After 10 wonderful weeks in Oregon we moved on to Washington where my parents would be joining us for a couple of weeks. Our first stop in WA was Port Angeles in the Olympic Peninsula. My parents flew into Seattle which was about 3 hours away but the closest airport for them to fly into. We had a fun day of planes, trains & automobiles (and ferries too!) when we went to pick them up. I will write a separate post about Seattle later.
While we were in Port Angeles we visited Olympic National Park. This park is huge and takes up most of the northwestern part of the state. It includes mountains, lakes, the ocean and even a rain forest!
Port Angeles is near the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center so our first adventure at Olympic was hiking up to Hurricane Ridge. The views were spectacular! We were blessed with a beautiful, clear day and could see Victoria, British Columbia across the water where we went the next day. Stay tuned for a post about that amazing city.
After the strenuous climb it was time for a snack break!
Later that week we went to visit some other areas of Olympic that were close to Port Angeles including Marymere Falls and Lake Crescent.
It was quite smoky in the area that day due to wildfires in the northwest so it’s hard to get a good idea of just how clear this lake is. Standing over the edge of the dock the water was so clear you could see straight down to the bottom which was probably over 8 feet deep at that point, but it was really hard to tell.
We took an overnight trip over to the town of Forks, WA where the Twilight novels were based. This is the western side of Olympic but quite a drive from Port Angeles which is why we decided to spend the night instead of driving back and forth 2 days in a row.
Our first stop on this side of the park was the amazing Hoh Rain Forest. Near constant fog and mist in addition to 12 to 14 feet of rain each year result in this lush rain forest which has been designated one of the 7 wonders of Washington state.
Hall of Mosses
The boys earned their Junior Ranger badges at the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center.
Next we headed over to Ruby Beach which was beautiful and so much fun!
I love looking for colorful sea creatures in the tide pools, but I didn’t find any here, probably because the tide was coming back in.
Jake decided to build a raft out of driftwood and float down the waterways. Jesse decided to join him. I nicknamed them Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. 🙂
Grampa liked skipping rocks.
The next morning we woke up to a rainy day. I know that is not uncommon for the Pacific Northwest, but we had been very blessed with mostly beautiful days for the entire summer. Anyway, we weren’t going to let a little rain keep us from searching the early morning low tide pools at Rialto Beach.
At first it was just a little drizzle and fog, not too bad as we hiked to Hole-in-the-Wall and Split Rock.
The rain picked up and we all got soaked, not to mention we were freezing! I don’t know about the rest of my people, but for me it was worth it. I saw the most beautiful and colorful starfish there. These were the best tide pools I saw in all of our time in the PNW!
I had been searching for a purple sea urchin for weeks and never did find one, but I did see this beautiful purple starfish which was good enough for me.
We saw lots of these green sea anemones everywhere!
Chris and Jesse hung in there with me for a while longer after Gramma, Grampa and Jake decided they had enough of the cold and rain and headed back to the truck.
Jesse collected lots of rocks.
We made it to Hole-in-the-Wall, looking just a little bit like drowned rats and feeling just a little bit cold!
It was worth it to me at least. Look at this wonderland of tide pools just waiting to be explored! I could have stayed here all day if we weren’t wet and freezing.
After this we walked/ran as quickly as we could back to some dry clothes and a warm truck. We had planned to go up to Cape Flattery next, the northwestern most point in the lower 48 states, but since the weather wasn’t cooperating we headed back to our cozy little home back in Port Angeles.
Up next… 2 beautiful days in Victoria, Canada.