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phoebus - The Amazing Adventures of Sid - Week 10
Salem, Tillamook, Long Beach, Forks, Olympic NP, Port Angeles, Victoria, Port Townsend
Steel Bridge into Downtown Portland
One of the many bridges that spans the Willamette into downtown Portland.
Downtown Portland from I-5
Rather embarrasingly the only picture of downtown Portland I managed to get.
I left the motel and headed south on I-5 with the intention of going into downtown to take a few pictures. Unfortunately I completely missed all the turns to go over the bridges and ended up continuing south on I-5 out of the city. Having got that far I decided to continue and make a visit to Salem, Oregon's capital. Along the I-5 I saw a billboard
I-5 Marquam Bridge over Willamette River
Another bridge across the Willamette, this one carrying I-5 south of Portland.
that, rather bizarrely, was actually advertising courage, the emotion, not the brewery, and said "courage - pass it on."

Arriving in Salem, I almost wished I hadn't made the effort. I parked and walked towards the Capitol building, walking straight past it without realising; the building was the ugliest construction I've seen in a long time and certainly nothing to write home about even though I am. It's not like any of the other capitol buildings in that instead of a nice dome it had a cylinder, although the building was
Salem Capitol Building
The Capitol building in Salem, probably the least attractive I've seen.
Salem Capitol Grounds
Part of the Capitol building's grounds; very pleasant, especially as you can't see the surrounding buildings.
made from marble, its one redeeming feature. Flanking the quite nice grounds were a number of concrete block buildings housing the various departments of the state, certainly not something I would have expected from such a pretty state as Oregon. On the way back to the car I came across Waldo Park, which is probably the smallest park I have ever seen. It is
Salem Capitol Grounds
Some more of the grounds, with the Capitol and surrounding buildings poking over the top.
20 feet by 12 and houses a single tree planted in 1872 and cared for by a previous governor (I think) called William Waldo who died in the 1920s, after which the park was set aside.

Having seen all I wanted to see I drove out of Salem along highway 22 west towards the coast. The weather gradually got worse until it was raining heavily and getting quite foggy.
Waldo Park
The excellent Waldo Park.
View North from Anderson's Viewpoint
The view north from Anderson's Viewpoint along the sandy spit, with Netarts Bay on the right.
The surrounding landscape, although mostly hidden, was very dense forest. Highway 22 met up with highway 18 and I followed it to the coast and headed north on US-101. The road went up and down a couple of hills, in and out of the clouds, until I turned off to follow the Three Capes Scenic Byway (a very bumpy road that my bus-like vehicle bounced along like it
View Northwest from Anderson's Viewpoint
Looking out northwest from Anderson's Viewpoint.
was on a waterbed), which would have been more scenic had the fog not been so heavy, but still provided a few nice views of the coastline and Pacific. At one point there was a viewpoint (Anderson's Viewpoint - named for a famous local architect) from the top of a hill north along the coast which was very calming with the long parallel lines of white-topped waves slowly making their way onto a long sandy spit (which I think bordered Netarts Bay). The road passed through a couple of small seaside towns and then turned inland again and met back up with the 101, which I stayed on until arriving in Tillamook (pronounced with emphasis on the first syllable and to rhyme with 'book') where I procured a room for the night in a Shilo Inn; not somewhere I've stayed before although they have many in the Pacific Northwest.
North through Downtown Wheeler
Driving north through "downtown" Wheeler, a small town inside Nehalem Bay.
Railroad Station in Wheeler
Wheeler railroad station.
I left Tillamook (which seems to be famous for cheese; there was a large cheese factory on the northern outskirts of town) and headed north along US-101, passing through lots of
South along Coast from US-101
Looking south along the Oregon coast from US-101.
small seaside towns (all of which are in tsunami warning zones) and a number of excellent outlooks from the tops of hills. At one of the outlooks I discovered that the massive freestanding rocks just offshore that are located all the way up the Oregon and Washington coast have not fallen off cliffs, as I originally thought, but are igneous intrusions created millions of years ago that have resisted erosion while the sedimentary rock around them has been eroded away. The mist began to lift after a while and the sun was coming
US-101 Bridge over Columbia River
The US-101 bridge over Columbia River from Astoria.
North on US-101 Bridge over Columbia River
Going north over the US-101 bridge, near the apex of the first arch.
out warming up the day nicely.

North on US-101 Bridge over Columbia River
Going down the first arch of the US-101 bridge.
