Tuesday 7/14/09 We arrived in Clallam Bay, WA located on the Olympic Peninsula www.olympicpeninsula.org at our Passport America site, Sam's RV Park which is strictly a large grassy area, on a downward slop, with a gravel road running through but it has electric/sewer, bathrooms & a laundry. There is only one other RV in this place so we figure this is not an "upscale place." We find the town is on one long street - hwy 112 - and has no grocery store, bank or ATT phone/computer service . There is only a Shell gas station, that sells groceries, including fruit, a library (with wi fi, where I am now) a garage for boats & cars, a thrift store, school, church and a drive in. Actually, most of the businesses are up for sale. The real industry here is a prison, which is located about 1 mile away from where we are with everybody here working for the prison. But the RV space is cheap, and the waters of San Juan de Fuca is just 2 blocks away. It's house cleaning day so we tear the place apart and put it back together which is really quite easy to do with the both of us at it. It always feels & looks so good after your done. Now the rest of the day to rest.
Wednesday 7/15/09 Because we need groceries we head into Forks, WA www.forkswa.com a town about 12 miles away that has a large grocery store, we are told. Now I know nothing about Forks upon arriving there but what we discover it is the town site used for the book series - Twilight. Now this seems to be a very big deal, Forks is definitely having their 15 minutes of fame with this. Every motel has a No Vacancy sign, there are families with kids roaming up & down the streets. It has become a real tourist destination. We head over to the visitors center to find out more of what is going on.....I know about the book (teenage romance & vampires) but have not read it. Will of course stays outside while I get all the information on Twilight, it really is fun seeing & hearing about it. I asked how the author. Stephenie Meyer, picked Forks for her location & was told, she googled "the dampest, darkest city in the continental USA & up came Forks, WA." Don't know how true that is but boy is Forks happy. The first year the book came out in 2005, tourism was approx. 5,000 so far for 2009 it's 27,000. Pretty amazing.
Well after our trip to the grocery store, The Outfitters which has a huge Twilight souvenir section with lots of tourists shopping & I find out from one young lady with her grandmother that Bella, the main heroine in the book, shops at The Outfitters. The young lady then tells me about the main characters, Bella & Edward (he's a vampire) & tells me I must go into the shop Dazzled by Twilight that sells NOTHING but Twilight stuff. They even offer tours on their bus to all the different locations in the book. www.dazzledbytwilighttours.com Fascinating!!!! So we stop there on our way back home as now I'm so taken with this whole thing. A truly amazing cottage industry has sprung up because of these books. The shop is jammed with Twilight stuff but are out of everything to do with Edward.....he is the big heartthrob & vampire. I get a few magnets & postcards and we head home completely amazed at what we have seen. Actually me more amazed than Will.
Thursday 7/16/09 We are going to see the Olympic National Park -Hoh Rain Forest, located off hwy 101 on the far western side of Washington. www.nps.gov/olym It's approx 25 miles from Clallam Bay so we pack a lunch & head off to the visitors center where the park rangers are leading a hiking tour at 11 am. When we arrive we find a large group for the tour but join in and take the 1.2 mile Spruce Nature Trail led by the ranger, Betsy. We find out this is a temperate rain forest as opposed to a tropical rain forest like Puerto Rico. They have an average of 12 feet of rain a year but July is the driest month with only 2.5 inches. (Thank you Jesus) Actually, it was hot for most of the people on the tour - 80 degrees, but we were lovin it. It was beautiful and very informative but I think I would rather see a tropical rain forest next time. We have lunch out on a grassy area and meet an talk with a retired high school gym & golf teacher from Porterville, CA - travelling by herself in her RV van. It's a small world! We head home exhausted and in need of a nap and relax the rest of the day. I tell you this tourist stuff is tough!
Friday 7/17/09 Well old Sam's RV park is filling up, we now have 6 RV staying here. Will also discovers that our neighbor, Susan is a Doctor at the prison & works 3 days a week & lives in her RV with her 11 week old Great Dane puppy, Barrett. She goes to her home in West Seattle for the other 4 days. It sounds like she has been doing this for several years.
Today is a "dry run" to Port Angeles to pick up our Victoria ferry & hotel tickets plus find out about the long term parking. We decided the trip will be worth it from our last experience in Bremerton. It's about 50 miles from Clallam Bay, and it is slow going as all these road are very curvey and lots of speed traps. On our way in we spot a Wal Mart so of course we have to stop, never pass up an opportunity to shop at Wal Mart. Beside, we discovered at the last Wal Mart we missed a bag with 2 items that totaled about $25.00 and I wanted to complain. That's what I love about this place....I had my receipt & showed them what 2 items had been left behind & they gave me the money back right on the spot!! No hassle, that's customer service.
