SEATTLE DAY 2

This post is four of four. It’s about my sister and I setting out to see the Pacific North West. Well, as much as we could in the time we had. She had school and I had work come Monday morning BUT THE LONG WEEKEND WAS OURS TO CONQUER!!! [insert fun, evil, maybe not so evil but slightly delusional from lack of sleep laugh here]

For those of you who came here in search of information for your own trip, or simply don’t care for the somewhat mundane fluffy stuff. I’m providing you with an out. Below you will find links to all the posts directly relating to the things Diana and I did in and around the city of Seattle. If upon reading this they’re not all updated, I promise I’m working diligently to get it all on here ASAP. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask 🙂

This day we woke up the latest we’d gotten up the whole weekend. We got ready and checked ourselves out of the Airbnb. We were staying in the Queen Anne area and I woke up wanting some Seattle coffee. So we drove…

Our first stop was Storyville Coffee in Queen Anne. It was a 7 minute drive in the rental. Queen Anne has a ton of steep hills and I was not physically ready to walk that. I was real happy to have that rental. We drove it the whole weekend, and being summer, it was really easy to park. We found parking across the street right away.

If you read my post regarding what we did in Seattle Day 1, then you know how lucky I think her birthday is. The barista informed us about the free mugs they were giving away and we scored two!

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After coffee we walked over to a game store Blue Highway Games. Some patrons were sitting at tables playing games. There were signs of the many events the store held. There were soooooo many games. they even had

We then drove to the Gas works park 8 minutes away. The sun was out and even though there was some wind, it was enjoyable. We had on long sleeves but some people had on shorts and no shirt!

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We went back to Kerry Park because the night before my sister didn’t see Mount Rainier. She had no clue it sat just to the right of the city in the horizon. (I’ll be back to see it up close one day!) Again, parking was super easy.

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From Kerry Park we drove 15 minutes to the Washington University area. We wanted to visit the Henry Art Gallery. I had done some research and knew it was free on Sundays. Check that link out to see what exhibitions are available when you visit. It’s hard to post these pictures and not post all of them, closeups and all. So I invite you to visit their website. I could not do the art justice describing it myself.

This hall below had art that invited the viewer to get close and personal.

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A quick walk up the stairs and we entered the Suzzallo and Allen libraries. All the Harry Potter feels!!! Also, for the fellow coffee drinkers, there’s a Starbucks on the first floor.

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Once we had our fill of large university life, we headed over to the Olympic Sculpture Park. There’s several levels to it with a decent collection of outdoor sculptures. There’s also plenty of places to sit, relax and reflect. We were tripping over the Wake sculpture by Richard Serra. There’s a great picture of it HERE. With this piece it really is a matter of perspective. We were not expecting these massive S-shaped ship-like shapes. We saw what that picture shows, not THIS. I swear they’re the same sculptures. Mind. Blown.

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I can’t say I’m a fan of taking elevators to top floors of famous buildings. So I tend to avoid them. However, I don’t mind getting close to marvel at them for a moment. The space needle’s lobby has a rather large souvenir store that wraps around the base. And tickets are purchased outside at kiosks to go up or buy them HERE ahead of time. Whether you ride the elevator or not, the surrounding areas are nice for leisurely walks. There was even live music to accompany our stroll.

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To finish our super busy and wonderful trip to the Pacific North West we had planned a sunset watch. As I mentioned in my other posts, we had a sunset watch almost every night. This night we got a great parking space and spotted a few seals. The time-lapse is amazing, I’ll post it to my instagram. You can just make out the tide coming in and my sister and I are spotted throughout as we attempted to skip rocks.

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We didn’t stay until it was super dark as we had a flight home to catch. Thank goodness we left when we did. The line at security was unbelievably long. Luckily we had stopped at a Jack in the Box on the way. We ate dinner while we waited in line, like a true new yorker going home.

Until next time Seattle!

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HOH RAINFOREST

GPS: 47.860714, -123.934639

DATE: MARCH 8, 2019

HI THERE!

While doing my research for visiting Olympic National Park I found some pretty interesting things about the park. It has mountains full of snow and everything winter while simultaneously being home to a temperate rainforest. It sounded interesting and I began looking through pictures and could not believe the amount of moss present. So without hesitation I added it to the list of must see places while in Washington.

For context think about this: In New York we get about 42 inches of rainfall annually. In the HOH rainforest however, they get 140-170 inches of rainfall annually. And 30 inches of that is from the fog alone! The visitor center has plenty of information for those seeking to be informed hikers. They have free pamphlets with drawings to help you identify plant life and animal prints.

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GETTING THERE

From the town of Forks, WA, the drive is 45 minutes. From Port Angeles it’s closer to 2 hours. And what a drive it is! You can watch the trees changing in height, color and type as you approach the park. You’ll arrive to the booth to pay admission. We paid $30 on a credit card. The fee grants you access for the week.

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HOH RAINFOREST

I just love seeing these brown signs! I get so excited when I cross the threshold of a national park. As though I have made it to a secret land where only beauty, fresh air and freedom exist! This is one of two we saw on our way in.