Towards the border with Washington, the road started going inland and ended up in Astoria, a large town on the south shore of the Columbia River estuary. I followed the road around the outside of the town, which then turned north and crossed a long bridge over the river. The Columbia River at the estuary is very wide, over 4 miles, and so the bridge has two arched areas at either end with a long, flat area just above sea level. US-101 continued north once in Washington and then curved around to the west towards the Long Beach Peninsula. Due to me not paying attention I missed a turning when the 101 turned right to leave the entry point for the peninsula, and I ended
Sid's Market in Long Beach
My supermarket in Long Beach.
Driving South along Long Beach
Driving south along Long Beach.
up driving north along state highway 103.

South along Long Beach
Looking south along Long Beach.
As it turned out the peninsula was excellent. It claims to house the longest beach in the world, a beach that runs the entire length of the peninsula at around 30 miles. There are a few small towns dotted along the shore and entry points to the beach all the way along. I drove down to one of the entry points around a quarter of the way up and discovered something else excellent: between Labour Day and April the entire beach is a legal highway! It turns out that it is perfectly legal to drive
West while Driving South along Long Beach
Looking west while driving south along Long Beach. The wet-looking bits in the foreground are jelly-fish.
South while Driving North along Long Beach
The cliffs at the southern-most top of Long Beach.
all the way along it. So I did. Driving in sand is fun: the car goes well on packed sand and then suddenly slows down when it hits a little powder (giving plenty of opportunity
Stream across Long Beach
The stream I had to ford to get to the southern tip of Long Beach. The water is flowing from right to left, in case you're wondering.
for wheel spins). There were several other vehicles on the beach, some just going from one end to the other and some mucking around and creating big circles. After driving to the far northern end and starting back again the fog started rolling in, which added a little excitement to the journey. I drove all the way south (having to ford a small river on the way) until rocks met the rising sea and then headed back to the nearest entry point and into town again. Having spent more than two hours on the beach it was getting late so I booked into a Super 8 Motel for the night.
US-101 North through Cosmopolis
A rainy day in Cosmopolis as I head north on US-101.
I left Long Beach and headed back towards US-101 at the base of the peninsula. I had intended to make another visit to the beach but the rain was too heavy to make it worthwhile. Having arrived at the 101 I turned north and continued around the coast, passing through large areas of marshy land that the road was bridged over in several places. Incidentally, it's worth mentioning that all along the highway are signs warning you to wear a seatbelt; the fine for not doing so is $101, a strange number but I guess there are reasons. The
US-101 North through Aberdeen 2
A slightly blurry shot of more rain, this time in Aberdeen.
rain was very heavy and this, combined with the mist, made viewing any part of the coast difficult, although I did from time to time see waves breaking over the beach. The whole of this part of the coast is deeply forested, with many large parts populated with large Douglas fir. I went through several small towns and one larger one, Aberdeen, which wasn't particularly nice in the centre, being heavily industrialised, but the suburbs were quite nice.

At Aberdeen the 101 went inland for a while over a bridge that headed towards a town amusingly called Humptulips. I drove into Humptulips, but they wouldn't let me so I continued north onto the Olympic Peninsula, which houses the Olympic Mountains and Olympic National Park. The park is pretty big and split into two. The main part, consisting predominantly the mountains, is over 60 by 45 miles and is in roughly the top-centre of the peninsula. The other part is a sliver that runs along the Pacific coastline for over 60 miles and is only a few miles at its widest point. I stopped at the Kalaloch (pronounced
Ruby Beach
Ruby Beach in the lower part of the coastal sliver of Olympic National Park.
KLAH-losh) Information Station in the park to see what areas could be driven into and discovered that all of the roads except one were closed in the main part due to the incredibly intense rain and flooding that has been plaguing northwest Washington and southwest B.C. The only open road was all the way around the other side of the park, about 80 miles away, so I headed towards it on the 101, which went up the western side and along the top.

Having made it just over half-way up the western side of the park, I drove into a town called Forks and decided to call it a night in the hope that the rain might not be as heavy tomorrow in order that I may stop at a few beaches and have a little more time to explore the other side of the park. I booked into an inn called the Olympic Suites, which turned out to be excellent (and cheap). For the same price as a motel room, I got a full suite with bedroom, bathroom, lounge and kitchen (not a kitchenette, a full, separate kitchen with oven and dishwasher). The place was large and very comfortable; it also had a covered patio and communal garden. It's a pity that the weather was so miserable and time a little short because it would certainly make an ideal base for travelling around this area of the country.
La Push
Driving through the much-dilapidated town of La Push in the Quileute Indian Reservation.
La Push
La Push again, driving back out.
North along Rialto Beach
Looking north along Rialto Beach.
