Olympic Peninsula vs AestheticsInMotion
AestheticsInMotion last edited by CarsOfFortLangley
From sipping a melon Martini atop the Space Needle to sleeping in a bag in the woods. One man's journey, to find.... Uh. Well. There actually wasn't a purpose of this trip. I left at noon. Started driving before picking a destination. Stumbled upon campsites. Got stranded with nothing but a blueberry muffin. It all worked out.
My chariot of choice to journey along the Hood Canal, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Pacific Ocean? A retina-searing Wrangler ready for her maiden voyage. Went with the "Unlimited" model for more baggage and carrying capacity.
Broncos have been in the news quite a bit 'round these parts, but truth be told I found the Fords to be no match.
I've seen non-motorcyclists waiting in line for six hours to ride a Seattle ferry on a weekend, so I nixed that potential route and took the Tacoma Narrows bridge—no, not that one—up and around instead. Earbuds in for literally the entire portion of driving, road noise dissappeared completely. I genuinely can't imagine driving this thing above 40 mph without earbuds or ear plugs.
A disappointing salmon filet followed by an equally disappointing order of fish & chips had me questioning for the umpteenth time how Western Washington so universally fails to deliver a seafood experience befitting it's coastal location. Little did I know, the Almond cake slice purchased at a coffee shop a mile from my home would be the best food of the entire trip.
Reached the annoyingly long-named Strait of Juan de Fuca and laid eyes upon Canada. The weather was Seattle-nice, aka upper 50's with medium grey skies and light rain. Drove offroad a bit, only to find I couldn't get 4-hi or 4-lo to engage. It's a Jeep thing!
I guess... It's time to sleep?
Suffice to say, a linguistic minunderstanding the next day left me sorely disappointed in the Hoh Rainforest, but for completion's sake I'll give you a quick rundown.
Likely developed solely to flex on less diverse rival states', the Hoh Rainforest joins the already s-tier lineup of Alpine, Oceanic, Freshwater, Desert, Plains, Tundra, Estuary, Scablands, Shrubsteppe, and Metropolitan biomes available in Washington. (3rd grade eco is finally paying off!)
The rainforest has tall trees.
Trees growing off of fallen trees.
And for those of you that want to see everything at once, small trees growing out of fallen, wide, and tall trees.
If you're willing to trek, there's also a red rock on a hiking trail that marks the quietest place in the world. No photos, as even the electronic phone shutter is enough to damage the stone according to my headcannon.
A detour was made for "Oil Town", a tragic business disaster of the 1800's that was inaccessible and abandoned until 2008, when logging routes were finally connected to allow access to the large plot of undeveloped land. According to the woefully small amount of info I could find, Oil Town is "a safe-haven for off-the-grid enthusiasts" , and an "unsafe place to be at any time of day" depending on which article you read.
Curiosity sufficiently piqued, I left the rainforest for the normal forest, and tried to figure out the correct path to reach the town. Nav was useless, as it didn't know where Oil Town was. Not all the forest service roads were marked, or accessible. Eventually I had a route planned, and after fifteen minutes of driving further and further from cell service, I started seeing... Axe heads. A few at first, but they steadily increased in number as I drove deeper into the woods. Still twenty minutes from my Oil Town guesstimate, I decided that maybe I wouldn't take my neon green 2019 Wrangler into the makings of a blockbuster horror movie.
So I turned around and drove to beach.
Many long walks along said beach later, a landmass appeared in the Pacific.
In the immortal words of Sarah Palin, "is that Russia?"
Actually, it's Destruction Island. Possibly the most metal sounding lighthouse rock in the world. Had it not been for my previous brush with nautical-themed death in Montana, I probably would have rented a boat and attempted to make it up there. Though long since abandoned by the coastguard, the tower itself remains, as well as a few outbuildings. It's free real estate!
Fifty miles south of Destruction Island I turned down McNutt road into the town of Humptulips. After checking the map and finding myself—does math—sixty miles off course, I decided that choosing my route based on funny names was likely not ideal. Real shame, that. I was looking forward to Mosquitovile, truly. Cross my heart and all that...
