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Posts Tagged ‘Olympic Peninsula’

We saw some truly spectacular scenery today, mountain vistas to take your breath away, and magical patches of wildflowers. Since I’m sharing those, I thought I’d first also share why I’ve been muttering about Forks as the Twilight zone.

First, Forks, Washington. You may know (I didn’t) that the Twilight series of vampire books are set in the Olympic Peninsula, and particularly in Forks. Under the Twilight mania which has developed, Forks is still a pretty funky old logging town, and I got some photos to document the interesting, sometimes silly, and sometimes uncomfortable juxtaposition of the two.

Remember, if you want to really see any of these photos, click on ’em!

First, here’s the Twilight tour center and bus:


Next, we have a really nice Native Art gallery which has jumped on the bandwagon …

And I guess this hotel owner decided not to jump on the bandwagon …

Now, on to the magnificence of the Olympic Peninsula mountains, as seen from Hurricane Ridge.

Here is our first glimpse.

Then, here are some views from the top.

Then, on the way back down we saw some wonderful patches of wildflowers:

And here are views from the other direction, on the way back down the mountain.

And here’s Miss Sneakers, completely worn out from all that sightseeing … and, make no mistake, she watches out the windows as avidly as our dog Sheba.

We’ll be plowing through urban areas tomorrow, so probably no pix or deep thoughts. But the next night we’re in Kamloops, British Columbia, then Revelstoke, then Banff, and one of the three women mentioned in the “Walking the Dog” post from earlier today told me we would probably hear the wolves singing at night in Banff. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Till later, then …

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You know the old saying that one of the best ways to meet people is by walking your dog? Well, I have an even better suggestion!

If you want to meet people, especially studly guys, all you have to do is drive around towing a PulMor trailer, and park it occasionally. For those of you just tuning in, here is a picture of our trailer … (click on the image for better resolution)

These days, all I have to do is park the car, zip in for something quick like coffee, and when I return there is at least one, and sometimes as many as 3 or 4 hunky guys standing around wanting to discuss the specs and any and all technical details. The other day there were 2 fly fishermen still in their waders, a Sam Elliott kind of a guy leaning on a truly gorgeous Harley motorcycle, and a lean and lanky bicycler, all in the same parking lot.

I even had a great conversation with a 3-generation family of women at our hotel in Forks, all of whom are sports enthusiasts of one sort or another and knew just how to put a PulMor to work! Honestly, it’s gotten so prevalent that Julia is constantly rolling her eyes, and may soon resort to swatting them away like gnats, just so we can get back on the road with less delay.

My big comedown, however, came this afternoon on Hurricane Ridge, when I walked by a couple of motorcycle guys who’d had an in depth conversation earlier at our hotel with me and our dog Sheba … when I walked by and commented on our earlier conversation, they just looked blank. Guess without my PulMor and wolf dog I’m not *quite* as sexy!

If you want to try this fabulous new way to meet guys, you should know that  this magical effect may only last as long as the trailer is fairly new on the market, so I recommend you get yours soon, because I’m really spreading the word!

Got some great photos today … if I get a chance I’ll upload them later tonight.

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Yesterday morning I awoke to the sound of rain. Not the pitiful sprinkle that used to send Sunnyvale, CA sissies screaming for cover, but the kind of steady, friendly soaker that I’ve missed sorely since we left Humboldt County just over a year ago.

I lay there quietly, aware of my daughter Julia and the critters snoozing deeply and peacefully, and felt my spirit begin to expand, refreshed by the steady patter and fragrance and soft air.

And then my reverie was shattered by a horrifyingly familiar sound – a screaming, grinding skill saw, behind the hotel! Rather than leaping around like a madwoman on the bed, shrieking and tearing my hair out, and scaring everyone out of their wits, I calmly followed the noise, and found it loudest next to the bathroom. Climbing up on the toilet, I opened the window and saw –  ohmygod, ohmygod – a huge construction project just across the road, and a big guy sawing through the sidewalk directly in front of me.

By the time I closed the window, of course everyone else was awake, and Julia and I tried to decide whether we wanted to laugh or cry about it. Then I had an encouraging thought. If life really is an oracle, then the fact that this was new construction rather than renovation might be a sign that we’re making progress. (Esoteric, I know … but bear with me, here.)