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Right outside the visitor center there is a bulletin board with information about the surrounding area. There are maps and daily weather updates which are super helpful if you’re doing the long hike. The hall of mosses is .8 miles, the Spruce Trail is 1.2, and the HOH river trail is 35 miles to Blue Glacier (not this time ONP!) and back.

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I spotted this wild Diana perched on a trail sign (Haha!) The trails are all very different lengths and the mini trail which isn’t shown here is wheelchair accessible.

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Right after crossing a cute little bridge over a stream that’s a small vein of the HOH river you climb a short way up. Passing this gorgeous tree just commanding your attention. It’s impressive when you look to its last branches. IT. IS. TALL.

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Soon you arrive to a sign pointing you in the direction of the Hall of Mosses loop. It was fun reading that we were entering an older part of the forest. Primeval spirit? Yes, absolutely…

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The higher we climbed the more snow was present. Or ice I should say as it was a little slippery. This beautiful tree looked like it was taking a nap. Or taking a bow. I don’t know. I just know this tree was way more graceful than anyone I’ve ever seen.

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Look at this amazing moss!!!

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So green!!!

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I couldn’t help myself so I hugged this gentle giant. I owe so many good shots to my sister Diana. She grabbed some great pictures. But we also shared some good laughs with the phones put away in our pockets or backpacks.

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Amidst our walk we spotted this hoof print. We weren’t sure how fresh it was but how cool!? Was he coming or going?

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My sister saw this tree and claimed it as her own. She said there was enough room in there to call it a condo. A one bedroom condo she said by New York City’s standards lol.

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This fungus was interesting. When seen higher up in the trees it looks like there are sea turtles sticking out from the tree showing their under bellies.

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I asked my sister to sit on the other side of this log. We sat for a couple of minutes in silence and closed our eyes. We concentrated on the sounds of the rainforest, birds, stream and trees. There weren’t many other people at the park so we were able to take it in unbothered.

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Before leaving the HOH rainforest (when I least expected it and wasn’t looking at her) Diana was taking a rest. She said that it helped her hips and back after laying there for a little bit. I believe the poor thing. We were using every ounce of daylight to sightsee everything we could.

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The hall of mosses was gorgeous. We were so happy to have seen this part of the Olympic National Park. Considering the time of year it was, it wasn’t nearly as cold as we anticipated. Chilly yes, but not cold…

If you’d like to see more about this trip, click the links below:

“Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle”

-Unknown

RIALTO BEACH HIKE

HEY THERE!

Looking for the sentimental exciting (maybe boring?) stuff from our trip to the PNW?! Check out THIS post for all the feels regarding this trip.

Looking for more posts related to this trip? Click below:

For those of you strictly interested in Rialto Beach info, here you go:

GPS: 47.921225, -124.638120


TIME: 2 HOURS


LENGTH: 3 MILES

SUPER IMPORTANT!!!

  • Please make sure you check the tide charts to ensure a successful visit. We were up before sunrise to make it to Rialto by low tide. Parts of the beach are impassable if the tide is in.
  • Now… back to your regularly scheduled program 🙂

GETTING THERE

From Port Angeles my sister Diana and I drove west on the 101 for 52 miles. That was about an hour-long. Then we turned right on 110 and drove west for just under 8 miles. And then another right on Mora Rd for another 5 miles. It was super easy to find. I downloaded an offline map from google maps right to my phone as I knew I wouldn’t have service. Your cell phone provider should have maps online of where you have coverage. Total trip takes about an hour and a half if you’re not stopping for pictures at Lake Crescent.

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Sunrise behind us on our drive to Rialto Beach.

The further west we drove the colder it got. The snow and ice were more present.

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This picture is from Mora Rd.

And then, after driving through 5 miles of beautiful snow-covered trees the ocean appeared. The formations in the distance in this picture are from across the Quillayute River. They are A-Ka-Lat (James Island) and Little James Island. Great read on that HERE directly from the Quileute Nation website.

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RIALTO BEACH

When you arrive to the beach you’ll see these two signs posted, you made it to the beach! Turn right and you’ll find parking, a pit toilet (very clean!) and some signage regarding the area.

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Fence to the left leading to the reservation was closed.
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The trail map box was empty. It’s a relatively easy walk out and back so luckily it wasn’t needed.
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Snap a pic and you’ll have your guide of the area.

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“The sea makes the rules”

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We parked across from the pit toilet because we knew we were heading north on the beach. You can cross the massive driftwood right away towards the ocean and make a right once on the sand to begin. We chose to walk through the designated picnic area first and then cross the driftwood.

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My sister heading down to the beach.

We walked north approximately an hour on the beach. We thought we were the only ones there because there were no cars in the lot. Turns out there was another pair walking around too. We found two sets of small prints, seemingly from earlier in the morning amongst our fresher set.

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Raccoon maybe?

