Hello Friends and Family! This episode takes us back to July of 2022 when Larry and I were making our way slowly through the Pacific Northwest. The word ‘slowly’ is not really accurate because if we really had been going slowly, we would still be there. It is such a beautiful and varied part of the world. I feel richer for having visited there.
Our first stop on the way was at a Harvest Host location called Azebrasis Ranch II in Montesano, Washington. We spent three nights here, under a shady tree, waiting out the crowds of the fourth of July weekend. Our hosts had a great variety of vegetables and nice hand made crafts. It was a pleasant stay interrupted by the whine of an ATV going about 60 miles an hour along the dirt road over and over again. I know, I know. Take the good with the bad.
There was a rough and tumble neighbor who came by on a tractor and announced in no uncertain terms that the government was not going to take away his fireworks. I made up stories about him in my head that were dashed after he spent the day laboring for free for our hosts to fix some fencing. So much for my stereotype of the man. We were later regaled for most of the night with a very uproarious fireworks salvo.
Our next stop was Whiskey Creek Beach NW in Port Angeles, Washington. We are ranking this place as one of our gems. We always ask ourselves how we define a ‘gem’ and descriptors like remote, beautiful, water, and rocks come to mind. I spent most of my days there rock hounding on the beach. The beach was littered with rocks that were almost spherical.
After some research, I am thinking that they are called concretions. Click here if you would like to learn more about them. I would gather rocks in the morning and then arrange them on the picnic table. The next morning, they would go back to the beach. Well, most of them did. That was hard to let them go. Here’s a slide show of my rock adventures.
The campground was near Olympia National Park and we were keen on going there. I especially wanted to go to the Hoh Rain Forrest. Alas, we were in peak summer season. We were told to expect at least a four hour wait at the parking lot and then that it was possible that we would not find a parking spot. So, that was disappointing but c’est la vie. We went to Hurricane Ridge instead. It was crowded but the views were spectacular. I had fun watching this young woman dancing about as if she she was in The Sound of Music
We have fun lazing the days away, watching ships come and go. Larry had his binoculars ready as he watched ships of all sizes head in and out of port. He even spotted a submarine! Here’s a slide show of some of the sights.
We sure didn’t want to leave Whiskey Creek at the end of our six day stay but all good things must come to an end and the road was calling. Next stop, Dossewallips State Park in Brennen, Washington.
We spend three nights here. There were lot of great walks and hikes nearby and a herd of elk came by every morning . That was pretty special.
The park was along the Dosewallips River which empties into the Dabob Bay and Hood Canal. Many people arrived every morning to harvest clams.
And, the scenery was enchanting
Our next stop was Olympia, Washington to visit my childhood friend, Sally. We had a great time catching up and it was an extra treat being able to be with Sally’s Mom, Betsy and Sally’s sister, Berit. Sally and I met at the Hill School when we were five and immediately declared ourselves best friends. That was over 60 years ago and I still consider her to be one of my life’s treasures.
Sally and her husband harvest a lot of food from the nearby ocean. On a day when we were there, Sally’s husband, Chris went out to get Geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck). According to Chris, you go to the tidal flats and dig a hole about six feet deep and then go after them because they retreat rapidly. You have to snicker when you see them, I’m not going to kid you about that. Chris put the geoduck through a meat grinder and then pan fried it with oil and a lot of garlic. Then you scoop them up with a Frito chip. It was tasty and similar in texture to calamari.
While we were visiting Chris gave us a tour of his workshop where he creates one of a kind works of art out of feathers. Chris Maynard’s is mind blowing. It was an honor to be in the presence of such a talented artist. Click on his name to go to his web site. Here’s one of his works that is on display at the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC.
Ever onward, we moved along to Seaquest State Park in Castle Rock, Washington were we camped so that we would be near Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument. Larry and I were both in our early 20’s when Mt. St. Helens blew and we remember the dramatic footage of the explosion on the nightly news. It’s amazing to see the place now, over 40 years after the event. We witnessed the evidence of the massive destruction for mile and miles. We also saw how Mother Nature prevails with plants and animals returning slowly to some of the area. We really liked our visit here and appreciated the reminder of nature’s massive power.
The Visitors Center was very informative. The campground was cramped but convenient.
We spent a night at a Harvest Host location called Blue Mist Farm in Enumclaw, Washington. Our hostess was very warm and informative and we learned a lot about raising alpaca. When you stay at a Harvest Host location, you have no fee to pay but it is expected that you support this local business. That was not a problem for me as I stocked up on lovely alpaca yarn. It is heavenly to knit with! We had a nice tour of the farm. They have two big Maremma sheepdogs to protect the sheep and alpaca from mountain lions and other predators.
While we were at the farm, the local vet arrived to geld the goats. We declined the offer to observe but things must have gone smoothly because we didn’t hear any ruckus and the vet emerged from the barn unscathed. He mentioned that he was getting ready to go on vacation in NH. His wife has been coming to Wolfeboro, NH since she was a child. They rented a cottage on the lake off of Canopache Lane. Small world.
The next stop was Flowing Lake County Park in Snohomish, Washington. We finally were leaving the popular and therefore, crowded parks and it was nice to be able to stretch out. We enjoyed the nice walks and beautiful scenery. I especially loved the moss covered trees.
The last stop in this episode was an overnight stay at a Harvest Host location called Raised by Wolves in Stanwood, Washington. We had a nice peaceful night and woke up refreshed and ready for our next adventure in Anacortes, Washington.
Thanks for reading this episode of Streamin-in-Shiny. We love hearing from your and reading your comments. Until next time!