mile and a half we go, to Dosewallips State Park. After the housekeeping tasks, we parked over at the Day Use area, plugged in all the various and sundry electronic gadgets that needed charging (that would be all of them, as our campsite is so heavily treed that the RV feels like a cave, even in the middle of the day!), and then ate a little picnic lunch along the Dosewallips River. A neat little trail connects the picnic area, the park campgrounds, and the beach access area, so we walked that in our shorts and flip-flops (the day is the sunniest and warmest yet!). The beach access area is used by many to hit the beach for clamming and oyster collecting. There's a nice trail down to the water where the clammers, armed with rakes and buckets, catch their daily dose of shellfish! Now we're back in the parking lot letting the panels put the final touches (the 100% charged icons) on the gadgets and enjoying the views!
Here's where we ate lunch
Along a little side canal of the Dosewallips River
The view from the trail to the beach access area, looking across Hwy. 101
View from the parking lot of the beach access area
Happy clammers coming back from low tide
More happy clammers. There were lots of folks digging up their dinner today!
View from down near the beach - all the white areas (except for on top of the mountain; that's snow) are oyster and clam shells
Wild-growing rosebuds along the trail
Wild rose, near opening

Monday, May 12, 2014


Laundry and Grocery and Local Yarn Shop Day in Port Townsend, which is actually about 35 miles from where we are camping, but it's where the Laundromat, Grocery Store, and LYS are.
Great laundromat (and attached car wash, if needed) in Port Townsend! And right next door was a shop that sold homemade doughnuts - we finished our first doughnuts before we even got back to the laundromat, and returned for seconds. Delicious! Then, a quick hop into the two (!!) local yarn shops in Port Townsend: Bazaar Girls Yarn and Diva Yarns; I got away with only a few skeins of yarn to find room for in the Chinook. On the way back to the campground, we hiked the Rainbow Canyon Trail, a short, but sweet (and short, but steep) one mile trail that begins at the back of the closed/abandoned Rainbow campground and takes you down to the Big Quilcene River. There is a small waterfall to view, about two-thirds of the way down to the river.
Late afternoon hike, at about 4 p.m., and the sun was hitting the leaves beautifully! It was a gorgeous day!
The falls were about 20 feet
Big Quilcene River view

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Fabulous trail, although it was almost 6 strenuous miles, and we haven't done one of those for a we are back in the Chinook, nursing sore feet! It was worth it, though. The Tunnel Creek Trail is beautiful, about 10 miles off of Hwy. 101, in the Buckhorn Wilderness area of the Olympic National Forest. We were expecting a level hike, and it was definitely not that: Steep. Snow (!!) on the trail. And even a tree down across the trail that made it difficult to maneuver around. But we made it to the historic (renovated) shelter, and went even further to the footbridge (which was basically a huge tree, flattened on one side, with a railing attached) to take in all the creek's rushing beauty, before returning, hobbling a bit, to the trailhead. It was a wonderful day!

The road on the way to the trailhead
A salmonberry and a salmonberry bloom, next to the creek

First views of Tunnel Creek, along the trail
Flora, along the trail
Flora, along the trail

Unexpected snow on the trail
We finally (after 2.7 miles of ascent!) reached the shelter

My favorite fall along the way
The falls above the footbridge (about a quarter of a mile past the shelter)

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Waterfalls! They certainly have all kinds of water here on the Olympic Peninsula - ocean, canals, rivers, rain, bays, and falls! It's especially obvious when you've come from some of the driest areas of the country. The contrast is amazing. For example, there was no sign at the beginning of the day's hike that said "Hikers have died on this trail because they didn't bring enough water." We did two short hikes today out of the Falls View Campground (campground not yet open for the season, but the trails are) just south of Quilcene, Washington. The day was grey and somewhat spritzy, but the scenery is gorgeous.

The first hike was the Falls View Trail - level and accessible. The falls go about 100 feet down into the Big Quilcene River.
The next hike (the trailheads are right next to each other) drops down into the canyon to the river's edge. It's called (not surprisingly) the Falls View Canyon Trail.
We also met with some lovely flora, a spider, and a banana slug.
Have no idea what this flower looks like - this group was the first buds on the whole plant!
Bleeding hearts

That spider underneath the flowers photo-bombed - I didn't even know it was there until I uploaded the pictures!
This slug wasn't actually on the trail - it was right next to the jeep at our campsite