Monday, September 3, 2012

The OP (Olympic Peninsula)

Gosh darnit! It is September and I just noticed that I only made one post, ONE POST, in August. Last year, I made five. I am sorry to have kept you from my good-for-nothing  witty, insightful, informative words.
What was I doing you wonder? Well, honestly, it was a lot of vacation. You may know that every summer I complain about not going camping but this year we finally made the time. First, we took a family vacay to Sun Lakes, like usual, and then we took a week long camping road trip along the Olympic Peninsula.

Mr Pepperworth and I have been talking about taking a Washington Olympic Peninsula trip for years. (That and a bike trip of the San Juans, the latter of which we still have not done.) Well, we finally did it and we took the Vanagon! It was actually very handy to have so much room and to sleep in the van on the queen size "bed". We had a great time, saw some amazing things, and we will definitely be going back, hopefully multiple times in our lifetime.

Here are some things that we did:

Day 1: We took the Port Townsend ferry and drove to Dungeness Spit in Sequim. It was a county park and costs $20/night which is a bit much, if you ask me but the view was beautiful. We did the Spit hike walk for about 2 miles. The 5 mile hike (one way) to the end of the spit didn't sound that fun really. When you have seen one mile of the spit/beach, you've seen it all.

The bluff at the end of a short trail from our site
Day 2: Drove to get our bear canister at the Port Angeles Ranger Station and then got our Recreation Pass from the Makah Tribe so we could do an overnight hike to Shi Shi Beach. The hike was only 4 miles and was perfect! Shi Shi Beach was very nice and had some pretty cool camping pits. There was a lot of garbage on the beach though. Some of it was even from Japan and Russia. So, that was slightly depressing. The sunset was beautiful though, unless you think about it as population. I didn't at the time.

The said plastic garbage pile.
Looking at the Point of Arcs from the north end of Shi Shi
Day 3: We hiked out and went to Cape Flattery on the Northwestern tip of WA. It was super cool. The water was a great color and there were puffins. Puffins are funny. Then, we changed our plans and instead of going to La Push and then to the Hoh Rain Forest, we went to Lake Ozette. I am so glad we did, it was so wonderful. It is a huge lake about 3 miles from the ocean. It seems like it is an alpine lake though because of the trees and the quite setting. There are no boats on the lake and a campground that has 15 spots. The lake was even warm enough to swim in 70ish weather.

Cape Flattery. (Somehow we didn't get a picture of the lake)
Day 4: We stayed at Lake Ozette another night. We went for a 3.3 mile hike to Cape Alava that was very nice. It had a boardwalk and the beach was rocky, a type we hadn't seen yet. We decided to run all the way back though and my van keys fell out of my bag. After about an hour we got into the van with some Ranger help. Ranger Dragon (seriously) got some blueberries and beans for his kindness.

That hill in the background is the western-most point in the lower 48.
Day 5: Drove to La Push and had lunch at Beach 1. Then we got a campsite at Mora campground. It was shaded and cold in the campsite. Honestly, we weren't really that impressed. (When we weren't at the beach, we mostly spied on the other campers who provided enough entertainment.) In the afternoon, we went to Rialto Beach for some sun where I was the only person laying on a towel in my bathing suit. I was slightly embarrassed but at least I wasn't wearing long sleeves, long pants and a back pack. I was relaxing!

Beach 1
Washington sun bathing
The van and I at Mora
Day 6: We were headed back towards Port Townsend to camp around the Elwah River but as we were about half way there, I proposed the idea of just driving all the way home. We had a good trip, a lot of fun and it would be nice to get home and tend to the house/garden. Mr Peps was all up for the idea so we headed home. Stanley and Simon were very glad we decided to come home early!

Heading home. Lake Crescent in the background.
The boys in the van as soon as we got home.
So, if you ever want to take a Olympic Peninsula trip, I recommend it. Dare I say the WA coast is just as good, if not better, than the Oregon coast?! I do dare say it, and I just did.

1 comment:

The Momma said...

Love reading and seeing your travels. Great pics. Haha, the sun bathing picture - you do look a little out of place. Those kitty boys crack me up.