The night seemed to have cleared the rain and cloud since the morning was clear and sunny, so I thought I'd go and see a couple of beaches. From Forks I headed north along the 101 for a few miles before turning west along state highway 110 (La Push Road) to go towards the western shore of the peninsula. After a while the road entered the Quileute Indian Reservation and turned into the town of La Push. The town was small and dilapidated, with several broken-down cars along the side of the road and many buildings close to collapse, but the people were friendly and gave me a wave as I drove past. The road turned out to be a dead end at the northern end of the town where it meets the outlet for the Quillayute River (I don't know why they are spelled differently), although it obviously once wasn't as there is a rickety wooden bridge crossing the river with several parts missing at either
South along Rialto Beach
Lookng south along Rialto Beach. On the right is James Island.
South along Rialto Beach
South along Rialto Beach again, showing some of the arboreal destruction.
Tree on Rialto Beach
Another tree on Rialto Beach.
end. I headed back out of La Push and towards a junction about 10 miles up the road where I turned onto the Mora Road and finally got to a beach. Rialto Beach is nice, if somewhat different from the kind of beach I had in mind. It is almost completely covered with tree trunks up to 50 feet long and five feet in diameter that have been thrown there by the very violent tides. There are warnings everywhere that people have been killed by flying trees while swimming in the sea and I saw several large trunks being tossed around by the waves while I was there. The beach is made of largish pebbles and so has a satisfying swish sound as the waves retreat and I walked along it for a while, periodically climbing over logs to avoid being caught by an overly eager wave. Having satisfied my beach desire I headed away from the coast and back towards Forks, where I continued north on the 101 again until turning off onto highway 113 to see the north shore. The 112 came off to the northwest after a while and I followed it as it met the coastline at Clallam Bay and stayed
West along SH-112
Driving west along the mildly scary SH-112 coastal road.
Trail to Cape Flattery
Part of the trail out to Cape Flattery.
Rotated Trail to Cape Flattery
Another part of the trail, this time making a minor detour around a strange tree.
hugging the shore - at times so close that parts had fallen in and there was only one lane. The road was extremely curvy - as much as the coastline - and wet, which made the going fairly slow since I didn't want to slip off the side - an all too easy prospect what with there being no barrier and less than two feet of shoulder before a drop into water and rocks. I drove into the Makah Indian Reservation (there are several other reservations surrounding Olympic National Park, including the Ozette, Hoh, Quinault and Lower Elwha Klallam), which occupies the northwestern corner of the peninsula and through to the coast via a gravel track. At the end of the track was a half-mile trail that descended steeply through dense forest to Cape Flattery, the most northwesterly tip of Washington (and possibly the lower 48 states, I'm not sure) where there were a few lookout points (all on boardwalks due to the possibility of the ground collapsing down a cliff) at the top of steep drops. The water was smashing its way through coves and into the cliff walls where it was slowly drilling through the rock; apparently there is an entire network of caves underneath the Cape and it will likely collapse within the next few hundred years. From the
Cove near Cape Flattery
One of the coves near Cape Flattery.
Cove near Cape Flattery
Another of the coves near Cape Flattery.
Tatoosh Island from Cape Flattery
Tatoosh Island from Cape Flattery. On the right you can just about see Vancouver Island in the distance.
furthest lookout I could quite clearly see Vancouver Island and its mountains, as well as a fair way down the western coast of Washington. I also spent a while chatting to a guy who was taking pictures there, who said that he had a heart attack a few years ago and was on the list for a transplant, but that he would have to wait six months. He said that he prayed to get better and a month later was cured, so he sold his house and now travels around the country helping people in shelters and preaching sermons in churches about the wonders of religion. As it turned out he had recently been to many of the places I had (Yellowstone, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain and so on) so we talked for a while about them, comparing notes on weather and wildlife seen. As it was beginning to get dusky I decided to head back (he was staying to try and get pictures of eagles which come out when the rivers are mucky and provide poor food, as is the case after the recent floods) and by the time I was back at the car it was nearly dark (and I was out of breath - the trail is very steep). I drove all the way along the north coast and into Port Angeles (in the dark that coast road isn't nearly as scary) where I checked into a motel for the night. I have also discovered that Victoria, on Vancouver Island, is only a 90-minute ferry trip from here, so maybe I'll go there tomorrow.
East along Front Street
Looking east along Front Street through downtown Port Angeles.
Port Angeles from Ferry in Terminal
Looking back at Port Angeles from the ferry prior to departing.
I decided that I would go to Victoria today and so made my way down to the ferry terminal in the morning and booked the car in for the next sailing, which was at 1:30. With a while to spare I walked a couple of blocks into town and ate lunch, then looked around the rest of downtown. The area is quite nice with a few tree-lined streets, although the downtown
Olympic Mountains from Ferry
Looking back at the Olympic Mountains from the ferry while half-way across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
area is quite small. Having exhausted the available streets I wandered back to the car and awaited boarding. When on the ferry I met a very nice lady who had been visiting friends south of Seattle and was making her way back home, which was about halfway up Vancouver Island. We chatted for most of the trip and watched the Olympic Mountains disappear into the
Inner Harbour from Ferry
Entering Victoria's Inner Harbour.
