Here is a map from APRS (an amateur radio way to map your travels) of where we traveled for our Olympic peninsula trip.
After spending a few days at the north side of the park, we moved around to camp at Kalaloch campground, a really nice campground on the bluff above the Pacific Ocean near the southwest corner of the park. We didn't know what to expect as it was a national park campground, which are always nice, but we had been camping in parks with hookups. Although we had no hookups, we really liked the campground and didn't care that it was so shady that our solar panel couldn't recharge our batteries. After two nights, we still had plenty of capacity. We did scout out sunnier sites in case we go back there.
After arriving and getting settled, we drove to the Hoh Rain Forest visitor center, and took several of the hikes through the (rain) forest there. They call it a rain forest because of the very large annual rainfall there, and the flora shows it.
In July, 2017, we took a trip to Washington's Olympic National Park and surrounding lands. We first spent a few days visiting some of our many relatives and friends who live in the Seattle area. How did so many end up there?
Then we spent time touring Olympic National Park. We last were there about a decade ago, and not a lot has changed but our visit was great. We started by visiting the sites of the two dams that were recently removed on the Elwha River. The dams were supposed to be built with a way for fish to get around the dams but they weren't so after almost a century, they were removed to restore the river's natural flow. Their original purpose was to provide hydroelectric power to Port Angeles but with our current electric grid, that is no longer essential, so they were removed. And the fish are starting to return.
We went up the park road to Hurricane Ridge, always a great scenic place to visit. We walked the trail to Hurricane Hill where we could see both the Olympic mountains to the south and the sound and Canada to the north. We chose to visit in July to hopefully see some good wild flowers and we were not disappointed. We also hiked along the shore of Crescent Lake, always a great place to visit.
We drove out the highway along the Strait of Juan de Fuca which separates Washington from Canada. It was a nice drive along the north coast. We aimed for the end of the highway, the Makah Indian Reservation and Cape Flattery. At the Makah Indian Reservation, we visited the Nakah Cultural & Research Center which has an excellent display of artifacts from a village from 500 years ago that was buried under a mudslide and recently discovered. We highly recommend it. Then we went to walk out to Cape Flattery which is the farthest northwest corner of the continental US. It is a fairly level hike but there are lots of tree roots and other ground obstacles that made it a little challenging.
We hiked out the Sol Duc trail to the Sol Duc Falls, a very nice short hike, which seems to suit us well these days. Then we had lunch with relatives at the Lake Crescent Lodge which we recommend.
In July, we took a trip to the Washington Olympic Peninsula. At the start of the trip, we went to Astoria, OR, and stayed at Fort Stevens State Park. We recommend all Oregon state parks as we have yet to be disappointed by them. They have all been great.
We visited Lewis and Clark National Historic Site, where the Lewis and Clark expedition stayed for the winter on their trip to explore the Louisiana Purchase. We learned a lot about Lewis and Clark and their journey. If you like historical places, you will like this park.
After visiting the park, we stopped at the Maritime Museum in Astoria. What a fascinating place! It focused on the opening of the Columbia River, and the difficulties of navigation there, and the many rescues and lives lost.
Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house. And now I have gotten interested in ham radio so there goes any free time.