Neah Bay! FINALLY!!!

Motorcycle, Travel, Uncategorized

Me at Cape Flaherty... er, Flattery

Me at Cape Flaherty… er, Flattery

 

After a couple of previous incomplete attempts, I finally got out to Neah Bay today – the northwesterly-most point of the Lower 48.

I went to the hand doctor first and got a little bit of a late start and I was really not thinking clearly yet. It was supposed to be a nice day and I considered riding my bike so I did not take a pack, boots, outer layer, or hiking poles with me thinking I would go back home, get the bike and gear, and go for a ride. In Sequim it was raining so I decided to just go ahead and head out to the highway in the car even without my gear. I would still have a great time!

I went out US 101 to state highway 113 to see how it was – I had already been toward Neah Bay on state highway 112 from must west of Port Angeles (car and bike) and wanted to see something different, and I also wanted to see Lake Crescent again and make some stops on some side trips. It was a bit chilly without an outer layer so I will have to go back to check out a waterfall by Lake Crescent that I discovered a trail to, as well as a few other places like the Sol Duc Hot Springs area.

I went to another road near that falls trailhead  and got to get down on the shore of Lake Crescent. Beautiful clear water that turns turquoise when the light hits it just right. It was calm water, the ducks were paddling around, and it was a beautiful day in a beautiful place. Kind of reminded me of the Ozarks in Missour/Arkansas in a way.

Stream and bridge along Lake Crescent - along US 101 in Washington

Stream and bridge along Lake Crescent – along US 101 in Washington

Stream and bridge along Lake Crescent - along US 101 in Washington

Interesting tree near Lake Crescent – along US 101 in Washington

Lake Crescent - along US 101 in Washington

Lake Crescent – along US 101 in Washington

Trees along Lake Crescent - along US 101 in Washington

Trees along Lake Crescent – along US 101 in Washington

The Tree Musketeers along Lake Crescent - along US 101 in Washington

The Tree Musketeers along Lake Crescent – along US 101 in Washington

Lake Crescent - along US 101 in Washington

Lake Crescent – along US 101 in Washington

 

After a stroll along the shore, I got back into the car and went west (as I have always seemed to do) and went onward toward 113 so I could go north. This is the road I started on from the other side on my motorcycle a few weeks back when it got so windy and I had to turn around. It was a nice drive – not very busy and some nice scenery, such as this waterfall:

I went onwards on 112 to get to my destination. It is such a beautiful drive, and I cannot wait to go back on my motorcycle – it was a great drive so it will be a great ride.

Something they call "Rosie" - Washington state highway 112 near Seiku

Something they call “Rosie” – Washington state highway 112 near Seiku

Washington state highway 112 near Seiku

Washington state highway 112 near Seiku

Washington state highway 112 near Seiku

Washington state highway 112 near Seiku

Washington state highway 112 near Seiku

Washington state highway 112 near Seiku

 

I got into the town of Neah Bay. It is on the Makah Reservation. If you go out this way you MUST buy a recreation permit to do things in the area or you will get fined. It is only $10 for a calendar year so it is a great deal, especially for the access you get to beaches and Cape Flaherty… er, Flattery. They are available at most of the stores in town, but I had heard about and decided to stop at Washburn’s – if they do not have it, then you obviously do not need it. A hardware/grocery store with a deli. I got my permit, and a few lunch items and went onward to my destination.

I got the car parked and gathered my food and camera and hit the trail. It is a beautiful trail, with hints of the rain forest in it all around. So peaceful and quiet, add to that a perfect weather day and it was shaping up to be a good trip. Just wish I had my bike… oh well.’ Part of the trail is a raised boardwalk, and the tribe did an outstanding job planning and building the trail. The are log rounds on parts as well.

Skunk cabbage flower - Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

Skunk cabbage flower – Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

Skunk cabbage flowers - Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

Skunk cabbage flowers – Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

Boardwalk on trail - Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

Boardwalk on trail – Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

Tree and boardwalk on trail - Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

Tree and boardwalk on trail – Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

 

There were some really nice overlook platforms they added and you got views like this:

View from one of the overlooks on the trail looking south toward the Pacific Ocean - Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

View from one of the overlooks on the trail looking south toward the Pacific Ocean – Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

View from one of the overlooks on the trail looking south toward the Pacific Ocean - Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

View from one of the overlooks on the trail looking south toward the Pacific Ocean – Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

View from one of the overlooks on the trail looking south toward the Pacific Ocean - Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

View from one of the overlooks on the trail looking south toward the Pacific Ocean – Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

View from one of the overlooks on the trail looking southeast - Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

View from one of the overlooks on the trail looking southeast – Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

View from one of the overlooks on the trail looking north across the Strait of San Juan de Fuca toward Vancouver Island, British Columbia - Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

View from one of the overlooks on the trail looking north across the Strait of San Juan de Fuca toward Vancouver Island, British Columbia – Cape Flattery trail, Neah Bay, WA

 

I walked out to the farthest lookout. What a view that was:

Panorama of Cape Flattery - Neah Bay, WA

Panorama of Cape Flattery – Neah Bay, WA

 

A sea otter appeared with a baby riding on its belly. Looked a little big to be hitching a ride, but they were staying afloat. It was the end of the U.S.! The island in the middle of the picture has a lighthouse on it. I would love to go check that out.

Sea otter with a baby on board - Cape Flattery, Neah Bay, WA

Sea otter with a baby on board – Cape Flattery, Neah Bay, WA

Island with lighthouse - Cape Flattery, Neah Bay, WA

Island with lighthouse – Cape Flattery, Neah Bay, WA

 

 

This was a great spot for lunch I thought so out came the groceries.

