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USA West Coast Road Trip Part 3

Olympic National Park is one of the most amazing places in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it features spectacular coastline, scenic lakes, majestic mountains and glaciers, and magnificent temperate rainforest.

 

0121 Wandering the short trail to Marymere Falls near Lake Crescent and making new friends along the way 0123 Some pretty large moss covered trees line the trail 0124 Marymere Falls

 

Originally I booked 2nghts in Port Angeles to visit the surrounding area, I soon decided it was the best place to base myself and added another 2nghts. Among the sights I visited were Marymere Falls which is reached on a trail from Lake Crescent.

 

 

A Douglas Squirrel enjoying lunch on the trail back from Marymere Falls
A Douglas Squirrel enjoying lunch on the trail back from Marymere Falls

0126 Had to stop at Lake Crescent again to enjoy the beautiful scene on the way to Hoh Rain Forest 0127 Amazing, huge, moss covered trees in Hoh Rain Forest 0128 Hoh Rain Forest

 

Hoh Rainforest, with it’s huge moss covered trees has a number of delightful short walks.

 

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Hurricane Ridge where I managed to avoid driving off the road whilst capturing a picture of a black-tailed deer that was wandering down by the side of the road as I drove up and proceeded to scamper off into the forest. The weather was stunning for the days I spent around Olympic National Park, unfortunately it was early July and the trails around Hurricane Ridge (5,242ft above sea) were still closed due to snow (it wasn’t this American Robin that kept me off the trails!)

 

0129 After enjoying the rain forest of Olympic NP it's on to some of the spectacular coastal areas, beginning with Ruby Beach here 0131 Ruby Beach is strewn with logs claimed by the sea and spat back out on the beach, a blanket of water smoothed pebbles 0132 The windswept and misty coast at Ruby Beach

 

Ruby Beach is another highlight of the area, from the clear blue skies and bright sun inland, you arrive in another world at the coast. Moody and misty scenes take centre stage here, the beach is covered with a tremendous amount of driftwood, has many sea stack just of shore adding to the atmosphere and scenery. Ruby Beach is so called, because of the ruby like crystals that get washed to the beach from the fresh water leaching onto the beach. These crystals are the by product of the glacier activity that used to happen in this area.

 

0133 A collection of Ohcre Sea Stars on Ruby Beach 0136 Zen pebbles on Ruby Beach 0137 Back up the road to Forks and I've earned an ice cream - delish mixture of lemon meringue pie and chocolate - well tasty!

 

Wandering the rock pools of Ruby Beach there are many collections of Ohcre Sea Stars. In need of some sustenance I had back up the road to Forks, home of all things Twilight, for an awesome ice cream – a delish mixture of lemon meringue pie and chocolate – well tasty!

 

0139 More of 2nd Beach of La Push 0140 Tasty beer at the end of the day 0141 Wonderful hiking in the Sol Duc Falls area

 

2nd Beach at La Push continues the moody, misty feel, the contrast between inland weather and coastal weather is really amazing over such short distances. One of many quality local brews is enjoyed, it’s only been a few weeks but I’ve already rejected bog-standard lagers which I used to drink at home for interesting and tasty beers that are brewed locally in the Pacific North West, mmmmmmmmmmm 🙂

 

0142 Wonderful hiking in the Sol Duc Falls area 0143 Wonderful hiking in the Sol Duc Falls area 0144 Wonderful hiking in the Sol Duc Falls area

 

Sol Duc Falls is yet another stunning place within Olympic National Park.

 

0145 Wonderful hiking in the Sol Duc Falls area 0146 Sol Duc Falls through the hazy sun and misty spray 0147 Rainbow over Sol Duc Falls, alas no pots of gold to be found

 

Another rainbow spotted but no pot of gold found 🙁 although the amazing scenery makes that irrelevant!

 

0148 From blue sky & bright sunshine of Sol Duc Falls to misty isolation of Clallam Bay Spit, such wonderful contrast in such short distance 0149 The Strait of Juan de Fuca at Clallam Bay, Vancouver Island is out there somewhere... 0150 Shipwreck Point towards Neah Bay

 

From the bright sun of Sol Duc Falls it’s a short distance to the misty isolation of Callam Bay Spit, I stop a few miles further along the coast at Shipwreck Point towards Neah Bay and the weather is once again sunny with beautiful blue skies!

 

0151 Cool rock on the beach at Shipreck Point 0152 Had great lunch of fish n chips at Neah Bay watching three bald eagles hunting and playing for 0.5hr over the bay 0153 Got permit from Makah tribe at general store then drive back up to Cape Flattery and wander through woods towards coast with sounds of Indian wood chimes blowing in the trees

On reaching Neah Bay I stop at a restaurant for some very good fish & chips, but the real highlight of the meal is the view across the bay of 3 bald eagles who spend over an hour fishing and playing in the skies, a truly amazing sight.

 

0154 View from Cape Flattery, the westernmost point on the contiguous US 0156 Cape Flattery coast 0157 Bald eagle at Cape Flattery

 

Neah Bay is a census-designated place (CDP) on the Makah Indian reservation in Clallam County. The most northwestern point of the contiguous US is Cape Flattery on the Olympic Peninsula, which is also part of the Makah reservation and a permit needs to be purchased (the local store in Neah Bay sells them) to visit Cape Flattery. The walk from the carpark through the forest to the coast is a very atmospheric one, you are followed by the sound of local Indian wind chimes, this inspired me to start recording sounds from around the world, needless to say it didn’t last but the intention was there to create a Google Maps style site with various recorded sounds pinpointed to points on the map that I’ve visited.

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