Departed the Portland area and headed towards Mt. St. Helens. As a child, I was fascinated by the images of the event that took place a year before I was born. Seeing the houses along the road that led to the park reminded me of how many people had front row seats to the geological event.
The Johnston Observatory was very well organized. The exhibits, displays, and films were informative and interactive. After viewing the two films, I was invited to help “create” an earthquake by a little kid. Others joined in, too. (The platform registered our movements on a seismograph.)
While outside, I took many photographs from the various viewpoints. (Surprising, right?)
By late morning, I was heading towards Olympic NP. After arriving, I set up camp, cooked dinner, and strolled along the misty and cloudy beach. At eight in the evening, I attended a Ranger Talk by Ranger Lee. The presentation focused on Destruction Island off the coast of Olympic. The ranger clearly loved what she did. The topic would have been very boring for the many children who were there, but Ranger Lee used voices, props, and asked for many kid volunteers. It’s always a relief when you attend a Ranger Talk and it turns out to be dynamic. By the time the presentation was over, the sun had gone down.
My first stop in the morning was at Ruby Beach. Once again, the Pacific Ocean keeps amazing me on this trip. The tides were not on my side with my timing. I didn’t get a chance to see any tide pools.
How could I possibly miss the chance to hike through a rain forst? Seeing the moss, ferns, and towering trees were a great way to continue my day. (Meeting Jenny and Jordan helped to make the walk more enjoyable, too. Hello if you’re reading this. I’d certainly want to be your friend if we lived in the same region. Don’t forget to smile in those pictures!)
I stopped along the way a few times to photograph the steel grey/blue river. No matter how hard I tried, the color would simply not be captured by the camera as it appeared with the naked eye.
The majority of the campgrounds in the park are first come, first served. I feared that I wouldn’t find a campsite. I guess Tuesdays aren’t too bad. The first loop I visited had a few open sites. After quickly setting up camp, I drove to Hurricane Ridge. The sweeping panoramic views reminded me of the Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain NP.
I’m beginning to find waking up before five am quite comical. (At least it gave me a few extra hours in Seattle.) I drove the 80 or so miles to the ferry to Seattle. The sky was overcast, and the Space Needle eerily disappeared into the clouds. As I arrived well before check-in, I had plenty of time to walk around.
I’ve visited the Pike Place Market several times before, but I still find the various booths and vendors intriguing. I couldn’t pass up the first Starbucks again. (My goal is to find a smaller independent coffee shop in the morning.)
Several years ago, I had a raw oyster. It was not a good experience. When I knew I was coming to this region of the country, I knew that I wanted a second chance at eating one. Let’s just say that I’ll stick to sushi. The experience was neither good or bad.
The Ace Hotel is just cool. With smaller rooms, and shared bathrooms, it’s not for everyone. For me, it’s the perfect balance of form and function.
The first evening stop was the Space Needle.
Right next door was the Chihuly Glass and Garden Exhibit. I’ve always been astounded by his creations, and the exhibits did not disappoint.
I finally found an article based on the report of the man falling at Crater Lake.
The creativity of Dale Chihuly is powerful and motivating. I found myself looking at each work of art in awe. I’ve had my sketchbook and various drawings utensils with me the past few weeks. I’ve been more focused and excited to take pictures on this trip. I suspect that I’ll draw based on some of those photos when I return.