Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted...

Doesn't it just make you feel like breaking into song?  Of course, "The Sound of Music" comes to mind, but really, any song will do.  That's Hurricane Ridge!  Mom and Dad Shrader came to Seattle for a visit and we decided to take a week and tour the Olympic Peninsula, come down the coast and end up in our beloved Pacific City, Oregon.  It has been a lovely vacation.  One for the books.

We started in Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Mountain Range.  We had some company while we toured the ridge.
There were black-tailed deer all over the place!  The wildflowers were also in bloom.  It was gorgeous.  Lorelei hiked up to Sunset Ridge, conquering her fear, as she put it.  It is a little bit scary going up there the first time, but L and Grandma made it without any comment of being nervous.  I must have been nervous enough for all three of us:

There was a lot of cloud cover, but the range was clear as a bell.  It was beautiful.  Looking down this path at the black and white dots at the end, that's Shawn and Grandpa:
Here are the ladies at the ridge:

I just love the mountains.  I can't wait to do more exploring in the Cascades.

From Hurricane Ridge we traveled up to Neah Bay, on the Makah Tribal Lands, where we walked ourselves out to the northwesternmost tip of the continental U.S., which is Cape Flattery.  It was an amazing little journey.  We had to get a special permit at the Makah Tribal Museum, and the guy painting the wall and the doors of the Museum let me take pictures:

The Makah are a whaling and fishing nation.  I loved this artwork.  Most tribes out here do not permit photos of the artwork (or you have to promise not to post them anywhere) in order to preserve their culture from outside influence.

From the Museum, we went to Cape Flattery.  It was a short hike, and through some interesting and beautiful terrain.

Once we got out to the Cape, it was gorgeous scenery.  Absolutely stunning.

Here is looking out to Tatoosh Island, looking west and a little north from our northwesternmost corner.
From Cape Flattery we turned south to La Push, Wa.  La Push is on the Quileute Tribal Lands.  I can't tell you how amazing La Push was.  We only saw one of the beaches there, the one we stayed in a cabin on, but there are at least two others that are equally stunning.  The surf and the scenery are just lovely.

So, yeah.  That was day 1.

Day 2 had us going to the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park.  It was so green and lush.  My photos don't do it justice, really.  It reminded me of the hanging Spanish moss in the south, a little, but it's also so different.  I fell a little in love there.

I love the ferns.  There are loads of maple trees, too, but the ferns were so lush and fragrant!
We saw an inchworm crawling on a piece of deadwood.  I have never seen an inchworm before.  We also saw an elk on our drive in; my first elk!  Of course, we had some companionship in the rainforest, also:
And that was day 2.  Whew.

The rest of the week was spent in Pacific City on our beloved beach there.  It was quiet, as it always is, but we also found new pathways through the dunes and found ways to explore and also show Shawn's parents this place that we love so much.

I don't know what to say about this part of the Oregon coast that we haven't said before.  It's our place.  We will find a way to live there eventually, come hell or high water.

In the meantime, there is much to explore for us about coastal living.  I had planned to take a surfing lesson this time, but Lorelei made me promise that she could do it with me.  I guess that has us waiting until next year because Lorelei needs to be a stronger swimmer before we surf those crazy waves.  The good news is she has finally agreed to let me teach her how to really swim.  I guess we have a project for the winter!

Because we weren't surfing, Grandpa, L, and I rented wet suits and boogie boards and road the waves amateur-style.  It was a blast!
I was glad to get L into the ocean and really experience how strong the undertow is.  She understands why she needs to be a strong swimmer in order to surf.  She has also learned proper respect for the ocean.

One of the things I love watching at the coast is the gathering for the sunset.  People just show up.  It's nice.
In addition to vacation, we've had a lot going on.  We had to move kind of spur of the moment because our landlord decided to sell our place.  The bad news is that we had to do this right away and were not prepared for it.  The good news is that we ended up in a house, in a quieter neighborhood, and it appears to be better for sleeping, the dog, dog-walking, and L has a yard to play in.  We are hoping to be able to move again in a year, but to a house that we buy instead of rent.  We'll see.  We are also making plans for moving to the Oregon Coast at some point...but that's a post for the future, I guess.

Love to all, and blessings abound with the new school year!