From Kalaloch Lodge, we headed to Seattle via the Olympic National Park. One of the things we wanted to do on this trip was hike in a temperate rainforest.
We were able to stop by Lake Quinalt and do just that! (Be sure to click the images to see more detail.)
Some of the trees were hard to identify by their trunks, because they were just completely covered in moss. We were startled by one tree (above) when we saw it was a MAPLE. What? How crazy is that??
The other thing that was just completely mind-boggling was the fact that there were NO BUGS. What? You can go hiking in a rainforest and not be carried away or eaten alive?? Unbelievable! (But true!)
The above photos do not do this temperate rainforest justice. It was an amazingly magical place!
After our hike, we headed on into Seattle. This time, our hotel was close to the Space Needle. We discovered that our room was on the other side of the building from the Space Needle, but we still had a view of it!
You get the picture (or three), but here it is again!
The next day, we met a friend who lives in the area and we went to explore things we’d not had a chance to the last time we were in Seattle.
And just like that, it was time to head home. When we travel, we pack efficiently. No one believes us, but here’s our luggage. All three of us share the big red bag. The two backpacks are carry-ons, as is my red bag. We also brought along two tote bags that fold up into tiny pouches, but we didn’t even need them! Yeah!
Another trick? We have a luggage scale. That big red suitcase is 48.5 lbs on the nose, baby! (We try to leave some wiggle room when dealing with the 50 lb weight limit.)
We had such an amazing trip. These photos are just the tip of the ice-berg, and these memories will last a lifetime.
Just catching up? Check out Part 1: Vancouver, Part 2: Goats on a roof & Port Renfrew, Part 3: Random Dragons and a lighthouse, Part 4: Deuce Days in Victoria, Part 5: Victoria, and Part 6: Finding Sasquatch & Kalaloch Lodge!
On that Tuesday, we headed for the ferry. As luck would have it, our hotel was RIGHT BY the ferry dock, so getting there wasn’t even an issue. (It was good we were close, because we needed to be there 90-minutes ahead, per regulations.) We had reservations, and everything went without a hitch.
While we were waiting, Claire yells, “SASQUATCH! I found Sasquatch! There’s a Sasquatch ON OUR CAR!”
Okay, let me back up.
We’d told Claire this trip was to explore British Columbia, see the grandparents at the car show, explore the Olympic Coast, and… FIND SASQUATCH. Everywhere we’d hiked would have been PERFECT for Sasquatch, and we’d point that out…every time, but we’d not found him yet.
She was adamant, and we were confused. “On OUR car? You mean THIS car, or someone has a Subaru?” I asked, looking at the cars in line behind us. “No! OUR car. THIS car! The Jeep!” she said.
When she pointed it out, we couldn’t believe it.
(As always, click photos to enlarge!)
SASQUATCH HAD BEEN FOLLOWING US THE WHOLE WAY! Literally. Jeep had painted this on the inside of the back window, right above the windshield wiper. What?? How clever and cool! (You couldn’t see it from the outside because of the tinted windows, and you really had to be looking right at it to notice it!)
Well played, Jeep. Well played!
(This didn’t meant we actually stopped looking for ANOTHER Sasquatch…)
While on the ferry, we saw ORCAS! Yes! This is the first time we’ve seen whales, and to say we were extremely excited about this is putting it mildly! We saw five spouts from the blowholes and two tails. Wow! What a treat!!
From Port Angeles, we made our way to the Olympic Coast. Again, we were greeted with fantastic views and scenery. This area is so lush! It was sunny again (still), so I’m thinking those tall tales about it being gloomy all the time are just a way to keep people from moving there! 😉
Kalaloch Lodge was our next stop on the itinerary. At check-in, I found out I’d been pronouncing this wrong in my head. (I’d been saying “Calla-lock,” when, in fact, it’s pronounced “Clay-lock.” Good to know!
This lodge has no TVs or phones in the room, and there is no Wi-Fi. We’d been unplugged from Social Media this entire trip, so that didn’t bother me. My phone had just enough oomph in some places to send quick texts, so I told one of my sisters to pull up the Kalaloch Lodge Webcam.
I told her we’d be down in that area and to see if she could see us on the monitor.
