Ellen and Doug took a road trip to the Pacific Northwest in September 2007, to explore, hike and photograph the scenery and wonders of the area.
Website photos, with captions and slideshows (with music):
Mount St Helens National Monument. First stop, after the long drive from Boulder, Colorado, was a 3-day visit to Mount St Helens. While there they stayed at the Lone Fir 'Resort' in Cougar, WA. They toured the Monument, viewing the Volcano, with its evidence of devastation from the 1980 eruption, as well as the amazing beauty of the area's recovery ever since. The scenic drives and short hikes also provided views the Toutle River Valley, Spirit and Coldwater Lakes, and neighboring sister volcanoes - Mounts Ranier, Adams and Hood. On the 3rd day they drove to the Big Creek area on the eastern side of the Monument and hiked along the Lewis River on the Two Rivers and Big Creek Trails, among remnants and regrowth from previous eruptions from long ago;
Sequim area. Sequim is a small, beautiful town located on the mouth of the Dungeness River, where it flows into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, between Port Townsend and Port Angeles. The weather is mild and sunny and it is known as the Lavender Capital of North America. Ellen and Doug stayed 3 nightts and 2 days at a wonderful little "Beach Garden Cottage" outside of town. Just across the street was a beach on the Strait. While there, they toured the town, hiked on the Dungeness Spit and took a day trip to Port Townsend;
Olympic National Park:
Lake Crescent, Elwha Valley & Hurricane Ridge. Lake Crescent was the home base for the 8 day stay in Olympic National Park. Home was Cabin 3a at the Log Cabin Resort, consisting of a small restaurant/lodge, a campground and the rustic cabins that had been originally built by and for the CCC in the 1930's. Attractions in the area, in addition to Lake Crescent itself, included exploring the Elwha Valley area, with hikes to Madison Creek, Marymere and Sol Duc Falls. Hurricane Ridge was a full day trip south and west into the Cascade mountains. Spectacular vistas and several short hikes, plus photo stops along the way, filled the day.;
Other Travels: Washington & Oregon, visited during the trip included a day trip (while basing out of Crescent Lake) to Neah Bay, home of the Macah nation, Fort Clatsop National Monument, just across the Columbia River into Oregon, the Cannon Beach area and the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker, Oregon (actually visited at beginning of the trip on the way to Mount St Helens.
Hoh Rain Forest, a full day's trip to the other side of the mountains, is a true temperate rain forest, one of the best in North America. Ellen and Doug spent time at the visitor center and hiked the Hall of Mosses and Spruce Nature trails (both true to their names), plus a segment of the 17.3 mile Hoh River trail. Highlight of the day was when they were visited by a rare Northern Spotted Owl while eating lunch at a picnic area near the visitor center;
Lake Ozette, Rialto & Ruby Beaches. During the 2 day drive down the Pacific coast, stops were made at Lake Ozette and Rialto and Ruby Beaches, all parts of Olympic National Park's Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary;