Pacific Northwest Trip Spring 2013 (April 17-21)

Our travel to the Pacific Northwest and the Olympic Peninsula began one day earlier than planned, as we dashed out between snowstorms in Colorado. Having spent the past two days keeping our driveway shoveled as the snowfall accumulated to over 2 feet, we were especially ready to go! Last minute juggling of our airport transportation (thanks G&C!) got us to DIA the night before our flight, and our last view of the Mile High City was across freshly de-iced wings.

Still de-iced wing somewhere near Boise, Idaho

Portland was a welcome sight below, the lush green landscape dotted with delicate pinks and whites of flowering trees. We hit the ground running (or should I say clomping?) and took Mike's mother out to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest in Woodburn that afternoon.

Susan in a multi-colored patch of tulips

Along with the visiting Mike's family, we enjoyed spending time in Portland's Washington Park. The Japanese Garden was a beautiful respite from travel stress, and the guided tour enhanced our appreciation. Hiking the hills of the Holt Arboretum felt surprisingly remote in the heart of the city, and we picked up a new life bird, the Bushtit.

Portland Japanese Garden

Walking path in the lush garden 

Along a trail in Hoyt Arboretum

Late Friday afternoon Mike's brother Glenn treated us to a great mini walking tour of downtown Portland starting at Hair of the Dog Brewing Company and ending at Bailey's Taphouse.

Mike and Glenn prepare to sample the unique brews at the Hair of the Dog

In between, we visited what Glenn calls Portland's "ground zero," including the world-famous Voodoo Doughnut. Never thought I'd eat a cruller between beers, but it worked, and Mike raved about the Maple Bacon yeast doughnut he had. Just before Bailey's we stopped by to see the Portlandia statue.

Voodoo Doughnut

The Portlandia statue

Saturday morning after one of Glenn's huge & delicious omelettes, we headed north, planning to stay somewhere in the Gray's Harbor area for birding. We hugged the coast up through Westport where we stopped to visit the lighthouse.

Gray's Harbor Lighthouse at Westport

The beautiful and well-preserved Fresnel lens in the lighthouse

Continuing to follow the harbor around and up in uninspiring drizzly weather, we stayed the night at Ocean Shores. Dinner was at Galway's Irish Pub, complete with live piano music. Later we drove around a bit and noticed our first Black Tailed Deer.

The next morning the skies cleared so we went out to Damon Point State Park, a 3-4 mile hike, and saw our first Surf Scoters. At the Interpretive Center we later learned that a few Snowy Owls are regulars on Damon Point. After a quick trip to the North Jetty, we got back on the road towards the cottage we'd rented in Port Angeles.

Surf Scoters on the wing near Damon Point in Gray's Harbor

A very pleasant little side trip took us to Lake Quinault Lodge overlooking the pretty lake. We had lunch across the street at the Mercantile because the lodge restaurant was closed, and also took time to walk out to the Big Spruce Tree, situated in the Quinault Rainforest. A sign at the lodge told us in 2012 they received 12 feet of rain!

Quinault Lake

Quinault Lodge

Inside Quinault Lodge

View from the back of Quinault Lodge to the lake

Susan at the back of the lodge with the rain gauge

Susan stands below the world's large Spruce tree

Back on Highway 101, we stopped again to see the Big Cedar Tree then again at Ruby Beach at low tide where it was impossible not to linger and observe several bald eagles flying over.

Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach

It was getting late as we rounded the bend to head east, and our first views of Crescent Lake in and out of the clouds were memorable. We checked in to our cottage, picked up a few groceries and hit the hay, anxious to continue our Olympic Peninsula adventure.

Crescent Lake in the clouds

Our trip (so far) from Portland, Oregon to Port Angeles, Washington

1 comment:

  1. mike you missed your calling in life! should have been a photographer!