Home Button Places Button Theme Park Button Other Stuff Button Video Button Wallpaper Button

2006 Pacific Northwest Vacation - July 23 to August 12, Part 3

Index

2006pnw_map.jpg
My 2006 Pacific Northwest Vacation - 21 days, 6700 miles.
Days 6 (continued) to 8, Olympic National Park to Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

Kalaloch Beach - July 28 & 29

We spent the night at the Kalaloch Lodge, on a bluff above Kalaloch Creek just behind the beach. It afforded wonderful views of both the sunset, and the subsequent sunrise, where otters played in the tidal pools while the sunrise painted the clouds a beautiful red against the blue sky.

We got a room with an ocean view, and trust me, if you ever have the choice between a room with a view, and a room with a view of the parking lot, get the room with the view.

It wasn't long before I left for this trip, that I found out about the Cascadia fault. I'm sure you remember the Indonesian Christmas Tsunami of 2004. After that quake and tsunami, scientists started looking for similar fault lines throughout the world.

One of them, is the named the Cascadia Subduction Zone. It lies about 50 miles off the West Coast, from Northern California to Vancouver, British Columbia, a distance of 700 miles. It is every bit as large and potentially deadly as the Indian Ocean fault that caused the Indonesian Christmas Tsunami. Scientists believe it lets go about every 300 to 900 years, with the last major event occurring on January 26, 1700. They estimate it let go with about a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. (Believe it or not, they know of several events from accurate records kept in Japan of Tsunamis and the direction it came from.

Okay, so the chance of it happening when I was there is about the same chance as Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens or the super-volcano in Yellowstone erupting while I was at those places. It didn't stop me from looking at a topographic map and finding a safe route out. :-)

Interestingly, the Hoh's Thunderbird and Whale legend may have been one of these Cascadia earthquake / tsunami events. Oral histories have a way of turning catastrophic events into legends of gods and their interactions.

Just don't be on the beach if the Thunderbird battles the Whale.

Olympic National Park, Kalaloch Beach
200607PNW_0706D28212 200607PNW_0707I28212 200607PNW_0708I28212 200607PNW_0711D28212 200607PNW_0712D28212 200607PNW_0715D28212 200607PNW_0716D28212 200607PNW_0717I28212 200607PNW_0718I28212 200607PNW_0719I28213 200607PNW_0720I28213 200607PNW_0722I28214 200607PNW_0723I28214 200607PNW_07250739I28214 200607PNW_0742D28214 200607PNW_0745D28220 200607PNW_0746I28223 200607PNW_0754C28225 200607PNW_0756C28225 200607PNW_0760C29081 200607PNW_07620768C29081 200607PNW_0769C29081 200607PNW_0770C29091 200607PNW_0771C29092 200607PNW_0772C29093
Back to Top

Quinault Rain Forest - July 29

Merriman Falls
I thought these shots only existed in National Geographic. Merriman Falls, Quinault Rain Forest, Olympic National Park
After a beautiful sunrise at Kalaloch, we continued South on US-101, and passed the Quinault Rain Forest entrance. So we went in, following the North Shore Road then came out following the South Shore Road.

Olympic National Park, Quinault Rain Forest
200607PNW_0775D29115 200607PNW_0776D29115 200607PNW_0778C29115 200607PNW_0779C29115 200607PNW_0780C29115 200607PNW_0781D29120 200607PNW_0783D29120 200607PNW_0784I29121 200607PNW_07860787I29121 200607PNW_0787I29121 200607PNW_0788I29121 200607PNW_0790I29121 200607PNW_0791D29122 200607PNW_0793I29122
Back to Top

Mount Rainier National Park - July 30

My experience at Mount Rainier started crappy, and ended crappy. It was a pretty good trip up until that point, having eaten lunch at the Ranch House BBQ, just outside of Olympia, Washington. (It's since been destroyed by a mudslide, but they're still in business.) Their pulled pork and potato salad is the best you'll find outside of the Southeast.

We had reservations at Nisqually Lodge, a hotel just outside of the park's boundary. Here's where the trouble began. We got to the lodge to find we didn't have a room. They had my reservations, but not a room. They had enough rooms for the bus tour that stopped there for the night, though. The proprietors were inept, bordering on unethical. (I wonder if they would have had a room for me if I arrived before the tour bus.) They kept records with a pencil on paper. Thank goodness I had a copy of my reservation.

They finally found me a room at Mountain Meadows Inn Bed and Breakfast, and on top of it all, gave me the WRONG DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO GET THERE.

Hint: ALWAYS get written confirmation, and bring a copy of the reservations you have with you. I have to stress again, through, this is the *ONLY* hotel I've ever had a problem with. Trying to straighten out this problem pretty much destroyed anything we could have done that evening.

The next morning, we headed into the park. Unlike the day before, which was sunny and nice, it was raining and crappy. And cold. In July, while the rest of the country was suffering in record heat. Figures.)

Worse, that cracked exhaust pipe that I started to develop at Pompeys Pillar cracked all the way through, and was echoing off the canyon walls like an engine with a cracked exhaust pipe. I'm sure I annoyed people. I tried my best to become invisible when others were around.

