Up at 6. Excited to try out my new kettle. Well, not really.
Wasn’t energetic to break camp. Piddled in the cold mist as I drank my hot, black goodness. Patton… Woodoku… Music on YouTube…
By 8 I was breaking. Swept the tent. Tried to dry the tarps as best I could with a towel. Folded everything neatly. Again, living out of a Yaris isn’t easy, but, I’m more patient with myself for knowing that compartmentalizing everything cleanly takes time.
By 9 I was off to shower and do other miscellaneous things. By 10 I was gone.
Drove into Forks, Washington for breakfast. Ended up getting some “panini” with cheese and spinach. I wonder what the Italians would call what I ate.
After paying $5.05 for gas, which was the lowest I’d paid since leaving Arizona, I was off to the Sul Doc hot springs on the north side of Olympic national park. I figured I’d inquire about a cabin there, knowing it’d probably be more than I’d be wiling to pay. I did know, though, I’d pay $20 to soak in the hot springs there. After about three minutes the initial good shock of warm water begins to ware off. But those first three minutes are wonderful.
At the entrance to the park paid $80 for my interagency pass, that is, my card that allows me into national parks and monuments without charge for the rest of the year. I bought my last one at Grand Canyon in May of 2021. Since then I’d been to Grand Canyon 5 times, which, after three times, already yielded savings. I’d also been to other parks and monuments like Pipe Spring, Zion’s Kolob Canyon’s, Great Basin, Dinosaur, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Brice Canyon, Sunset Crater, White Sands, Three Rivers, Gila Cliffs, Yosemite, Lassen Volcanic, Redwood and perhaps more. It’s fair to say I’ve seen a lot out West.
(Though, throughout this trip, I’ve wondered how content I’d be just to wake up in the mountains outside Santa Fe on a trip exploring Colorado and New Mexico high country. Probably just as content. So long as there are mountains on earth, there are things to look forward to.)
Ten minutes later I was at the resort lobby. Well, no rooms or cabins were available, and the price would be near $300 anyways. Nope. But paid the $20 to soak in the hot sulfur-smelling water. Forty-five minutes of getting out to cool off, and going back in to warm up, was enough. Got my dry clothes on and left.
My next objective was Port Angeles. I figured I’d stay there two nights and ride out the rain. On Thursday June 2nd I’d go to Hurricane Ridge, which has great views of the snow-capped Olympics, and stay the night again at Port Angeles before going… I don’t know where next.
The clouds and rain were getting to me. Again, I’d prefer to camp to save money, but won’t do it in rain. Driving eastward through the desert of Eastern Washington to Idaho and Montana sounded better and better. Frankly, I’m looking forward to South Dakota the most.
But then, lo, Lake Crescent. It’s in the top middle of the Olympic Peninsula. It’s about two miles inland from the Juan de Fuca straight (which separates Washington from Vancouver Island). Crescent Lake was stunning. It reminded of Switzerland, which, even after all the mountain county I’ve seen in America, I still regard the Alps as the most beautiful mountains I’ve ever seen. But Lake Crescent was perfectly on par. It was the biggest surprise of the trip so far. I pulled over on the side of US 101 to snap photos before the cold rain started falling heavily, which only made me want to feel this wet ambiance even more.
Down the road I followed signs to a resort right on the lake. It’s cheapest rooms were $150, which I would have paid. But they were all sold out. It’s getting to that time of year when all resorts like this one are sold out until September. Bummer.
Twenty-five minutes later I was at Port Angeles, which is a small city devoid of the ever-present water-dripping spruce, moss and fern I’d been existing in the past three days. Got a room for two nights at the Flagstone motel for $155 – not bad. Went to a coffee shop to type and mess with photos. When my latte was done went back to the motel room to do the same. Had South Park on. Crude and not so funny any more.
I saw constant mist outside the windows. To camp in this wouldn’t be fun. Glad for the motel.
Lights out at 10. Productive day out of the rain.