Tag Archives: Port Angeles

9/15/2019 Elwha River Port Angeles, Day 5

Fall in the Pacific North West

Why am I surprised that the sky is gray with clouds and intermittent often heavy rain.  The Olympic Peninsula is a rain forest after all. We may not be cycling today.  Not that we’ll melt, but there’s no reason to be uncomfortable, cold, or wet in the midst of beauty. The Strait of Juan de Fuca is gorgeous in good weather.  It can appear bleak and uninviting in cold wind driven rain.

With weather, anything is possible.  The sun could break through later today, though that is very unlikely.

Evenings, the temperature drops and the clouds open up.  We slept to the sound of heavy rain last night.  As the temperature warms in the morning, rain stops as the clouds store moisture and the promise of rain in the evening.  Plants benefit, we see vibrant green  everywhere. 

There is a burn ban in effect.  I expect it will lift soon.

Happy Wife, Happy…

It’s Football Sunday with NFL Sunday Ticket from DirecTV.  Cool. Search “Jets football” or “jets NFL’ on our guide and get no results!  WHAT?  Ok a Google search turns up Jets @ Browns Monday at 5:15, Monday Night Football.  Sunday Ticket only covers Sunday Football.  Why wouldn’t my search find Jets @ Bills in my lineup? Google search again for “Jets @ Bills” and up pops ESPN.  Tune into ESPN; I’m not subscribed to ESPN. 

DIRECTV offers three methods to solve this.  The first: Text upgrade to 223322.  Cool.  I do the text and get back a text stating, “DIRECTV MOBILE: go to DirecTV.com or call 1-800.531.5000, the other two on-screen methods.  Why even provide text to 332233 if it does absolutely nothing?  Probably for the money ATT makes charging for texts.  That SUCKS.   Go to DirecTV.com with tons of advertising for shows. Eventually I was routed to ATT.com, a maze of a website.  Method #2 is untenable.

Method #3: call.  The first thing you hear when ATT picks up is a sales pitch for NFL Sunday Ticket with extended instructions about how to subscribe, what to do to activate your subscription and on and on.  Such BS.  Using the voice recognition system I asked “upgrade ESPN” and was told “that package is unavailable”.  Typical of ATT.  I think they would have done better not to centralize ATT, ATT mobile, and DirecTV.  “Operator” and I was transferred to a live person who made ESPN happen for a few dollars more.

I cringe each time I want to make changes to my DirecTV account.   In any case ESPN is now available to me and “JETS @ BROWNS” is set to record tomorrow.  Ellen should be happy and happier if the JETS happen to win (an unusual occurrence).

CNN, Phase 10, Lazy Day – not.

Coffee this morning with the heat on briefly and a rookie mistake.  The heater cycles on, off, then stays off with no heat if LP is switched off.  ooops.  We finished last night’s phase 10 game and started another.   It was 10:45 when Ellen said, “Since the weather is bad and we’ll not bike today, let’s go to home depot in Victoria.  We can fix the drawer today.”  The next ferry to Victoria loads at 12:15. Black Ball said their reservations were full, they leave 20 slots open for arrivals without reservations, and we could go on standby if all slots are filled. “We have five slots open.”

We’ve never “broken camp” as quickly as we did that morning.  We took one of the last three RV slots.  Li’l Beast is rated a 24’ motorhome.  It is actually 25’ 6” long, but with the bicycles on back we measured out at 30’!  “UGE.   Port Angeles at sunrise is beautiful.  At mid day its commercial nature belies the area’s natural beauty.  The sound was socked in with nothing to see.  Victoria’s inner harbor was partly sunny.  A new marina was completed with a super yacht parked fronting a new hotel complex.  Each year there’s more construction here.

We were fourth off the boat and breezed through customs.

“Where do you live, how long will  you stay in Canada? Do you have firearms? Do you have beer? Do you have wine or spirits? Are you carrying bear spray?  Do you have marijuana products,”  

“One Beer, but it won’t last long (I had maybe 12).  Is marijuana legal in Canada?” 

“Yes it is legal in Canada, but you cannot bring any in.”  “Oh, Ok”

We called Salish RV Haven; no space available for tonight.  They recommended Fort Victoria RV Park.  They had availability, no reservation necessary.

Home Depot carries a variety of draw slides from 16” to 22”.  I took one of the slides with me, and found a strong 20” slide; the perfect length but maybe 1/2” wider than the original.  “Some Assembly Required” I thought.  The new sliders went in relatively easily with a bit of measuring, drilling, and screwing.  The sliders need a bit of lubrication, but they work.  

Fort Victoria RV Park

At 5:30 PM we drove a few miles to Fort Victoria for the night.   Fort Victoria sits right on the intersection of two bike trails.  Both are converted Railroad right of ways: the Galloping Goose Trail and the E&N Rail Trail.  Both run down to Victoria Harbor.   Though we could have, we chose not to unload the bikes this evening. 