Sure enough! She was able to capture us! (The screen refreshes every 30 seconds, so these were fun to see!) If you look, you can see us. We’re the group of three exploring on this side of that huge log.
What may be hard to see in these photos is that it’s NOT gloomy there! There is sun and blue skies. (You can *almost* see it in the reflection on the water in one of the pictures.)
After dinner and a good night’s rest, we set out to explore some more!
This picture makes me smile! Hair tied up? Check. Three layers, flip-flops, and pants rolled up? Check. Sand dollars safe in hand? Check. Ready for the picture? Nope.
Next stop? Hiking through a temperate rainforest and exploring Seattle!
After Deuce Days, we spent the evening exploring Victoria.
We spent the next morning with the grandparents, killing time before they took off on the ferry back to the US. We found a fun vendor by the harbor, and Claire found a neat cat hat!
After lunch, we went exploring along the coast, and we did some letterboxing.
Stay tuned for more!
After our adventures on the way from Port Renfrew, we checked into our hotel in Victoria and touched base with the grandparents. Wait. What? Yes! The grandparents were going to be attending Deuce Days in Victoria. As luck (or ultra pre-advanced planning) would have it, our trips to British Columbia were going to coincide.
This is a car show that happens every three years in Victoria, British Columbia. The grandparents (my inlaws) have gone to the last four of them. They drive Papa’s 1932 Ford, “the little yellow car,” from Omaha all the way to Victoria for the show!
(As always, click to enlarge photos.)
This year’s show boasted 1,500 cars (all older than 1951), and over 100,000 people in attendance. Yes, really! The city of Victoria did an amazing job welcoming everyone and handling the crowds, and we had a great time!
Here are some photos from Deuce Days:
Stay tuned for more from Victoria!
Next on the agenda was going to be driving from Port Renfrew to Victoria. It was going to take us a couple of hours, so we could leisurely leave the Bed and Breakfast and then see what adventure was waiting to be discovered between here and there.
So, that morning, we did more exploring of the beach by our Bed and Breakfast when the tide was out. This time, we discovered what we consider to be “driftwood.” Everywhere else, so far has boasted “drift LOGS” or “drift TREES.” Of course, what they lacked in size, they made up for in sheer quantity! What?? Look at this! (If you look in the panorama above, you can see the WALL of driftwood!!)
After our morning hike, we loaded up the car and set out. As we were toodling along the highway (I would say, “zipping,” but when the speed limits are what they are, we were NOT zipping), we saw DRAGONS on a gate. We HAD to stop to check this out! Dragons!? Are you kidding?!
As we flipped a u-turn and got closer to get some pictures (a sign even said we could take pictures!), we noticed it was a “Modern Day Blacksmith” and they were open that day from 11am to 4pm and it suggested we come on up and check it out. As luck would have it, it was just after 11am, so we threw caution to the wind and made our way up the one-way, steep driveway to see what this was all about.
We pulled into a parking spot and were greeted by Marty Gilbertson of Foggy Mountain Forge. He and his son, Justin, were hard at work on a magnificent chandelier with metal roses curling around the base.
Marty took us into the shop and showed us how a modern-day blacksmith works. In the process, he created a Raven Feather for Claire!
It was amazing watching him work!
Dragons?? Hand-made Raven feathers?? What a random and awesome find!
Marty was able to suggest a place for us to try for lunch (Shirley Delicious…and it WAS…), and we noticed some of his handiwork in the washroom.
From the parking lot of the cafe, we noticed a sign for a lighthouse! We’re suckers for lighthouses, so off we went on another adventure.
From there, we made our way to Victoria!
Stay tuned for more of the adventure!
After two days in Vancouver (Part 1), we drove our car onto the ferry and went from Vancouver to Nanaimo. I’d heard rumors of GOATS on a ROOF in a town just a little bit up the coast, so we HAD to go. ( (As always, feel free to enlarge the photos by clicking on them!)
From the goats on the roof of the Old City Market in Coombs, we drove across Vancouver Island over to Port Renfrew. It’s on the western coast, and is accessible by a logging road.
A fun thing we discovered about Canada? Well, we can sum it up by this imaginary conversation we had:
“Well, we’re over budget on this roads project. Thoughts?”
