Saturday, May 14, 2011

Transcontinental Trek 2011 Day 5: Kirkland, to Forks, WA

The weather forecast was for rain, but it must have passed over us in the night, because it’s a bright sunny day in the Pacific Northwest, 51F. Today we got to see one of my most favorite people in the whole world, Dr Sukk!

We were a little early when we arrived at the Brown Bag Café, so we shared a yummy cinnamon roll at the as we waited for Rick to arrive. Man, he looks great! I think teaching has been good to him!  Check out this huge hobo breakfast I got!

After breakfast we drove down to the water and caught the 11:10am ferry over Puget Sound from Edmonds to Kingston - cost us about $25.

Unbelievably windy crossing the Sound - Pigeon Guillemot and Surf Scoters next to ferry.
We drove through the town of Sequim in the Dungeness Valley, recognized as the Lavender Capital of North America and home to the famous Dungeness crab. Port Angeles provides access to the Olympic National Park. Designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve, 95% of the park is designated as Olympic Wilderness, and is home to the world’s largest unmanaged Roosevelt Elk herd.

The park encompasses nearly one million acres and includes glacier-carved lakes, waterfalls, over 600 miles of hiking trails, the Olympic National Forest, the Hoh Rain Forest and 73 miles of coastline.
The Park’s main Visitor Center is in Port Angeles and we got information on where to bird and I got my National Parks Passport stamped.

We walked along the trail that went into the National Forest and saw the morphna subspecies of Song Sparrow.

Then we drove down to Ediz Hook and birded our way toward the end. Rhinocerous Auklet, Harlequin Duck, more Pigeon Guillemots and Harbor Seals.  The auklets were really far away and we took this picture through our scope.  I know it's a cruddy picture, but you can definitely tell what they are!

About a half hour west of Port Angeles is Lake Crescent, a deep, clear, 12-mile long lake along Hwy 101. The lake is a deep, turquoise blue, and this has got to be one of the most beautiful drive’s I’ve been on.  It was raining as we drove through, and I didn't get any good pictures, darn!

Surrounded by rain forest valleys and about 14 miles from the ocean, the town of Forks lies on a broad prairie. The Twilight book series tells the story of Bella Swan, and Forks girl and her escapades with vampires and werewolves. Dave tortured our girls by sending them pictures from his phone of Dr Cullen’s reserved parking space at the hospital,

Jacob’s cabin with a motor bike in front,

and the Bella Swan Employee of the Year sign in the Thriftway grocery store. We checked into our room at the Dew Drop Inn, and learned that the best time to see the Rainforest would be in the morning.

So, we decided to bird our way down to Rialto Beach near La Push.
La Push is home of the Quileute People who have lived here at the mouth of the Quillayute River for thousands of years. The coast at Rialto Beach is rock strewed and the waves crashed angrily in the falling evening darkness.

Rain clouds gathered above, and the weather shifted from light rain to steady rain and the back to mist and light rain. The relentless surf has carved this coastline for millennia. Just offshore, huge rock formations called sea stacks stand imposingly.

The place is magical. I can imagine how many superstitions were spawned here. You can hike the entire 73 miles of wild coast north and someday I hope to do just that.

Back in Forks, we stopped for dinner at the Forks Coffee Shop. Our waitress was so grumpy and rude, that we went out of our way to engage her – to no avail. Dave couldn’t even get her to crack a smile, and he tried his hardest!  We ended up laughing so hard at our failed efforts to cheer her up!  Finally, when the boys went up to pay the bill, she smiled - I think she was glad we were leaving!

1 comment:

Jenny W said...

I'm glad you're finally on board with a Parks Passport book! I got one last year in Oregon (& Crater Lake NP stamp), knowing I would be headed to Alaska (Denali and Kenai Ford stamps!). I wish there was a way to retroactively get stamps at all the parks I've been to before.... Geesh. Can I possibly be more of a nerd? Does eBlogger enable you to add a widget to your blog that lets people subscribe to it? That would be sweet.... my blogs are through Wordpress, and people can subscribe and get emails when there are new posts. Just wondering.... Mrs. FancyPants Blogamatic Bird Lady....Hahahaha