Exploring Northwest US and Canada: Week 3, Day 17, Seattle to Hurricane Ridge


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July 8th 2018
Published: July 8th 2018
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7/27 This Seattle morning began with a hearty pancake breakfast at the 11th Avenue B&B. We checked out leaving our bags with the ever helpful and pleasant Melanie to get later, found the number 8 bus 2 blocks away (we found the Capitol Hill Link light rail subway station confusing) to Seattle Center and went to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum located under the Space Needle. It was very special and larger than the Chihuly exhibits we have seen in other locations, but of course this was in his hometown. We enjoyed several 4 minute movies describing his process and a bit of Chihuly history. I was most impressed with the Northwest Room where Chihuly displayed his Baskets, Cylinder, and Soft Cylinders series. Here he experimented with glass-thread drawings on glass vessels, inspired by Navajo textile designs. His series called Baskets was most impressive. Chihuly replicated the effects of the aging process of weight and gravity in older NW Indian baskets into his glass vessels. Chihuly's basket designs are displayed among the same baskets that inspired the designs. The outdoor exhibits were nicely paired with the color and architecture of the plant designs in the surrounding gardens. On the whole it was very enjoyable. One thing I learned for sure, Seattle can’t be adequately seen in one or two days, it has that much to offer!

We took the fast downtown Link Light Rail from Chihuly to town to pick up our rental car, then drove back to the B&B for our luggage, got a bit lost getting to the ferry (I hate driving in cities) but we were soon loaded in the belly of the boat on our way to Bainbridge. The sun was trying to come out on our hour long rather boring drive up route 19 to the much anticipated Port Townsend (that we could have skipped altogether) where we discovered the hidden Rusty Anchor restaurant tucked away from main street but surprisingly overlooking the bay. We ended up with a lovely lunch overlooking a lovely water view. I had steamers in a garlic wine sauce, Dave had fried clam strips, French fries and clam chowder that he said was the best so far. We walked around the funky town of Port Townsend after lunch. Since it was cold and cloudy we opted out of the drive to Worden State Park north of the town of Port Townsend and instead chose to drive an hour and 15 mins to Port Angeles.

In order to not to double back later we chose to begin our exploration of Olympic National Park with a drive up to Hurricane Ridge, which took another hour since it is a slow and curving 17 miles up, but we were rewarded with an amazing view at the top! At 5,252' the views of the glaciers in the distance seemed closer than they were. On the other side there were views of Victoria, Canada over the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and in the foreground a large patch of snow next to some flowering lupine! A deer was in the meadow and a raven eyed a vole as he darted into the meadow. There was no cloud cover here to obscure our views and the wind died down making it quite pleasant to enjoy the vistas. We were late getting to the top of the ridge so the Ranger Station was closed. I had to keep reminding myself that it was later than we thought because the sun doesn’t set until between 9 and 10pm.

We slowly headed back down the slow drive from mountain top to the town of Port Angeles only to find out our "manor house B&B” was greatly exaggerated in every way possible. It was supposed to be in Port Angeles, which technically it is, but it is a good half hour west of town past the village of Joyce on the way to Cape Flattery, not easy to find in this desolate area. I had hoped this meant something special. It did, but not in a good way. The accommodations at Lord Carlton Manor House were far from plush, in fact barely basic with an unheated bath down the hall, a frightening shower with exposed water pipes and a very basic sink with dirty caulking and a small toilet. When we arrived we were told to pay in cash, not even a personal check would do! Another surprise, the bathroom was the only room where the wifi worked. When we found the self serve breakfast in the cold unattended kitchen the options included sugary box cereals, grocery store rolls, commercial jam and peanut butter! I think a run-down Motel 6 would have been better.

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