USA West Coast Road Trip Part 2

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.

0057 Better view of hotel, there is short walking in Snoqualmie Falls Park and since my visit the trail down to the waters edge as reopened with the completion of Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Project

There’s parking and a viewing area at Snoqualmie Falls.

0056 Through the mist and spray from the falls I glimpse a double rainbow surely a sign of good fortune for the journey ahead

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.


0058 On to North Bend for breakfast at Twede's Cafe which was the location for the Double R Diner in Twin Peaks 0059 The breakfast was very welcome, with some fantastic crispy bacon and it all disappeared quickly 0060 The Skagit River which the N Cascades Hwy follows up into the Cascades


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.


0061 Many waterfalls can be seen along the way as the meltwater flows from the snowy peaks of the Cascades 0063 Such a beautiful day for wandering a trail 0064 The brilliant turquoise colour of the lake is caused by fine glacial sediment


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.


0065 Gorge Creek continues to cut it's way through the rock 0066 Further up the road Diablo Lake has been formed by another dam and it to has a wonderful turquoise colour 0067 Reason for colour of the lakes


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.


0068 After overnighting in Bellingham, at a Days Inn ($111), it's an early start down at the waterfront for whale watching cruise with San Juan Cruises 0070 Seals lazing on a rocky outcrop on this calm sunny morning 0071 A bald eagle surveys the water from his perch, perhaps he's on the lookout for brekkie or letting his morning meal digest


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.


0072 There are 128 named islands within the archipelago, an idyllic situation on a day such as 2day 0074 Such a lovely place to live 0075 Such a lovely place to live


The San Juan Islands are made up of more than 400 islands and rocks in the archipelago, with 128 of them named.


0077 Fortunate to spot a couple of orca lazing around off the coast 0078 Fortunate to spot a couple of orca lazing around off the coast 0080 Some sights wandering around Friday Harbor, San Juan Island


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.


0083 Some sights wandering around Friday Harbor, San Juan Island 0087 The journey back to Bellingham 0089 The journey back to Bellingham


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).


0090 After a great day on the water it's less than an hour to Anacortes and the Swinomish Casino & Lodge ($108), an Indian tribal casino & hotel complex 0091 The rooms were very nice and the Sports Bar provided beer and food 0092 From Anacortes it's south on Fidalgo Island to Deception Pass


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.


0093 Deception Pass Bridge crossing to Whidbey Island 0094 Unfortunately didn't really have time to spend in Deception Pass State Park, would've been nice to have atleast a half day to spend hiking here 0096 Here's the ferry, looking forward to getting to Port Townsend for some lunch


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!


0097 The crossing is only about 30mins so before you know it you are landing at Port Townsend 0098 Bell Tower in Port Townsend, one of two known towers of this type in US, used from 1890 to 1940s to call volunteer firefighters 0100 After a great burger that was topped with, among other things, jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon, I did still have to try this local ice cream, then it's about 1hr to Port Angeles


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.


IMG_1071 IMG_1083 IMG_1528


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!!

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