Shoal Point from Ferry
Shoal Point in the Inner Harbour.
distance as the ferry headed north to Victoria. When half-way across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the tops of the Olympic Mountains could be seen poking out of the clouds and I could see all the way along the northern shore of the peninsula, the journey I had taken yesterday. The ferry soon made its way into Victoria's Inner Harbour and I drove out and onto the streets, looking for somewhere to stay. By chance I found the same hotel that I had stayed in a few years ago, the Executive House Hotel, and so checked in (I thought it would be expensive but it turned out to be less than $80 Canadian a night - cheaper than half of the motels I've already stayed in). I went out for a wander around town but since most places were closing I decided to eat dinner and call it a night.
North along Douglas Street
Looking north along Douglas Street from near the hotel.
North along Government Street
Looking north along Government Street.
I went for a walk around town today; fortunately I remember most of the area from when I was last here, and very little had changed, as I had no map (I think there was a Beefeater
South along Government Street
South along Government Street next to the harbour with parliament to the right.
Pub or something that isn't there anymore, but aside from that it was the same). Victoria is like a little London, in that there are red double-decker buses driving around, and establishments with names like Shakespeare Inn and Ann Hathaway's Cottage, although I have since been told that there is a smaller town on the island that everyone in Victoria calls Little London and looks even more similar. I walked along Government Street, a very pleasant street with large bush-like trees either side and plenty of shopping to be had, and
Victoria Parliament Buildings
The BC Parliament.
Northwest along Inner Harbour
Looking northwest along the harbour.
then down and around the harbour, ending up at the parliament buildings (Victoria is British Columbia's capital so I felt like I was keeping up the habit). I had lunch in the café attached to the Royal B.C. Museum before going in to the museum and looking around there. On the way back there was a street performer on the boardwalk of the harbour
The Empress
The Empress Hotel on Government Street.
doing all sorts of tricks with fire and juggling all manner of unlikely objects while making wise cracks to the growing audience. After spending a little time catching up on uploading journal entries and pictures I went down to dinner in one of the hotel's four restaurants (the nicest of the four, naturally) where I discovered that one of the waiters was born in Luton and lived in Guildford. Of course, he knew the whole of the London area so we chatted for a while and I then ate one of the best meals I've had so far, baked halibut, and it was really excellent. I later discovered from another waiter that there are a series of ferries from various points up the east coast of Vancouver Island that can take me to a number of the islands on the way to Seattle, which I thought sounded rather fun, so perhaps I will embark on one of those tomorrow.
Rotated Victoria Carillon Tower
The Carillon Tower near BC Parliament. Among the largest musical instruments in the world, a carillon is a range of bells controlled by a keyboard.
Undersea Gardens
The Undersea Gardens in Victoria Harbour.
I had intended to drive up the Saanich Peninsula to Sidney and take a ferry to Anacortes (from where I could drive down to Seattle over a few bridges) via a number of the small islands in between, but on discovering that there was only one crossing a day and I had missed it, I decided to take the ferry back to Port Angeles and drive on from there. With this in mind I drove down to the ferry port and discovered that the ferry didn't leave until 4pm so I left the car in the terminal and went for another walk around town. I ate lunch in a nice café on Government Street and wandered back down towards the harbour, where I came across the Undersea Gardens, a floating aquarium where the fish tanks are actually underwater and you descend inside the structure to view them. The displays were excellent and there was a small theatre section at the bottom where a diver swam around a tank and picked up and described the fish, crabs, eels, and such through a radio in his scuba mask. Having left the Undersea Gardens it was time for the vehicle inspection at the ferry port so I made my way back to the car and waited until departure. The ferry set off and I stood on the deck in the bitter cold watching the sun set over the Olympic Mountains from half-way across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. By the time the ferry docked it was dark so I decided to drive to Port Townsend instead to staying in Port Angeles, since it sounded a little nicer. I took the 101 east and drove along the coast through Sequim (pronounced squim, it was recommended to me as a place to stop but I didn't really have time) until
The Empress Hotel from Ferry
The Empress Hotel from the ferry.
Sunset over Olympic Mountains
Sunset over the Olympic Mountains.
arriving in Port Townsend, in which all the shops along the main street were all lit up with Christmassy lights making it look very pretty indeed (no, I know 'Christmassy' probably isn't a word). I booked into a motel just outside town and slept to the sound of waves outside my window.
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