Monday, March 11, 2013

One Last Trip Along the North Coast

As we drew near our departure from Sequim, we decided to take one last trip along the Straits of Juan de Fuca and head out to Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point of the contiguous U.S.  We’d made this trip before (Oct 2009), and enjoyed the water views, although this time we decided that the weather was too cold to make the hike out to the Cape itself.  Neah Bay CoastAs we approached Neah Bay, the small town at the end of the Olympic Peninsula, the waves started to pick up and the “sea stacks”, or offshore rocks, became more numerous.  It was another dreary day, but it gave the rocks a ghostly appearance.  We stopped to look at one of the offshore Neah Bay Offshore Rockrocks, unusual because of the perfectly flat base beneath the towering formation – it looked like some sort of rock submarine rising out of the sea.
Neah Bay is a small town of less than 900 people on the Makah Indian Reservation.  It’s not very scenic, especially at this time of year, when most of the tourist and fisherman oriented businesses are shut down. Neah Bay The port is a popular fishing area during the summer, and is known for the best Halibut fishing in the lower U.S.  It has an excellent museum that we visited on our last trip but it was closed during this visit.  It provides an interesting history of the Makah culture, one completely different than native Americans in the rest of the country. 
Tundra SwanOur drive took us through coastal woodlands and meadows, and we saw ducks in all the ponds, and many Tundra Swans in the fields and near streams. Neah Bay Elk They’re beautiful, but not nearly so graceful as they waddle around in the grass.  There were elk on some of the meadows, and we were impressed that they all looked very healthy.

But the real treat for us is that this is Bald Eagle country.  All along the coast, we saw eagles in the trees and on the beach looking for food.  One that flew overhead made an interesting picture – the drab sky blended perfectly to give it a surreal look:
Bald EagleEagles on Beach

Flying Eagle Neah Bay
Leaving Sequim for our next stop, Anacortes, left us with a choice between driving almost 200 miles around Puget Sound or taking the ferry across the sound to Whidbey Island, a driving distance of 64 miles.  Not much of a choice, and off we went to the ferry dock at Port Townsend which was unfortunately, under construction.   This meant that instead of boarding the ferry via a two-lane ramp, I’d get to do it on what looked like a lane for riding lawn mowers.  But after paying our fare ($62.50 for the motorhome, car, Entering the Ferryand two “seniors”) we were ready to board.  It was a bit unnerving, especially when the ferry attendant kept motioning me to get closer to the second-deck overhang (which was lower than the motorhome), but we made it, and settled in for the six-mile, 30 minute ride.  Getting off was much easier, and we had a nice drive through Whidbey Island to our current home at Fildago Bay Resort

We’ve seen a lot of Great Blue Herons during our travels, and never tire of looking at them.  While we waited for the ferry this guy was just too beautiful to pass up:
Port Townsend Blue Heron Closeup 2
We’ve got a whole new area to explore, so c’mon back and check on our travels!


  1. Really great pictures today - I enjoyed them all. I think it would be a bit unnerving to drive a motorhome onto one of those ferries. Sure saves some driving time though.

  2. I've been poking around your blog; hoping to read from beginning to present some day. Your posts about Wisdom, MT, Deer Lodge, Big Hole, and so many other places brought a smile to my face. Your pictures are beautiful. I made a day trip while camped in Salmon, ID and was surprised to find, after driving up, up, up, a plateau with cattle as far as the eye could see. Thank you for taking me down memory lane. I'll be back to read more. :)

  3. Nice pictures Keith, we have really enjoyed your blog especially since we are still in Modesto. We are planning the NW again this summer. Take care in your travels. We always like hearing from you.