A couple of weeks ago we decided to buzz over to the Olympic Peninsula and search for some waterfalls. There is a waterfall road trip that loops highway 101 starting on the east side of the Peninsula goes north to the Strait of Juan De Fuca and turns south to drive along the Pacific Ocean coast for a while. We took the dogs, so we couldn’t go into the National Park, but we could go into the National Forest, so we drove west and found a couple of waterfalls in the Olympic National Forest, then drove up the coast and found a beautiful beach.
We barely scratched the surface and as soon as we have a couple of days to explore we’ll go again.
Today we went on a quick hike at Fort Steilacoom. The place is a bit deceiving at first glance. As we pulled into the parking lot I was disappointed. There were baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a playground and a paved walking trail. I thought here we go again, another boring “unscenic” walking path. Where were the vistas?
We walked along on the path and noticed some people off in the distance that were not on the paved path. We cut across the field and found some dirt trails that led us off into the woods. The deeper we got into the woods, the more serene and beautiful it got.
We plan on going back in the future to do more extensive exploring.
Saturday we drove up to Mount Rainier even though it was raining, because if you plan your day around the weather or what is forecast here, you’ll never go anywhere. It was misting rain with low clouds so we couldn’t see Mount Rainier from the Sunrise visitor center, but the drive was still beautiful.
I left my camera home but took these with my phone.
We’ve been on vacation this week and again we have gone exploring around the state going to places we haven’t been to yet and still have only scratched the surface. We drove down to Long Beach, Washington and went to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse. Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is at the mouth of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. The views were stunning, absolutely took my breath away.
It is named Cape Disappointment because in 1792 fur trader John Meares was sailing south in search of trade locations and turned around just short of the mouth of the Columbia River. Silly man, should have stopped and asked for directions.
Sunday we jumped in the car and drove up Highway 101 to Port Angeles. The drive was very picturesque driving along Puget Sound on the right and the Olympic National Forest on the left. I didn’t get many pictures, spent too much time just enjoying the ride. Orso got a first look at pigeons and just couldn’t quite figure out how to get to them.
Sunday is all about rest and relaxation. For a dog that is almost 10 years old, he is still such a puppy!
Mount Rainier, inspires awe every time I see her. On my walks or in the car I get a feeling of amazement at her beauty. She stands alone majestic and visible from miles away. Today we drove up to Paradise Visitors Center to get a closer look. Sunrise and Longmire Visitors Centers are still closed from the snow until mid to late July. There are still roads up there closed because of the huge snow falls we had this past winter.
Mount Rainier is one of three active volcanoes in Washington, Mt St Helens and Mt Adams are all still active. Maybe that lends something to the mystery of them. Sadly we had to leave Orso at home for this excursion, dogs are only allowed in the parking lot and not on the trails or on the snow. He had to spend the day in the air conditioning watching TV.
Today we traveled to the Cascade Mountains up to Snoqualmie Pass to hike at Denny Creek. This morning was a more typical day in the Pacific Northwest, rainy and overcast with temperatures in the sixties. Up in the mountains, there is still snow at the higher elevations, even in June, go figure.
We first drove up to Snow Lake Trailhead and hiked up to see a couple of waterfalls higher up but there was still snow that high and fresh snow at 4,000 feet. So we wandered down to the Franklin Falls trailhead and hiked up to the waterfall. Orso wanted to get into the river and splash around, but the current was way too fast and hard, we would have had to chase him all the way to the ocean.
We found cabins in the woods right on the river, talk about isolated. All in all we are getting to see things we never had back in the Midwest.
Today we drove out to the coast to let Orso play in the ocean. There were a few surfers out there trying to catch a few waves. Overall the day was beautiful, a mild breeze, partly cloudy and mild temperatures. I found some intact sand dollars and made Mitch put them in his pockets to carry for me.
We took Orso to an inlet first to see how he would do in the ocean with the salt water.
Then we moved to the ocean shore to explore.
Today we took a day trip and drove down to Mt. St. Helen’s Visitor Centers. It was a beautiful sunny day, great for exploring and taking some photos.
Mt. St. Helen’s western side from a distance
A closer look at the crater
The side of the mountains facing the blast when the volcano blew.