We head over to the ferry terminal, passing by another Dazzled by Twilight store in Port Angeles and check out the parking situation...which is across the street from the terminal, $6 per day. The we head over to the ferry terminal & because we have booked a package we pick up our ferry tickets, coupons for our hotel, Queen Victoria, tickets for Butchart Gardens & Victoria City tour. I also want to sign up for "high tea" but discover that experience will cost $68 per person. Will's knees buckled at....$68 for cucumber sandwiches, I'm going to have to think about that one, I did tell him that I would be glad to go alone and he could do something else. I'll just wait & see. We are excited about seeing Victoria & are praying for good weather. We leave next Wednesday, 7/22 and return Saturday, 7/25. Today I had wanted to go into Sequim (pronounced swim with a q) as they are having a 3 day lavender festival. Vendors and a street fair & visit the lavender farms, but I found out they are expecting 25 to 30,000 people & we decide to pass on that experience. Sequim www.sun.com is actually our next RV stop after Clallam Bay so we will explore it then.
Saturday 7/18/09 We are heading off for Cape Flattery which is on the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, near the town of Neah Bay in the center of the Makah Indian Nation www.makah.com We are hoping for good clear weather as our neighbors at Sam's RV, Kathy & Jack from Ventura, CA have told us it is the most beautiful sight they have seen so far on their trip. We find the Cape Flattery trail which is a three quarters mile hike via boardwalk & gravel steps to the northwesterly point of the lower 48 states. The sights are magnificent, describing them doesn't do it justice. There are viewing stops along the way, one which is the Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary, which we saw a nest with 3 baby birds plus mom & pop. Many different kinds of birds along along the cliffs with many caves along the shore of the ocean. We could hear the seals but never saw them. Peering over the sides down into the ocean we spotted bright orange starfish attached to the rocks. At the very end of the trail, where the Pacific Ocean meets the San Juan de Fuca is located Tatoosh Island with a lighthouse just sitting in the middle of it. It is just a breath taking sight and Will & I agreed it is truly the best we have seen on this trip...spectacular. I just sat on the ground, right above the cliffs edge & just stared out into this beautiful scenery. We also met & walked along the trail a very nice gentleman, Demetri visiting the USA from Bulgaria. He has so enjoyed all the places he has seen & plans to come back for a longer stay. It was nice hearing about his travels both here & abroad. Safe travels, Demetri!
After we reluctantly left Cape Flattery we headed down to visit the Makah Museum www.makah.com which was a wonderful and simple museum of the Makah tribe & the artifacts from archaeological digs from Ozette Village site at Cape Alava. It was incredibly interesting & presented so well. My favorite was the "long house" they had built inside the museum, I sat on every bench, swept the floor with the small brooms they used & just so enjoyed this place. Will doesn't enjoy Indian museums to much & was more than ready to head home...which we did.
Sunday 7/19/09 We bid our new friends, Kathy & Jack good by & promise to meet up with them in Sequim when we get back from Victoria. Well we decide to take a run back into Forks, have lunch (a hamburger for Will in a restaurant) & make some phone calls...remember our phone doesn't work in Clallham Bay. I call daughter Nancy & she decides she wants a Twilight shirt for her & one for Howard's daughter, Olivia who is just started reading the book. Get this picture, I'm going back & forth between stores, reading to Nancy & Howard what the shirts say...and we decide on for Nancy - I kissed a vampire & I liked it and for Olivia - twilight girl both black (of course) with sparkly lettering. Plus of course assorted magnets, bumper stickers & pins....the usual crap. This is all happening while Will waits patiently outside for me as he has already walked to the Forks post office to mail postcards. Well the deed is done, we have our lunch & say good by to Forks forever and for Will - not a moment to soon.
Monday 7/20/09 I have taken my 3 mile walk, washed clothes & am now at the library writing on the blog. The most disconcerting thing is I am UNABLE to get on either of my email sites (don't know why) so that is why I am not answering emails in case you have sent something & yes Mary Ann I did get the Pinedale Mail....thank you!!! We head for Sequim tomorrow so hopefully this stop we will have phone/computer service in the RV. Signing off with much love to family & friends.