Mount Rainier National Park, Part 1
200607PNW_0794C30091 200607PNW_0795D30091 200607PNW_0799C30092 200607PNW_0800C30092 200607PNW_0801C30094 200607PNW_0803C30095 200607PNW_0805C30095 200607PNW_0806C30095 200607PNW_0807C30100 200607PNW_0808C30100 200607PNW_0812C30100 200607PNW_0815C30101 200607PNW_0816C30101 200607PNW_0818C30101 200607PNW_0820D30102 200607PNW_0821D30102 200607PNW_0822C30103 200607PNW_0823C30103 200607PNW_08240828C30103 200607PNW_0829D30103 200607PNW_0832C30103 200607PNW_0835D30104 200607PNW_0836D30104 200607PNW_0833C30104 200607PNW_0834C30104 200607PNW_0838C30104 200607PNW_0839D30105 200607PNW_0842C30105 200607PNW_0843C30105 200607PNW_0844C30105 200607PNW_0846D30110 200607PNW_08480849D30112 200607PNW_0851D30112
Back to Top

Mount Rainier National Park, Part 2

We drove East on SR-706, and North on SR-123 toward Sunrise, my broken exhaust echoing off the walls of the canyons while my car put the power down to climb into the clouds. I'd have to get the exhaust fixed soon...

We made it to Sunrise, but the weather never cooperated, and I never did get to see Mt. Rainier. (That's partially untrue. I did see the volcano as I was leaving a rest stop on I-90, on the way to Seattle. Did I take a picture? No, I'd have plenty of chances, right?) The clouds/fog never lifted. I was like in 1998, when I only saw the 'tons' in the Grand Tetons.

Well, not every part of a Road Trip can be perfect. :-)

Mount Rainier National Park, Part 2
200607PNW_0860C30113 200607PNW_0854D30113 200607PNW_0862C30113 200607PNW_0856D30113 200607PNW_0857D30113 200607PNW_0858D30113 200607PNW_0865C30113 200607PNW_08660874C30114 200607PNW_0868D30114 200607PNW_0875D30114 200607PNW_0876D30114 200607PNW_0877D30114 200607PNW_0878C30114 200607PNW_0879C30115 200607PNW_0880C30120 200607PNW_0881C30120 200607PNW_0893D30121 200607PNW_0886D30120 200607PNW_0885D30120 200607PNW_0882D30120 200607PNW_0887C30120 200607PNW_0888C30120 200607PNW_0892C30121 200607PNW_0889C30120 200607PNW_0890C30121 200607PNW_0891C30121 200607PNW_0895C30121 200607PNW_0897D30140 200607PNW_0899D30141 200607PNW_0900D30141 200607PNW_0903C30143 200607PNW_0904C30143 200607PNW_0905C30143 200607PNW_0907I30143 200607PNW_0908I30143 200607PNW_0909D30144 200607PNW_0910C30144 200607PNW_0911D30144 200607PNW_09120917C30144 200607PNW_09200922C30165
Back to Top

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument - July 30

The morning was spent at one active volcano, the afternoon at another, probably the most infamous in the United States, Mount St. Helens. There's a pull-off right at Hoffstadt Creek Bridge, which is the edge of the blast zone. Everything in front of us was pretty much wiped out during the 1980 eruption. We were looking at the newest land in the continental United States.

I have to say, Mt. St. Helens impressed me. While much of the devastation has been overgrown, the evidence that still exists does show much of what the volcano did. Many trees still lay flat away from the mountain, buried in the ash.

Without any reference, it's hard to fathom the vastness of the volcano and the surrounding land. There was a hunter there, not hunting, but had a 35x monocular set up at one of the viewpoints. He called me over, had me look through the scope, and you could see Elk that weren't visible with the naked eye. He blew an Elk call, and 6 or 7 seconds later, they all looked up at me. So I was probably looking a mile-and-a-half out and most of the pictures here are 10-12 miles from the mountain.

We spent the night in a Comfort Inn in Kelso, Washington, where I got a beautiful sunset over a Sears store in a mall. We had dinner at a place called Azteca, a McMexican restaurant, one of those generic Mexican places. Because we got a 10% discount from the hotel. That's why.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
200607PNW_0923C30174 200607PNW_0924D30175 200607PNW_0927D30175 200607PNW_0930D30180 200607PNW_0928D30175 200607PNW_0931C30180 200607PNW_0932D30181 200607PNW_09330937C30181 200607PNW_09380957C30184 200607PNW_0952D30184 200607PNW_0958D30184 200607PNW_0959C30185 200607PNW_0960D30191 200607PNW_09610965C30191 200607PNW_0966I30191 200607PNW_0969I30191 200607PNW_0970C30192 200607PNW_09710979C30192 200607PNW_0974C30192 200607PNW_09800988C30192 200607PNW_0996C30200 200607PNW_0989D30194 200607PNW_0990D30194 200607PNW_0991D30194 200607PNW_0994C30195 200607PNW_0995C30195 200607PNW_0998C30202 200607PNW_0999C30204 200607PNW_1000C30204 200607PNW_10021005D30224
Back to Top

End 2006 Pacific Northwest - Part 3.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

Revisions:
  • 09/16/2013 - Finished update to v3.11
  • 08/31/2014 - Update to v3.2