I had lunch, hiked the beautiful trail back to the car, and headed home. I closed up the trailhead and went down to the beach to make sure everyone off the beach for the day. All I saw was this:

Sunset at Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge - Sequim, WA

Sunset at Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge – Sequim, WA

 

What a gorgeous ending to a great day!

This Looked Like a Fine Place for Lunch…

Travel, Uncategorized

Olympic Mountains panorama from Dungeness Spit, Sequim, WA

Olympic Mountains panorama from Dungeness Spit, Sequim, WA

Something Interesting Happened to Me Today

Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

Well, something ELSE interesting happened I should say.

Four young people came in to visit The Spit this morning. Two of the girls were from Japan and the group was a pretty nice bunch of kids. The two from Japan were very friendly and one in particular was asking a lot of questions.

Some time went by after they left to go down to the water and I went about talking to visitors and doing some other things around the visitor kiosk. I was bent over doing something and one of the girls came up to me and asked me very nicely if she could ask me some questions. I said “Of course!” and she started to ask me in very broken English about volunteering. I was actually able to understand her quite well even with my tinnitus. She was quite interested in it and she was saying that in Japan there is not a lot of that kind of volunteering like we have here. They may have a volunteer day that is arranged, but nothing ongoing from what I gathered. It sounded like she wants to get a visa and move over here and do volunteer work in the parks, which is always appreciated. She introduced herself and her name is Hazuki. That is a pretty cool name for a very pretty girl.

Her other friend from Japan came over and joined the conversation and helped to translate a few things between us. The three of us talked some more and it was quite interesting and a lot of fun. I have never had that type of experience before and it was cool. I excused myself to helped a few other people and they went over to look at the interpretive panels and take a few pictures of them. I caught back up with them and we talked some more. They were getting ready to leave and I asked them if they wanted me to take a picture, meaning I would take their picture for them in front of the kiosk, They said “Yes!” and Hazuki came over and stood next to me while the other girl took the picture. Then, she gave the picture to the third girl in the group, came over and said her name was (I believe) Nomie.  Another pretty girl with a pretty name. That picture was snapped and we said our goodbyes. Of course I was totally not thinking and did not get a picture of us with my own camera. D’oh!

I went to help some other visitors as they got ready to leave. As they pulled away we waved and smiled at each other. Such a cool experience and definitely the highlight of my day today and one of the highlights of my time here. Maybe my picture will end up on her blog and I will be famous in Japan!

I wish you well and the best of luck, Hazuki… and you too, Nomie. Maybe our paths will cross again sometime.

 

A Few New Pics – 03/22/13

Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

A Woodbow! - Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

A Woodbow! – Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Tall Trees - Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Tall Trees – Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

The Spit - Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

The Spit – Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

The Spit - Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

The Spit – Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

Trader Joe’s

Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

Today I took a friend to the mall to exchange the earrings I bought last week for some others that I could actually install myself, plus we ran some other errands. It is really starting to feel like it is not such a long ways to go that way after doing it a few times – not really much longer than the trips I would make in Colorado to go to the shopping areas there.

One place we went to was Trader Joe’s. Now, I have heard all the hype about the place but I did not know what to expect. I figured it was a cool place from the things I had heard so I had to check it out. The one we went to was small, and I was told it was smaller than many to be fair about it. It was an okay place, and I did buy a few things I do not see elsewhere, but not quite the chorus of angels singing as I stepped through the doorway. It was a little different than what I imagined in that I really expected a place that looked like a cheesy tiki bar inside, with stuff everywhere. Instead, it was basically a fairly organized health food grocery store.

One thing they are famous for is something called “Two Buck Chuck”. I walked around and did not see it so I ended up asking about it. It was not labeled with that name… it was just some brand that is not famous and goes by the slang name I guess. I did buy a bottle of that to try for a whopping $2.47, but last week I got a bottle from Walmart that was $2.97 and it was actually not bad… fortunately and surprisingly it did not taste like Mad Dog, Arbor Mist, or Boone’s Farm. It was not sickeningly sweet and actually had fruit flavor instead of some form of paint thinner with “peppery overtones and an oaky finish”… whatever in the hell that is supposed to mean. If I want that flavor, I will get some beef jerky.

Anyhoo, I got that and another bottle of “Blackstone Delectable Red” to try that was inexpensive and a guy there recommended as being decent for the money. Being a novice at this wine thing I do not know what I am really doing, but I do not have the money to piss away on undrinkable grape-flavored diesel fuel. I want something that tastes good – good meaning you can drink a whole bottle and enjoy it but it doesn’t have to taste like a wine cooler. The “Two Buck” was fruity and sweet; not really too bad but thin. The other bottle is less sweet and flavorful, but has a pretty full body.

I will try Joe’s again, but a different store next time and walk through a little slower to see if I can fully engage in the hype. I need to go to REI and want to hit the flagship store in Seattle, so maybe I will do that, find a Trader Joe’s, and do a few other things when I am across the Sound.

This evening I went down to check on a few things on The Spit. The storms are on their way – we are expecting a temperature drop, winds, rain, and even some damn snow down at 500 feet. Good thing I am at 87! It was pretty breezy when I was down there, and the seafoam is really kicking up:

Seafoam and a Storm Coming in - Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge - Sequim, WA

Seafoam and a Storm Coming in – Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge – Sequim, WA