Heartened by that thought, I called the front desk of our motel to find out if, since this was Monday morning, the excruciating noise was going to go on all week … because, of course, if it was, we were going to have to move on. Happily, the owner had already built a relationship with the construction foreman, and he learned that the rumpus would be continuing for only another few minutes, but would we rather move to another part of the hotel? He would be happy to help us carry our stuff. We waited an hour, and when all remained quiet, we thanked him for his gracious offer and decided to stay put. Which so far has worked out just fine.

To bring you up to date:

Since my last post we have traveled up the west coast on highway 101, through the rest of California, through Oregon (more about this later; we stayed one night in Coos Bay and one in Tillamook), and reached our destination in the Olympic Peninsula, Forks, Washington, Sunday late afternoon.

As far as I knew, Forks was just an old logging town. Little did I know (until my youngest sister Anne informed me) that we’d wandered into teenaged vampire territory. Turns out we’re in the land of Twilight, and, at Annie’s request, I got to enjoy myself sorting through mountains of really tacky souvenirs to find a couple of the worst to send her.

We’re staying at the Forks Hotel, a slightly funky but (obviously) customer-oriented place full of fishermen and hikers. We’re on the edge of the Olympic National Park, within an hour and a half of Lake Quinault (140+ inches of rain a year), the Hoh Rain Forest, the reservation home of the Makah whaling tribe, as well as Port Angeles and Port Townsend, which is one of my favorite towns in the whole world. We even got glimpses of the rugged, snow-capped peaks of Hurricane Ridge, up on the northern edge of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, on the way.

As you’ll see, we seem destined to linger here, spending a couple of days planning and booking hotels and ferries (Labor Day weekend coming up!), and a couple of days meandering through the sights before we head into Canada.

Now, about the Runes.

As I’ve mentioned, neither Julia nor I have felt well for quite some time, and it begins to appear that at least Sheba, our dog, was also affected by whatever it was back in Sunnyvale. Up to now we haven’t been able to do much more than content ourselves with just putting one foot in front of the other, heading north, planning travel times, booking hotels, plodding along.

Then, a few days ago, somewhere in Oregon, probably Coos Bay, an odd thing started happening. Even though I don’t use oracles much in my personal life, I can’t resist collecting Tarot cards and iPod oracle apps. In addition to weather, shopping lists, to do lists, great games, and all the other app-paraphenalia it’s so easy to collect, I have the Voyger Tarot, Mayan Astrology, I Ching, the Creative Whack Pack, and Runes. My app uses Elder Futhark Rune interpretations, which is somewhat different than what I’m used to, but Runes are great for answering quick questions, so I use it occasionally.

However, back around Coos Bay, the Rune program started popping on every time I turned on my iPod, something that has never happened before, with any of my apps. I even tried leaving the iPod on email or weather when I turned it off … but, nope, there was the Rune screen again, every time I turned it on.

Not being a big believer in coincidence, I decided it was time to ask the Runes what they wanted, so I did a quick reading … and wished I hadn’t. The first reading was generally ominous, so I asked specifically about the next stages of the trip. Ominous. Full of hail storms and dragons. S**T!

I decided to ignore this, but it obviously festered beneath consciousness for a while, because as we drove that day and day after I started remembering some of my other niggling feelings about the next stage of our journey. Every plan I’d made just didn’t feel “right.” I talked in the first post about my internal guidance system, and I guess I just couldn’t get my compass needle to steady itself on a particular plan. No sense of disaster … just “not right,” and “not the right time.” Booking ferries across Puget Sound? Not the right time. Not the right ferry. Go into Canada Monday? Not the right time. Wednesday? Mercury’s retrograde till the 27th. Not the right time, etc etc etc

Then, on the way out of Tillamook, it came to me to just quit struggling to be wholly rational, because that’s not who I am (you’d think I’d have figured this out by now). I asked Julia how she’d feel about lingering in the rainforest area until Monday the 29th, resting, hiking, doing laundry, letting the pets (who had been rioting for 2 days!) settle, and she was delighted.

So, here we are, in God/dess’ country, with time to rest and think and explore some extraordinary natural wonders.

Oh, and by the way? I did another Rune reading about how the trip would fare if we paused in Forks (teeny-bopper vampires notwithstanding) and what did I get for the final, outcome Rune? The empty-headed (excuse me, empty HANDED) leap into the void. Guess this (and the new construction?) means we’re finally on the right track!

You should probably hear from me more often this week, too. I have two other blogs roughed out already, so until next time …hope you’re well and that life’s interesting.

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