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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Washington's Olympic Peninsula

Hello all- a couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary. What a amazing place-mountains, beaches and rain forests. Some areas receive 12-14 feet of rain a year! Each turn of the road or trail opened up to another breathtaking vista. Outside of Hawaii I've never been in a place so green and wet. We got really lucky as far as the weather, it only rained for about an hour the whole 3 days we were there. I know 3 days was no where near enough time but it was what we had.  We sure packed a lot into those three days though. We'll definitely be back.
The first stop was at Dan Robinson's Elandan Gardens in Bremerton. Unfortunately  Dan wasn't there but we met his lovely wife Diane and his helper Frank, who spent quite a bit of time with us giving us the history of the gardens and the various bonsai. I didn't get many photo's there but here are a few. The most amazing thing about Dan's place is that it used to be a landfill and he has converted it to  a paradise. I have to apologize about the poor quality and quantity  of the bonsai photos, without a solid background it was hard to capture them.

A very natural looking pond/bog complete with  a several hundred year old bald cypress growing in it.

This maple is showing off it's autumn glory.

Some of Dan's stone work and bonsai.

A large old Deodar Cedar bonsai.

A rare Alaska Yellow Cedar bonsai.

From Dan's place we headed to Port Townsend for our first night in a house on a cliff overlooking the ocean with views of the Juan De Fuca strait and Victoria, B.C..
Then we headed north/west on the 101 and pretty much had one breathtaking view after the other.
Outside of Port Angeles we took a little side trip up Hurricane Ridge Road in the Olympic National Park. The photos will speak for themselves.

From here we continued on the 101 meandering through some beautiful country and then went into the Hoh Rain Forest.

 My bride and the biggest mushroom I've ever seen.

 The quantity and variety of the mosses and ferns was crazy, they grew everywhere.

The Hoh river where I found a cool waterfall stone Suiseki or viewing stone.

As we were driving out we came across a bunch of Roosevelt Elks just munching away.

From there we made our way to the Kalaloch Lodge just before sunset. This was the beach at the lodge.

We got up at the crack of dawn-literally and took some more shoots at Kalaloch and at Ruby Beach.

At Ruby Beach there were lots of cairns left on the logs and large stones.

There were also giant rocks coming out of the ocean called sea stacks. They reminded me of Chinese Penjin landscape plantings.


We were there as the tide was coming in so we didn't stay long as the ground was quickly disappearing. Where the river met the ocean fascinated me for some reason.

Then we headed back down the 101 where my wife- a professional photographer- noticed the mist and light in the forest and we turned into a little side road where the light was amazing.

 Then it was on to the Quinault Rainforest.

The trees were so tall that we wound up with sore necks from looking up so much.

These elk were a little shy.
There were quite a few waterfalls but this one was probably the biggest.
Then we came upon this-
At least someone had a sense of humor- it would've been nicer if they removed it though.
 As we were coming back to the 101 this was the view out of the back window.
 We really wanted to see a bald eagle but it never happened. We did see a
golden eagle though.

I hope you enjoyed the photos. I know for me it was an inspiring trip, and the best part of it was that I got to share it with my best friend.
That's all for today,  as always I welcome any comments, suggestions or questions.

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