We cooked a chicken meal in the convection oven, watched “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and played two games of phase 10. Ellen won the last game.

Fort Victoria RV Park packs ‘em in.  The sites are level with full hookups.  Many have good satellite visibility.  For a single night sitting window to window with neighbors we no problem.  I’d rather not stay here as “home base” even if I didn’t know about Salish.  Salish’s location has such a wonderful view and easy access via water taxi to Victoria.  Why stay anywhere else?

Checkout is at 11AM.  “I wonder how early we can arrive at Salish”, Ellen asked.  We’ll find out.

Port Angeles to Victoria Ferries

The ferry schedule varies by season.  In winter, the ferry runs once every day.  In high season it runs four times daily.   For us the ferry departs Port Angeles at 8:15, 12:45, and 5:20.  The 9:30 PM ferry stops on September 3.  I recommend making ferry reservations well ahead of time.  We arrived for the 12:45 ferry at 10:20 AM and barely made it on.  Had we missed the 12:45 we would have been first in line for non-reservations on the 5:20 PM sailing; inconvenient, but doable.  If you miss the last ferry, you’ll be spending a night at Fort Victoria RV Park.

The ferry takes an hour and a half to make the crossing.  People rush upstairs to grab booth seating.  There are rows of seats in the bow, where we sat.  Even though we were relatively early on the boat, most booth seats were taken.  You’ll find food and drink aboard ship.  Ellen brought a tray of fried potato slices that were yummy.

9/14/2019 Elhwa River Port Angeles, Day 4



Mt Shasta, Day 1.



Mango Salad Lunch, Day 2.



Muted Sunset, Day 3.



Barrel Sauna, Toutle River RV Resort, Nice.



Very Hot and Relaxing Last Night, Day 3.


Some Early Morning Rambling, Day 4

“Alexa, play NPR”, is our morning mantra when we’re home.  On the road we’ve done without.  This morning I thought, “humm,  Siri?”  and said, “Hey Siri, Play NPR”.  Will this work?  Seconds later on came NPR.  GREAT, our morning ritual survives.

This morning and for the first time this trip, the temperature in Li’l Beast is a cool 64 F. The sky is overcast, the grass is vibrant green.  On longer trips we settle into a rhythm of activity in the morning and evening that makes life in a confined space easy.  We’ve not hit stride yet; we’re close.  We still fumble with what goes where and avoiding clutter.  The noisy ‘fridge fan has been quiet for days.  I’ve ordered a replacement thermistor that Amazon will ship to a rite-aid in Anacortes.  I’ll pick it up there.  Amazon has established “Amazon Lockers” worldwide that are places they will ship to for later pickup.  I love the way forward thinking companies anticipate and fill needs.  I’m freed from Camping World and Walmart for parts on the road.  This is ‘UGE.  I would have shipped to Anacortes, but Amazon’s delivery date was the day we will leave for Victoria.  With a quiet fan we can wait.

This year we’re skipping a Seattle/Whidbey Island visit.  To avoid weather in the Rockies, we cannot spend a few days or a week visiting friends.  Whidbey Island is quaint and well worth an extended visit.  Clamming or crabbing is fun; seafood right out of the ocean?  Scrumptious.  Perhaps we’ll have similar experiences in the San Juan Islands.

Some days we have a long drive, though I prefer to plan numerous short hops.  Today is an intermediate day with about 2:30 drive time.  I look forward to exploring Port Angeles and surrounding.  The last time we came through we awoke early to catch the ferry for Victoria and spent zero time on the Olympic Peninsula.  The allure of the Olympic Discovery Trail was enough for us to schedule a two day stop over before moving on to Victoria and Salish Seaside RV Haven. 

A quick note about Salish Seaside RV Haven and reservations in general.  We happened to find Salish the last time we visited Victoria.  The RV Haven has spectacular views of Victoria over the sea plane landing strip on the ocean there.  When we travel in September and October we seldom make reservations ahead of time.  Typically camping sites have availability in the fall.  Because Salish is so well situated, I made reservations well ahead of time.  As it turns out early September is still popular for RV’ers in Washington and the San Juans.  Mt St Helens KOA, one of our “go to” sites, was booked.  My first choice in Port Angeles had no availability for us; I booked the last site at my 2nd choice!  It is clear that there would be no availability at Salish had I waited. With availability so tight, we may be dry camping in the San Juans.  I may have call Lake Louise and Glacier National Park well ahead of our arrival or it could be a non-issue later in September.  We had not difficulty without reservations in  Yellowstone last year.  I’m not concerned, though it is more comfortable glamping than stopping at some random  roadside pullout (something that’s not possible  in national parks).  