There’s also something to be said about the sand/rocks we were walking on. Since day’s first light hadn’t hit the beach yet it was very crunchy. Ice was holding the stones together and it actually helped with walking.

We reached Ellen Creek. We crossed and there are definitely parts that are deeper than they look. I’m talking entire foot and ankles deep. Really glad my sister and I planned for this and had appropriate footwear. The rest of the hike would not have been as much fun.

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After walking 1.5 miles, we made it to these GIGANTIC stacks. They’re so large they don’t seem so far, but it took us just about 45 mins to reach them.

The hole-in-the-wall can be seen in the following picture. Never having hiked with keeping tides in mind we chose not to add the extra half mile (RT) to the hole. We were already concerned with the tide creeping in through the stacks in the time we were there.

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On our way back towards the car we found the beach sublime! (Sorry terrible attempt at using sublimation in a joke to describe the picture below).

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We also found Ellen Creek a little deeper.

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I hope this was helpful and informative! I’ll leave some pretty nice pics we grabbed here. Feel free to send me a message or comment if you have any questions about Rialto Beach. I will do my best to answer them 🙂 When you have some time to spare and are interested in seeing what else we did in the PNW, you can read about it HERE.

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I could never stay long enough on the shore. The tang of the untainted, fresh and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought, and the shells and pebbles and the seaweed with tiny living creatures attached to it never lost their fascination for me.

-Helen Keller

OLYMPIC PENINSULA – DAY 1

This post is one of four. It’s about my sister and I setting out to see the Pacific North West. Well, as much as we could in the time we had. She had school and I had work come Monday morning BUT THE LONG WEEKEND WAS OURS TO CONQUER!!! [insert fun, evil, maybe not so evil but slightly delusional from lack of sleep laugh here]

For those of you who came here in search of information for your own trip, or simply don’t care for the somewhat mundane fluffy stuff. I’m providing you with an out. Below you will find links to all the posts directly relating to the things Diana and I did in and around the city of Seattle. If upon reading this they’re not all updated, I promise I’m working diligently to get it all on here ASAP. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask 🙂

Now, where were we? Ah, yes! How were two girls who had never been to the state of Washington going to pull off covering 20 hours worth of distance and still make it back to the airport in time? (Say that out loud with one breath!)

I planned vigorously!

We also knew it was important to sleep on the flight because we were going into road trip mode the minute we landed. So we took a selfie and assumed the position. I had window and was propped up by all the sweaters/scarves. And Diana was middle and leaned on my shoulder/back. And before we knew it we were at SEA-TAC.

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We rented a car from E-Z and I couldn’t have been happier. FYI, you have to take a shuttle from the terminals to get to the rental counters. There are signs everywhere for the bus stop to get there.

Once at the rental are, all the other companies had long lines. However, we walked right up to the counter. After signing the contracts we took the elevator down to be greeted by two lovely women. They gave us keys and had us on our way.

Side Note: I used to work in rental many years ago. When you get a vehicle that has damage but you don’t want to risk being delayed an hour, take ALL THE PICTURES. Our car had a broken license plate and marks all over the rear side. This is more of a precautionary thing I do to avoid issues upon return.

We were so excited to be on the road! First stop: Jack in the Box. My sister and I had never had it before. Wouldn’t you know it, the cook is out and they can’t prepare anything but fries and nuggets. So, reluctantly that’s what we ate. Whatever, excitement kept us going because we couldn’t believe it. We were in SEATTLE!!!

It was also sunny and the warmth of the sun felt amazing!

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That is until we got further west as we headed to Port Angeles.

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During our first hours in Washington we experienced sunshine, rain, sunshine again, and then sleet. I would say that was a pretty appropriate welcoming.

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We were staying at the Super 8 in Port Washington. Few things to note regarding our stay. They were very cost-effective, free breakfast started at 6am, and the receptionist that checked us in was extremely knowledgable about Olympic National Park and the surrounding areas. She gave us a bunch of maps and answered some important questions I had. The rooms may not be the newest, but we got a great deal and we really just needed a place to shower and sleep.

Like I said, we had a lot of ground to cover and very limited time. We dumped our luggage in the hotel room, changed into hiking gear, and headed over to the Safeway supermarket to grab essentials for our two days in the peninsula.

Our first stop was Lake Crescent. There is a great pull off viewpoint you can’t miss due to its massive sign. But in case you do, here are the coordinates: 48.073554, -123.773199 It’s right before sledge hammer point and 28 minutes from the Super 8. There are a few pull off points to enjoy some decent views.

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From this point it’s another 3 minutes to the Storm King Ranger station where the trails for the Lake Crescent pier, Marymere Falls, and Storm King begin. We parked in front of the sign ready to brave the cold. The station itself was closed, but the bathrooms to the left of this sign were open.

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We hiked in mud, snow and ice to Marymere Falls. I have a post about it HERELet’s just say it was interesting to see how fast it got dark out.

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Afterwards we headed to Sergio’s Hacienda where we devoured a veggie burrito and chicken en crema dishes.

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“It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.”

Margaret Mead