Seattle treated us great and we really enjoyed our visit with family and friends, but after a week in the area, it was time to hit the road on the next leg of our trip. Traveling across Seattle during the morning commute was not something we were looking forward to so we opted to take the ferry to Bainbridge Island. From Bainbridge Island, we backtracked a bit while we headed north towards Port Townsend but soon new roads were in front of us.
We lucked out on our weather during our Seattle visit with warm weather and generally sunny skies and our luck continued as we headed towards the Olympic Peninsula. As we progressed along, the mountains poked through the low lying clouds near Sequim and Port Angeles. We had heard that the views from Hurricane Ridge south of Port Angeles was to die for and I questioned our decision not to make the drive there with the clouds beginning to break, but we had a full day’s schedule ahead of us and decided to push west.
The drive was beautiful but the trees, mountains, and Strait of Juan de Fuca, began to blend together until we stopped for lunch at the Dungeness, just north of Sequim. We had to park in the RV parking which was pretty boring so we had a quick sandwich and get back on the road. Laughlin was on the phone with her mom when we left and I decided we would take the loop to the overview and when we pulled to the top, our jaws dropped at the view! We should have broke the rules and parked there instead.
Neah Bay is the town closest to the western most point in Washington and the continental U.S. so that was our destination before turning back and finding our camp spot for the evening. The highway began to resemble a neglected country road as we got closer and closer to Neah Bay with many potholes and low speed due to sharp corners. We arrived as the sun was getting low on the horizon and we crossed onto the reservation after I complained (whined) about the requirement to buy a permit to get onto the reservation. We continued west until we arrived at the trail head to the ocean view. Hiking the path was tough as the sun was low, it was fairly cloudy and the trees were blocking out most of the remaining daylight. We arrived at the end of the trail and were in awe at the view. We made it to the western most point the continental U.S!
Leaving Neah Bay in the dark, we dialed up our camp spot near Forks, WA. Neither of us had ever watched the Twilight movies, but the dark forest, dense fog and cloudy skies left no doubt that this is where it was filmed. The first camp spot was taken by an 80’s Ford van with “bullfighter” written on the side. We headed up the grade in the fog until we found a suitable spot and popped up the camper for the evening.
The next day we were sad that our time in Washington was to come to an end, but we were excited that we would tackle a new state when we arrived in Oregon! We didn’t stop as much along the way as we had a lot of miles ahead of us, but we did stop and see the largest western red cedar tree in the world! Well that’s pretty neat!
We pulled into Astoria, Oregon after crossing the large bridge over the Columbia River. Laughlin was glad that this would finally be the last time we would see the Columbia as I rambled on and on as was mentioned our previous post. It quickly became dark and we searched for a camp spot. We headed south on Highway 101 and headed towards our camp spot for that evening. It became apparent that it would be difficult to find our spot for the evening as it was Friday night, dark, and the sign said a rock slide had blocked the road and only four spots remained. A few minutes later, we discovered that all of the spots were taken but we were tired and decided to take our chances by parking just off the road. The road was gravel and it looked to be an OK spot, but we quickly discovered it was more like a highway after hearing tons of traffic starting at 3 am. I woke up at 6:15 to make some coffee and we closed up the camper and pointed the truck towards Portland for our next stop.