We’re getting a late start today after lazing about with NPR and “wait wait”, Nespresso, and breakfast.  Clearly we’re not in a rush today.


Highway 101, Washington State


Overlooking the Hood Canal

Hood Canal, Washington

We left Toutle River RV Resort at 11:10 AM.  We said bye to the Sauna, the River, and CC (our friendly site manager) and headed north on I-5 toward Tacoma and Seattle.  A few miles south of Tacoma we veered north west on 101.   This brought us to the west side of the hood canal before skirting along the Straits of Juan de Fuca which divides the U.S. and Canada.

At noon we stopped at the Hood Canal Market, Hoodsport Washington to get groceries.  The last loaf of French bread and sliced cold cuts from the deli made a good sandwich: roast beef for me, turkey for Ellen.  We did get assorted peppers and some frozen veggies to use when we get lazy with dinner and some other staples.



Hama Hama Seafood, Established 1922

Maybe fifteen miles later we cruised by Hama Hama Seafood. “Do you want to stop?”, as we whizzed by.  “Oh, I don’t know” “Fresh steamed clams?”  I U-turned and we went right back.  The fridge was not happy running on propane.  I went into the restaurant as Ellen waited for the fridge to purge the propane line and operate normally.


Beer’s To Ya

I walked into the retail shop first “on” mistake (I hate the way that phrase changed in the past 20 years, but that’s a rant for another time).  They had a good selection of fresh oysters in a water bath and a few Manila clams.  In frustration I walked out and into the outdoor restaurant which was buzzing.  I ordered a pound of steamers and an IPA.  The IPA came immediately along with number 70 on a stick.  Number 70 and I found a seat and watched the race: Ellen vs clams.  Ellen won and a pot of steamed clams arrived shortly after.  They were good and the first steamed clams we’ve had in 2019.  Had we not eaten those sandwiches, we would have ordered oysters and more.  We left comfortably sated.


Hama Hama was Packed


Heat on Our Backs was Very Welcome

The drive along the hood canal is a two lane road, one lane in each direction with turnouts for slow traffic.  By law a slow driver must turnout when four or more people have been inconvenienced.  I turned out a few times for one or two cars, but never felt pushed and usually had nobody behind.  The drive is curvaceous, but not uncomfortably so at speeds between 40 and 55 mph.  Driving along the Hood Canal is picturesque.  I wonder what real estate prices are.  It’s not easily accessible from Seattle; the ferry runs to Port Townsend tens of miles to the north. 

As we passed the  turnoff to Port Townsend, traffic picked up for a while then settled down again.  Driving along the north side of the Olympic Peninsula on 101 is not nearly as beautiful as  the Hood Canal.  The road sits back from the water.  We had only seen Port Angeles from the ferry terminal at sunrise.  Port Angeles was a surprise. It is industrially commercial and not a wonderful place to visit IMO.  We drove through “to see” and were happy to come out the other end and off to Elhwa Dam RV Resort.


Elhwa Dam RV Resort’s Garden

Elhwa Dam RV Resort

The first impression driving into the resort was disappointing.  Spaces seem close together and the “resort” seems small, because it is small.  I had called ahead and could chose between a narrow full hookup and a water and electric only site.  We switched to the water and electric only site and I’m glad we did.  We had to use leveling blocks for side to side comfort. Front to back was perfect.  We have clear sat reception.  A bonus: Elhwa Dam RV Resort has an organic garden that we can pick from.  I ate a few strawberries.  Ellen found a raspberry.  We’ve picked zucchini blossoms, a tomato, and lettuce for dinner.


Too Bad They’re Not Ripe


A Gardening Marvel

The garden features a small solar array that power pumps.  Water is pumped from a large fish tank, through 3” PVC Pipes, through a large filter, and back to the fish tank.  The fish poo provides fertilizer for the plans.  The large 3” pipes are full of water flowing past the plant roots.  To fully close the loop the fish would have to live on some part of the plant life.  As it is they’re fed goldfish food.  It’s a very competently designed system that shows evolution over time.


Picked from Elhwa Dam’s Garden


What’s for Dinner Tonight?

Ellen just roasted a few zucchini blossoms to finish off our vegetarian meal.  Though they shriveled up (not being breaded), they were yummy.

With our late arrival, we’ll keep the bikes under wraps and see what tomorrow brings weather wise.  The forecast is for rain for the next few days. 

Siren Call

Interestingly, this is a trip to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone.  Yet, here we are headed to Victoria and the San Juan Islands.  We are very fortunate to have both the time and ability to meander as we are.  I love visiting Washington State and British Columbia.  I love the ocean.  The promise of the sea: oysters, clams, crab, and fresh fish.  It beckons to us.  We shall succumb.