When we were told to allow two hours for a walking tour of this city we were surprised. It is a small port city, surely it would not take two hours to see everything. Don, from Heritage Tours, did have plenty to say about his fair town. It was at the Visitor's Center where we got connected up with him. Initially he sat us down to explain the city's major building project of 1914. Some of the streets of the town, located at the bottom of a hill, were constantly being flooded and having problems of sewage coming back into the area when the tide came in. It was necessary to elevate those streets, and that project was completed in six months with all the townspeople working 24/7 to complete it. Concrete walls were poured and then soil and water were shot with cannons down from the hills to fill in the streets between the walls. Any future buildings constructed along those streets had to be put up on wooden piers. There is a mural on one of the town's buildings which shows the whole construction process quite well. After thirty minutes of getting all the details from Don I was getting quite sleepy and was thankful when he announced that it was time to start our tour of the town.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
After our hike in the rain forest we headed back to Forks for lunch and to find a laundromat. I needed to dry out my jeans. As a side note, Forks takes its name from the forks of three nearby rivers the Bogachiel, Calawah, and Sol Duc. I am coming to appreciate the fact that many of the strange sounding words in this area are Indian words. Not surprising as there are eight Indian tribes in Washington. Sol Duc in the Sklallam language means "shining waters". As we drove into the Sol Duc river area we noticed signs pointing the way to a resort. This is the only full-scale resort within Olympic National Park and it has a hot springs bathing pool. The park lies in an area of tremendous geothermal activity. To get to the Sol Duc Falls we needed to drive into higher elevations. Consequently we went from seeing a lot of green in the rain forest to seeing the white of snow. Below is a picture of my brother hiking up toward the falls. It was still raining.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Hiking in the Hoh Rainforest was our major goal while touring the Olympic National Park. We shot the first day of our trip at the Cape and visiting Neha Bay. That evening we checked into a motel at Forks. Maybe you are familiar with the science fiction Twilight book and movie series? I got through the Harry Potter books and did not pursue that next popular series. Anyway, the setting for Twilight is Forks. We were told at the motel that Twilight has helped the economy of this town. The picture below, taken at the local burger joint, tells it all. There are many stores in Forks selling Twilight souvenirs and offering trips to the sites.
We left Sequim Friday morning and headed to the northwestern corner of the Olympic Peninsula
Friday, April 23, 2010
I want to post one more picture taken in the town of Port Townsend. In the downtown area of the town are these stairs leading up to the residential section. In some ways this town reminded me of Galena Illinois.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Yesterday we moved north out of the Vancouver area. We drove past Mount St. Helens and over the Toutle River. That is the river which comes down from the volcanic mountain. It still has a gray shoreline from when the volcano erupted in 1980. Another river we passed had three deer standing on a sandbar, a bit unusual for the middle of the day. Before going on I have to mention another river we saw yesterday with a rather unusual name- it was the Duckabush River. Maybe some canoeist had trouble navigating that river, or maybe there really is/was a Mr. Duckabush. Driving on Highway 5 a strange monument caught my eye. All I could see was several high towers, one had on it what looked like the figure of Jesus, another an eagle. I researched that later. What we had passed was the Gospodors Monument Park. The Jesus figure is really Mother Theresa. One tower is a memorial to all Native Americans, the other one remembers all of the Holocaust victims. There are apparently also other smaller works of art in this park. That is sum total of what I found out about those monuments. After Highway 5 we took Highway 101. Yes, that is the highway we had taken in California. If we kept going up and over the Olympic Peninsula on that highway we would head south and back to California. It was a beautiful drive along the Dabob Bay. We were entering higher elevations, the foothills of the Olympic Mountains. The road was narrow and curving, going up and over many forested hills. The shoreline was a bit muddy in appearance because the tide was out. We drove through many small picturesque villages. Sadly many of the restaurants,shops, and gas stations were closed with for sale signs on them. One village we drove through had a building with a sign on it indicating it was a tribal headquarters. Down the road further from that building was a brightly lit casino. It seemed to be doing a good business, its parking lot looked almost full. By late afternoon we arrived at our destination, which was the town of Sequim. Here we have plans to spend a couple of weeks with my brother Wayne and his wife Mary Jo. We are in a beautiful park, the picture below is what we can see out of our side door.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Along the lower reaches of the Columbia River lies this wildlife refuge. The 5,218 acres of refuge contain a lush mixture of wetlands, grasslands, and forests of Douglas-fir and Oregon white oak. Lewis and Clarke came to this area first in November 5,1805 and observed a large Cathlapotle Indian village with 14 cedar plankhouses. Below is a replica of one of those homes which we saw yesterday while hiking in the Refuge.