As an unmarried millennial, I performed my God-given duty of checking the dating apps before catching some shut eye. A cornucopia of women straddling dead elk—rifle in hand, chew presumably in mouth–was a stark reminder. We're not in Kansas anymore! Alas, my Frasier references and designer eyewear would bag me no game tonight.
With NPR's soothing tones in the background and a bottle of Château St. Michelle's finest cradled between my arms, my abode was complete. A quick "thoughts and prayers" followed by my wilderness skincare routine and I was ready to lay my head atop the ethically-sourced 900 fill goosedown layer sewn onto my technical goretex XL-s mounteneering pillow. Sweet dreams, and world peace to all!
As all good adventures start with a coffee stand, I packed up and hightailed it twenty miles south as a bird flies, if that bird perfectly followed the windy 101 oceanside highway.
Years ago I learned the secret to just ask for something with "lots of caffeine and lots of sugar". I've yet to be disappointed, seriously you should try it.
And... That's where I find myself today. A few miles outside of a small village sipping coffee on the beach. As for the next move... No clue!
TheBarber last edited by
Amazing story, slightly jealous.
How did you like salt creek campground? It’s…well, was our annual family camping trip destination. A lot of things to do in and from that campground! We finally did the hike up striped peak a few years back. I haven’t been up around the 101 loop in a few years though. I know they had a lot of the reservation land shut down to visitors, I assume this isn’t the case anymore?
beefchips last edited by
@AestheticsInMotion looks nice! The road from Raymond to Naselle is unreasonably beautiful, and it's basically right next to you...
@TheBarber I love the campsite this time of year, but I don't think I'd be a fan during the busy season. There only seem to be about ten good spots near the water and in the woods, with the rest being completely open RV spots. I imagine the place is packed in the summer, so I'd probably try to find a forest service road to camp.
Yeah, the tribes shut down a ton of areas two years ago. A lot of it is still shut down unfortunately. That plus major road construction over the next few years that will have portions of 112, 113 and 101 shut down until 2023-2025... It's kind of pain to plan a loop. Might be a good time to try the off-road circle on motorcycle though.
@beefchips hmmm... Time to research
Highlander last edited by
@Highlander I forgot how homely these were
Highlander last edited by
@AestheticsInMotion For $3500 and still in decent shape I'd say NP.
dogisbadob last edited by
Juan de Fuca Hoh?
MidEngine last edited by
It's easy to become used to the stunning scenery in the PNW, hell I live in a forest. Appreciate sharing, it's a great reminder how fortunate we are to call WA home.
Mr.Ontop last edited by Mr.Ontop
@AestheticsInMotion you just reminded me why I'm planning my vacation to the Seattle area this summer.
@Mr-Ontop Just remember to tell everybody you know that it rained the whole time.
@MidEngine as I sit here planning out a full day motorcycle ferry trip for Thursday and a Rainier snowshoe adventure Friday, I'm inclined to agree
Mr.Ontop last edited by
@AestheticsInMotion I used to live in AK, and spent a lot of time in the area, I'll be sure to tell everyone how horrible it is
zipfuel last edited by
@AestheticsInMotion that was a great read; the perfect mix of scenery and snark!
TheBarber last edited by TheBarber
Yea back when we went all the time it was still not very well known and was first come first served. I imagine it's not the greatest during peak season nowadays. Camping there at low king tide is amazing as the tide pools are accessible quite a ways out. You can also access a lot of the coves that you normally can't get to (without a kayak).
Striped peak trailhead is immediately to the right when you get into the gate. It was important for the siting and communications for the Camp Hayden gun batteries (that hopefully you drove through!). There's more bunkers along the trail and the views are pretty amazing. You can see quite a ways to the West and all the way to Pt. Angeles to the East.
Vancouver island in the upper right, agate beach/crescent bay in the center, salt creek recreation area in the lower right with tongue point (underwater atm).