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#45 Olympic National Park, WA

Getting to Olympic National Park from North Cascades is a pretty unique experience for a mountain girl! So please indulge me as I share the ferry ride from Fort Casey, WA to Port Townsend, WA.

They cram all the vehicles in like sardines in a tin.

I have done this ferry a few times in my life, and it always gives me a little thrill. Certainly, my family in Southeast Alaska are rolling their eyes and chuckling as they read this. This is how they travel most of the time. Need to go to Costco in Juneau? Put the car on a ferry, load it up, and ferry back home. Anyway, enough of my ramblings on unique ways to travel; let's get going to Olympic National Park before all the campsites are taken!

The visitor center was handing out bad news to campers, there had been recent flooding and some of the campgrounds were closed. They advised me to drive to Lake Crescent as quickly as possible in order to possibly snag a site. Upon arriving there, it quickly became apparent, there were no sites available. I've seen this happen many times before at campgrounds. It brings out the worst in people and they tend to take it out on the ranger or campground host. Please don't ever do that! The ranger gave the handicap site to the mom and son in front of me. But because I had been patient, friendly and kind to them and the ranger, they invited me to share the site with them. I, in turn, was blessed by their kindness and generosity. Moral of the story: It costs nothing to be kind and respectful, but can often reap great benefits.

After setting up camp, there was still time for a run before a delicious dinner of ramen and beef jerky. Yummy!

It was so serene running along the road on the north side of the lake. The afternoon light was full of warmth and peace.

After going 2 miles and not seeing another person or car, it was startling to see a bike coming down a trail towards the road. He was sporting heavy duty panniers and looked like he was in it for the long haul. He stopped me for information and I discovered that he was only a day away from finishing his summer long trip on the bike. When I inquired where he had been riding he said he started in southern Mexico and was riding back home to Vancouver, Canada. He is a co-manager for the Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resort in the winter. WOW! It's incredible the people you meet when you are on a journey like this! Seriously, if I had been 15 seconds earlier or later we would never have met and I wouldn't have been able to share his story with you.

After that delicious dinner of ramen and jerky, I went down to the dock at Lake Crescent and watched the last light of the day slowly ebb away. Anna and I sat on the end of the dock for a long time and just enjoyed the beautiful evening. It was so peaceful.

This gigantic tree was about 100 feet from the dock.

Time to return to my luxury digs at Chateau Kelty. It's going to be a huge day tomorrow!

Olympic National Park is home to oceanfront, mountains, and rainforest. So it wasn't too surprising when I saw this huge fogbank. Time to turn on the fog lights!

On other trips, I've explored the rainforest areas before, but this time felt the call of the rivers and ocean, and was not disappointed.

Walking on this beach in the fog was a unique experience. There was no one on the beach and at times the fog was so thick it was very disorienting. After a couple miles I turned around and the sun started burning through as I was getting close to this wall. Funny story about this I was shooting this I felt something lick the back of my leg. Of course, I jumped and turned and there's a big dog just smiling at me. I have no idea where he came from! He sure was cute.

Old homestead

Lake Quinault

I was surprised to learn that the largest Sitka Spruce tree in the world is not in Sitka, Alaska, but in Quinault, WA!

The circumference is almost 60 feet, 191 feet tall

and 1,000 years old.

Sweet little grotto

Hydrangea growing wild along the road. Never in my life have I seen such a thing! Olympic National Park is a treasure!

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