“I know how we can save a TON of money.”
“Well, the bridges are way too extravagant in this current plan. Why do you need two lanes? Why do you need a lane that goes in both directions at the same time? That’s crazy! You really only need ONE lane. It’s not like anyone will be going in BOTH directions on the bridges at the SAME TIME.”
“Excellent. Problem solved!”
For the record, one bridge was so long we couldn’t see the END of it before we actually got ON it…and there WAS someone trying to come our way! So, we backed up! …Yes, backwards back to the beginning of the bridge! …and let them pass. It’s a good thing we’re not faint of heart.
I will say, though, that Vancouver and all the places we visited on Vancouver Island has THE MOST POLITE drivers EVER. It was sad, actually, how OBVIOUS and WEIRD it seemed to us that everyone was calm, chill, and polite. It should be that way everywhere, but it’s NOT.
The sun followed us on our entire vacation. Everywhere we went, the locals were out basking in it. (I was looking forward to the break from the sun for once!) I made the best of it. 😉
The above pictures show the tide in. The following pictures show the tide out!
Those “driftwood” pieces in the pictures above are MASSIVE trees. It was nearly impossible to get the perspective to show you just how BIG they were. They were easily 20-feet in diameter. No lie!
On our second day in Port Renfrew, we drove to the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and hiked around here. Who is Juan de Fuca? Well, I looked it up, and then we spent a while giggling about this. Juan de Fuca was actually a Greek explorer by the name of Ioánnis Phokás. He was hired by the King of Spain in the late 1500s to explore this area. He discovered this strait.
Yes. A Spanish King hired a Greek man to explore what is now Canada, and history refers to him by his Spanish-translated name. In Canada. Just so we’re clear. 😉
Anyway, regardless of what you call it, it’s absolutely beautiful!
Stay tuned for our next installment!
In July, we took a trip to British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. We had a FANTASTIC time. I’m sorting through the photos and reliving every wonderful moment. (Our summer has been brutal, so we NEEDED a trip to make nice, happy memories!)
We left bright and early on July 19th. We got back to the house with just a few minutes to spare before July 31st rolled over on the calendar. We were exhausted and happy. Our hearts were full. School is just around the corner, and I’m not ready to let summer go. Not yet.
So, without further ado, here are some photos from our trip! (As always, feel free to enlarge the photos by clicking on them!)
I’d anticipated walking 6-miles around the Seawall of Stanley Park. I knew we could easily do that in a day, and we could do so at our leisure. (We’d picked a hotel that was close to the park for this very reason!) There were some letterboxes hidden in the park, and we wanted to add CANADA to our list of destination finds! (And we were successful! Yeah!) We also wanted to see some places where they filmed one of our favorite shows, Psych! (Again, a success!)
We had gorgeous weather (SUNSHINE!),and we loved that the bicyclists and rollerbladers were forced to use a separate path than the pedestrians! We didn’t have to look over our shoulders and could enjoy our walk! What I had NOT anticipated was that all the added trails and stairs we did actually equalled 29,000 (yes, THOUSAND) steps before we got back to our hotel! Yes, that’s 13 miles! For realz, yo! After we collapsed in the room (quite literally), we headed out again that night in search of more adventure. According to the apps on our phones, we ended up with 15 MILES of hiking that day. Not too shabby!
Stay Tuned for Part 2!
We had to put Jasper down this afternoon. He was almost 15yrs old and led a big, long kitty life. He was feisty and awesome and our very, very first baby (along with his brother, Merlin). We were convinced he’d live forever until things took a drastic turn on Thursday. We made the decision to end his pain.
And, because if I don’t laugh, I’ll sob (some more), when they asked us if we wanted his ashes, we declined. Claire and I had already talked about it… I mean, “Where would we sprinkle them?” we asked each other, grinning through our tears… “The furnace vent? The bed? The kitchen counter?” Our vet does a paw print, and we think that’s going to be just perfect.
Needless to say, we’re a blubbering mess right now. We’re not sure how Merlin will do without his brother, as they’ve never been truly apart. And one thing’s for sure…it will be a lot quieter around here.