Friday, April 16, 2010
It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday and amazingly no water came down from the sky. A perfect day to do some bike riding. Downtown Vancouver sits on the north bank of the Columbia River. Consequently, riding on the waterfront trail offered us some beautiful views of the river. We stopped for a little while on a pier to talk to several men who were fishing there.There were a lot of small boats on the river, quite unusual for it being a weekday. We soon came to find out that the salmon were running! We saw one man come up from his boat with three of them.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
For lunch we ate at the "trailers". They are a cluster of food trailers located on a street corner in Portland. It is like an outdoor food court. Interestingly enough, the type of food offered at these trailers is international; as French, Mexican and English. I had a delicious salmon crepe sandwich, Cheryl and Daryl enjoyed poutine( french fries covered with gravy and cheese curds). John and I had a similar dish when we were in Quebec, it is quite the comfort food and does not taste as bad as it sounds!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
It is just amazing that I woke up to sunshine today! The last two days started out with cloudy skies and rain. I heard someone say yesterday that if you stand in one spot here too long you will get rooted! Maybe there is some truth to that here in the northwest. We toured Fort Vancouver yesterday. There are only a few reconstructed buildings on the site now of what was once a very important settlement in the Pacific Northwest. It was then headquarters for the Hudson Bay Company of England. When the United States acquired full authority of all the territory south of the 49th parallel, the Hudson Bay Company left and the fort was abandoned. What was interesting to me yesterday in our tour of the fort was the display of artifacts which archeologists have found over the years here. Since 1948 more than one million artifacts have been recovered. The workers at the fort during the nineteenth century represented many nationalities. One artifact is a Peruvian coin, another is a carved pipe bowl which shows the culture of the Chinook Indian as well as the Hawaiian native. Another artifact is a brick that once was a part of the Roman ruins. After touring the fort we drove over to Officer Row. In 1849 the first US army post in the Pacific Northwest was established near Fort Vancouver. The base is now closed, but the officers homes have been restored and are being used as commercial buildings. One house has been opened to the public for tours, and that is the home of Brigadier General George C. Marshall. He was Secretary of State at the time of the creation of the post-World War 11 European recovery plan. In the house is a copy of the Nobel Peace Prize he won because of his work on that recovery act, which is also called the Marshal Plan. He and his wife lived here from 1936-1938.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
We attended services Sunday at the church of our sister-in-law Marta. It is Prince of Peace Lutheran, an LCMS church. The pastor of the church, Tony Schultz, played the guitar for several contemporary songs. His sermon was on "Breathe", based on the Bible verses of John 20:19-31. In those verses the story is told how Christ breathed on his disciples, giving them the Holy Spirit and transforming their lives forever. I had never before connected that story with other incidences in the Bible of God breathing on someone and giving them life.It was a very interesting sermon. In the afternoon we hiked at Battleground Lake State park with Marta and her husband Terry.
Aren't they the happy newly weds! They were married in January and now are blessed with a total of nine offspring between them. Terry's youngest son, Zach, happily joined us for the hike.
The lake in this park is called a caldera, it is believed to have been formed from an ancient volcano. It was very still and quiet the day we were there, except for some people fishing. Below is a picture of the lake.
At this park I also found another lily- of- the valley bush, this one has pink leaves and I just could not pass by it without snapping a picture.