When Erica & Shannon started planning their trip to Seattle, they decided they wanted to tour the Olympic Peninsula. For Shannon, it was all about seeing the National Rain Forest and the vast Beaches, for Erica it was all about seeing Forks and the Twilight hot spots!
Though, by the end of the trip - I think Erica appreciated the Forest more.
What these pictures don't capture is all the laughter and crazy stories we shared together. It was a heck of a road trip. We left Thursday morning before sunrise - and hit the Ferry to Bainbridge Island.
There is nothing quite like seeing the city from a Ferry, but up until now, I had never taken the boat at the crack of dawn... there's something so calm and beautiful about the water at that time of day.
We had fun on the ferry - but it got cold fast! Erica and Miranda found it necessary to act out the Jack & Rose scene in Titanic. We all giggled!
Our first stop was at Sluys Bakery in Poulsbo. I don't know that I could count on two hands the number of times I heard "Oh Mom, I just want to live here!" while we were in the small town!
Sluys is famous for their "Viking" Donuts, which were as big as our faces, though I'm a little sad I didn't get a picture of that!
Also, home to "Poulsbo Bread" if you've ever had that!
After Poulsbo we hit Highway 305 to Highway 104 to Highway 101. Once we were on 101 for awhile, we decided to swing up through the Dungeness Loop which is just outside of Sequim. Shannon wants to move to Sequim, they have mountains, beaches AND Cows! She figures the Cows would make it feel like home!
We stopped at the beginning of the loop for some beach combing!
And picture taking!
We couldn't have gotten more lucky with the weather - it was so sunny and beautiful out. And just a bit windy! Either way, we found some treasures on the beach, and then packed up to head out to our next destination... Port Angeles, but not before we stopped to enjoy the loop some more! Incredible views!
Upon arriving in Port Angeles - we were saddened to realize that Bella Italia wasn't open until 4! It was barely 11, so we weren't going to stick around for dinner, we were hoping for lunch! This is the place where Bella and Edward had their first date in Twilight. So instead of food, we settled for a few pictures, and then headed down the street to browse in the bookstore.
This was like Miranda & Erica's heaven - BOOKS!!!!
We grabbed a quick burger and then headed out to see Hurricane Ridge. We stopped at the Hurricane Ridge visitors center to learn you needed not only chains, but a day that the ridge was actually open to tour it! So, we took advice from the Park Ranger there, and headed out to find Madison Falls, which we were assured was "Right on our way!".
We headed in the direction we "thought" it was... and got out to look at a map once we were convinced we were sufficiently lost.
Shannon turned around to tell us she wasn't sure she'd be able to find Madison Falls when she spotted this itty bitty little Madison Falls sign... JACKPOT!
We giggled a good 15 minutes about how ridiculous we must have looked searching for Madison Falls with the sign right behind us!
So, these pictures ensued...
And then I demonstrated to Erica how I could take photos with my clicker without even touching my camera...
We stopped for a few photos on the "hike" which ended up being less than two city blocks long!
We were all really impressed with how simple and beautiful Madison Falls was.
But, for whatever reason we were almost MORE impressed with this log/tree left over!
Because it was HUGE!
Here's me, scaring Erica at Madison Falls... This, folks, is what memories are made of!
After Madison Falls, we were enthusiastic to head out to Marymere Falls - which everyone assured us we "MUST" see.
This time, we paid attention to EVERY sign.
We ended up on a 3/4ths Mile loop, which was not super LONG, but it was super STEEP! And, once we got to the top, we were all a little underwhelmed by the falls themselves. We all agreed Madison was our preferred "Falls". The adventure in the forest was worth it though, we had fun playing!
There was not a flat / safe surface to set the timer for Merymere falls, so this is the group that got the picture!
About half way back it started to POUR... and then the rain turned into sleet. We were happy to get back to the car!
The view of the Ranger station and Lake Crescent were pretty wonderful though!
We had no intention of stopping in Forks on our way through to Kalaloch Lodge. We wanted to get to the lodge with enough time to enjoy the sunset! Once we rounded the bend into Forks, the ever silent Miranda started to squeal when she saw the "City of Forks" sign! So, I had to stop. I mean, who am I to crush 16 year old's dreams?
This is the squat that ended Erica's pants. I won't embarrass her with the details, but we all had a good laugh.
Forks was indeed very welcoming, more than one car honked their horn at us while we were taking pictures in front of the signage. They love their Twilighters!
Once we arrived at Kalaloch, we got all checked in and strapped on the feed bags. We were all hungry and wanted to eat fast so we could get to Ruby Beach in time to enjoy a sunset walk.
We were able to stay for about an hour before the sun completely set, and it began to get dark.
It's so much more beautiful in person, but the photos didn't turn out bad either. That big Island is what we have determined to be "Abby Island" we're not for sure that it's the true Abby Island, but on the map it says there's an Abby Island... we decided this was it!
Like a true Pacific Northwest beach, it was cold, and windy. But the memories we have of walking on this beach together are warm.
I love this sister of mine :)
Once we were done watching the sunset, we headed back to the cabin at Kalaloch to get a few things ready for bed and to make Smores in our cabin!
Thank Goodness for my (newly acquired) mad fire building skills!
And the low light in the cabin... which resulted in blurry awesomeness!
We tucked ourselves into bed by the glow of the fireplace... and set our alarm clocks early for the next days' adventure!