Olympic NP and near death!
Jun 19, 2009
Today, I nearly killed us. But more of that later…
Having decided we’d done most of the stuff we wanted to in the city, barring the stuff for tomorrow, we hired a car and headed out to the Olympic Peninsula to visit the Olympic National Park. Despite being told by our hotel receptionist that it was too much to do in a day, we set off early and tried to make a break out of the city before rush-hour struck! However, the useless hire car company were not ready for us at 7am so we eventually headed out at around 8am. Thankfully, we were going away from Seattle so we made a good start.
We headed down towards Olympia, hooked around the south of the park towards Aberdeen and headed northwards to Humptulips, where we stopped to fill up. We were pleased to see the “we now accept credit card” signs and I was amused by the gentleman’s “you folks aren’t from around here, are you?” Thankfully, he was welcoming enough and even gave us some tips on where to go and good places to see around the peninsula.
From Humptulips (what a great name!), we headed to the Hoh National Forest Visitor Center. Had the weather not been so bad, raining non-stop from around 7am this morning and continuing all day, we’d have probably walked one of the trails to stretch our legs. But after a brief stop, we headed on and made our way through some beautiful forest scenery, past a gorgeous lake and along the Pacific coastline for a while until we reached Forks, made famous by the absolutely, positively awful Twilight film. And boy, was the little town making the most of it, with even the skankiest shops advertising Twilight specials! We had decided to stop here for lunch but having taken one look at the place, we quickly moved on!
Our next step was our first winery, the main reason for our lengthy drive. The winery was on a tiny little back road and was run by a woman and her husband. We tried all the wines, made from various fruits and they were all very nice. We ended up buying a bottle of the regular red wine rather than the more specialized fruity ones!
From there, back on Route 101, Port Angeles and the Olympic Park visitor center was next. We had a quick look around but soon our stomachs took over and desperate for some food, we stopped at McDonalds. I know. Pathetic!
It was still raining at this point but we headed onwards, wanting to make sure we reached our next winery in time before closing. Another well hidden road and pathway leading to a tiny little shop. This place was due to shut down so after trying a few different wines, we made sure we bought a couple of bottles!
Now, as we left the second winery, I came down the narrow entry road and turned left onto the main road. Elizabeth and I were busy chatting away, discussing the wine and the bottles we’d bought. All of a sudden, I came round a corner and coming straight towards me, on my side of the road was another car! We both screeched our brakes and stopped inches apart. Without even thinking, I said something about the “stupid woman on the wrong side of the road”. Of course, I was on the wrong side of the road and having sheepishly apologized I continued driving along. I think Elizabeth held on tight after that and was a bit wary of my next move!
Via Olympia for petrol and Best Buy for backup camera batteries, we got back to the car hire place and headed back to the hotel. It was pretty late and we’d been driving for around 13 hours and covered nearly 550 miles. We decided to order a pizza to our hotel room but wish we hadn’t bothered. After an hour waiting, the thing still hadn’t turned up and when it finally did, it was barely hot. Too tired to argue, we ate what we could and fell asleep.