The Olympic Penninsula Part 1 - Port Angeles
In late July friends from Holland arrived for a four week US trip to western National Parks. We had the good luck of hosting them in their first week with the Olympic Penninsula as our destination. We started browsing around downtown Seattle before we hopped the 2:05 pm Ferry. They did the Underground tour while we sat and listened to a lunchtime concert in Pioneer Square.
After taking the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge, we headed north and west to the Hood Canal Bridge. Construction had us waiting on the bridge, where we whipped out our sandwiches from Salumi (ahh, delight) and then watched seals. I'm so glad we were stopped on the bridge and not miles back on the highway.
From there we meandered on to Sequim. Man, when did this little town turn into a sprawl. One of my favorite lavender farms is now hitched up next to a housing development. This, my friends, is sad. What, we haven't learned about how to zone yet? The flowers were fabulous - lavenders in amazing colors, a sea of other flowers.
Around 5:30 we pulled into Port Angeles where we would be staying at the Thortown Hostel for two nights while we did day walks in the northern part of Olympic National Park. This is a friendly, home based hostel -- with wifi! Oh dear. Sucked online again. NOT!
The next day we drove up to Lake Crescent, hoping to do the Pyramid Peak trail. Lesson: check with the ranger station before you drive half way round the lake on a dirt road to find out that trail had been washed out? Oh well. We headed back east to the Lower Elwha area and took the Krause Bottom trail, 5 or 6 miles that samples woods, river, meadow and some old mountain shacks. Lots of up and down, wild flowers, huckleberries (yum) and down right pretty scenery.
Then, wanting more, we drove up Hurricane ridge. After stopping at the lodge for softies (soft ice cream) we headed out to do the Hurrican Hill walk. The wildflowers were AMAZING. (I should do a whole post on the flowers) and the view, as always, spectacular. I love that wide-open vista feeling. I wanted to burst out singing "The Hills Are Alive" but we had a teenager with us, and not even mine, so I resisted the urge. Well, I hummed a bit.
Hungry as bears, we headed back into Port Angeles and started cruising the main streets for a restaurant when we found Bella Italia. Our guest had read about it, so we went in and signed up for a table. 20 minute wait. So we put our names on the list, then went browsing.
Some of us went to the bookstore. Three of us were lured irresistably into the Itty Bitty Buzz, a bakery which promised both a splendid counter of baked goods and Olympic Ice Cream. Ice cream before dinner? Sure. Larry had a cup of blueberry while Hilda and I had tea. We promised to come back for breakfast the next day (which we did. My GAWD those rolls were great. We had the blackberry cream cheese and the spinach feta. If you are in Port Angles, stop by the Buzz. This is their Sequim site, 110 E. First Street)
After ice cream and tea, we had a splendid meal at Bella Italia. Like squid? Try their FLASH FRIED CALAMARI With olives, artichokes, tomatoes & roasted garlic on polenta - $9. Mmm. I had a fantastic glass of Washington state Viongnier (sp?) from a women owned winery in Walla Walla. Larry wrote down the name, and now I lost it. :-(
After that repast, sleep was good.