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Questo to the Pacific Northwest - Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Questo to the Pacific Northwest - Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Friday, July 31st 2015 - Day 3

We woke up early and rented a car so we could drive around the Olympic Peninsula.  Our epic day trip involved a train, a ferry, 400 miles of driving in a convertible, 7,000 ft elevation gain and descent, a hike above the treeline, a drive in the temperate rainforest, and circumnavigating the entire Olympic Peninsula.  16 hrs later, we had a great day!

Map I made to document our epic daytrip

We took a car ferry from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island - about 30 min to cross.  We breakfasted on the sun deck as we enjoyed the early morning views of Puget Sound.  After docking, we drove across the northern end of the Olympic Peninsula to the town of Port Angeles.  Had a hearty brunch and then drove into the National Park, up to Hurricane Ridge.  The rental place had offered us a convertible for the day and it was the perfect vehicle to enjoy the panoramic views and sunshine.  We parked up there and hiked 3 mi round trip to the peak - about 700 ft elevation gain and a total height of 7300 ft.  Could see 360° around the park and admired several glacier capped peaks.

The Engineer's sweet ride for a perfect sunny day

Hiking above the treeline was a new experience for both of us

Panoramic view from the top of Hurricane Ridge

After the hike, we got in the car and continued around the northern side of the peninsula, driving by the glacier fed Crescent Lake and passing through the town of Forks, WA made famous by the Twilight books and movies.  

Pulled off the road to enjoy the icy waters of Crescent Lake

Its a *very* small town!

Didn't spot any signs of vampires and werewolves, so we continued to the Hoh rainforest.  Neither of us knew what to expect from a temperate rainforest, but it reminded us of the Ewok village in Star Wars.  Lots of moss and lichen and beautiful, tall trees.

Hoh Rainforest aka the Ewok Village

We had a picnic dinner on Ruby Beach on the western coast.  First time we saw clouds and fog the whole trip!  The weather comes in off the Pacific and drops all the moisture on the western side, hence the lush rainforests, whereas the Eastern side was desert like.  After the beach, it was equidistant to either return the way we came, or keep driving around so we opted to circumnavigate.  Got back to the hotel around 11 pm and crashed so that we would be ready for the flight to Alaska on Saturday.

Foggy evening on Ruby Beach

Quest to the Pacific Northwest - Turnagain Arm, Alaska

Quest to the Pacific Northwest - Turnagain Arm, Alaska

Questo the Pacific Northwest - Seattle, Washington

Questo the Pacific Northwest - Seattle, Washington