Pacific Northwest 1/5

This trip was pretty spontaneous. I don't think much more than two weeks passed through the span of thinking it up, planning it, and taking it on. Two of us just got off political campaign work. One of us was on a break from school. We had a narrow window. We decided to go for it. I love planning trips, and what more, knew I'd be able to link together places I'd been wanting to see for years (with a big window to find more). I cherished that opportunity.

To properly document each leg of the trip, I'm breaking it up into 5 parts. Each part will highlight 3 main stops with mentions to other places we saw, weren't able to see, or learned about for future times.

November 18, 2019
Seattle, WA to Forks, WA

Peace Arch State Park, Blaine, WA

We landed in Seattle a bit sleep deprived, got breakfast at a local cafe, and headed north. It was overcast (which for us Californians was a rare and lovely sight). The hills were shrouded in curls of mist. Everything was so green––the fields and farms, the tree-covered hills. We took a detour through Chuckanut Drive and enjoyed the winding route through the trees with glances of the bay. Stopped for some coffee/tea at the Drive's end, where the approach of the Christmas season was evident. (Free snowman cookie samples anyone?)

In time we found ourselves at the tip top of Washington. The grass and surfaces were dewy and wet from the weather, which I loved. We meandered through the park, read up on previously-unknown (to me at least) history, and got the typical tourists shots of the arch and nearby totem poles. Like running down to a creek just to touch the water before returning to the trail, we ran north to dip our toes into Canada before doubling back and returning to Seattle. We stayed the night in our first AirBnB for the trip in Issaquah (super sweet with complimentary muffins, bottles of water, and even pillow mints).

Seattle, WA

It was the first time in Seattle for all 3 of us (apart from the day prior), so we decidedly embraced all the touristy stuff. We explored the Woodland Park Zoo, marveled at the Chihuly Garden & Glass museum, and amused over the Space Needle. Spent time with a friend I hadn't seen since childhood days and got to meet his SO, and with everyone in tow, got dinner at a Cuban restaurant. Though I'm not one for touristy things, I'd generally say these spots were worth it and would recommend them to anyone venturing through the city.

With quite a drive still ahead of us, we caught a ferry within 5 minutes of departure, went across to Bainbridge Island and shot northwest to Sequim, where we stayed the night in an charming 1930s house.

Dungeness Wildlife Refuge, Sequim, WA

A last minute addition to the trip's schedule, the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge is a sandbar or spit––as it's called––on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, just south from Canada. At the very end of this long, 6 or so miles of sandbar sits a lighthouse, New Dungeness Light, built in 1857. We had too many road miles to cover that day to take on the 10+ mile hike, but maybe someday we'll return, conquer the walk, and be able to tour the lighthouse. I could have easily made a full day (or more) of Sequim and surrounding areas. I had planned to stop at a waterfall not far out, but we passed it on account of exploring the spit that morning and stayed along the coast.

We stopped for lunch in Port Angeles at what is now one of my favorite lunch spots, the New Day Eatery, complete with smoothie bar and bakery. I'm not a huge veggie burger fan normally, but their seasonal special––sweet potato veggie burger––sounded like the essence of fall flavors and I had to try it. Another of us grabbed a pizza. We had smoothies. Everything was amazing. We left with all sorts of baked goods for the road.

We tried to make Cape Flattery that evening for sunset, but just missed it. Due to the onset of darkness, and some other complications (we did not have, nor knew, that you had to have a permit) we had to turn around. (For anyone making this trek, since this land is owned by the Makah tribe, you have to acquire a permit––a Makah Recreation Pass––to visit Cape Flattery and surrounding areas about Neah Bay. Unlike grabbing permits at parking lots, to which I'm accustom, you have to check in at local businesses to purchase, all of which run on their own hours.)

We spent the night in Forks in a unit that didn't look too impressive from the outside, but was recently redone and very clean on the inside. Our AirBnB host was overly caring, willing to make a run to the supermarket at 9pm on account of there being no paper towels for us, to which we said not to worry. We can surely live a night without paper towels. We ate our New Day Eatery goods before crawling into our beds.

(Later that day in Port Angeles, WA near New Day Eatery)