Gave the Seattle International Beer Festival a miss to be up early, checked out and got on the road. First stop was Salish Lodge and Spa, beside Snoqualmie Falls, this was used as the exterior of the Great Northern Hotel in Twin Peaks, when I arrived there was a double rainbow on show over the falls.
There’s parking and a viewing area at Snoqualmie Falls.
After a little walk around the area it was back in the car and off to North Bend for breakfast at Twede’s Cafe which was used as the Double R Diner in Twin Peaks. After a fantastic big brekkie there was, unfortunately, no room to try the Cherry Pie.
After breakfast, I left North Bend and headed up the N Cascades Hwy which runs along side the Skagit River. There are many waterfalls visible along the way as meltwater flows from the snowy peaks of the Cascades.
Stopped at Gorge Lake, for a wander, where Gorge Dam on the Skagit River is part of a hydro-electric dam system which provide approximately 92% of the electricity used in Seattle.
Further up the road is Diablo Lake which has been formed by another dam and it also has a wonderful turquoise colour. From here I head back down, out of the Cascades, to Bellingham and spend the night at a Days Inn ($111). In the morning it’s down to the port for a whale watching trip with San Juan Cruises including a brief stop at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
It’s a beautiful morning and heading out into Bellingham Bay and the Salish Sea, there are seals lazing on rocks in the sun, a bald eagle is also spotted surveying the waters for food.
The San Juan Islands are made up of more than 400 islands and rocks in the archipelago, with 128 of them named.
As we get close to San Juan Island we get a glimpse of a couple of orcas lazing in the shallows, then it’s in to Friday Harbor for an hour or so, a bit of wandering around and an ice cream.
Back on the boat and we head back to Bellingham, a great day out has been had and from Bellingham I drive south to Anacortes on Fidalgo Island, spending the night at Swinomish Casino & Lodge ($109).
Successfully avoiding the tables I grab a beer and a burger in the sports bar and enjoy a night in very plush surroundings before heading south in the morning to Deception Pass and onto Whidbey Island.
From Deception Pass it’s south to Coupeville and onto a ferry to Port Townsend, back on the mainland, where I’m looking forward to some lunch!
The crossing is only about 30mins and after a burger, which included in its toppings jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon I had a wander up to the Bell Tower, one of two known towers of this type in the US, used from 1890 to the 1940s to call volunteer firefighters, I also had to try some of the local ice cream, then it’s about a 1hr drive to Port Angeles.
The drive into Port Angeles is a spectacular one, as the road curves steeply right down to the coast the Olympic mountains rise up on the left. I haven’t mastered the ability to take photos whilst driving yet so I have none that do justice to sight. On arriving in Port Angeles I check into a Days Inn for 2 nights and end up extending the stay ($517 4nghts). On the last night I’m woken by a huge bang as lightening strikes the motel knocking, at about 4.30am, knocking the power out and I spend the next hour or so watching from my window as the storm circles the Olympic mountains a couple of times – I love a good lightening storm!!