Welcome to my photo journal.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Twin Harbors, WA

We spent four days around the Twin Harbors area, at Westport in a nice RV park where we could hear the surf and the seals.  This is some of the beach looking toward their look out tower.
We enjoyed going down to the marina to watch the commercial and private fishing boats go out and to find some birds such at the Pelagic Cormorants, Black Turnstones, sandpipers and gulls.
 Here is the Westport lighthouse, Ken enjoys climbing to the top but it wasn't open either time we visited.  It is the tallest lighthouse in Washington, the light is not in use now.

Cranberry bogs are kept in the area, some nearly 100 years old and Ocean Spray has a plant near Westport.  It is harvest time now and a local farmer developed the little harvester you see in my photo, no more flooding the fields.
We stopped by Westport Winery one rainy day tasted some wine, bought a couple of bottles and walked around their beautiful little gardens.
We drove over to the other side of the Grays Harbor to Ocean Shores to do a little beachcombing and birding.  Ocean Shores is more a tourist little town as Westport is a fishing community.
The sun came out for two beautiful days and so did some birders who helped us with places to visit and what birds they had
been seeing.  One of these places was a little fishing village of Tokeland where Marbled Godwits spend the winter we went there twice this photo is from the second time in the evening and they were all on this old detached dock.  There was a little pushing for standing space.
The rain is back for the weekend and down the road we go to Oregon to Cannon Beach.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Twilight Zone

Our four day stay in Forks, WA pop.3500+8 1/2 vampires has been fun and very interesting.  Stephanie Meyer of Phoenix, AZ put this town on the international map, it is the home of the fictional characters, Bella, Edward and Albert from the Twilight series.  The town has enjoyed it's new popularity it just had it's 7 annual Stephanie/Bella birthday celebration which the author attended this year.  The story came to her in a dream and she went to google to find the wettest, darkest place in the lower 48 to set her story in and it came up  with Forks, it gets around 120 inches of rain a year.
But sadly and to the disappointment of the town the films were not made here but the first one in OR and the rest in Canada.  I certainly have learned a lot about Twilight, guess I'll add the series to my already very long reading list.
We have been enjoying the beaches of Olympia National Park and the rain forest between the rains.
Our first beach was Ruby Beach, the tide was out and the sun was out and we stayed to see if we could get a sunset photo, but no a cloud bank came in and blocked the sun as it was going down.

I had fun finding the sea creatures on the rocks that are usually hidden by the water, they are so colorful.
 This is beach One the native town of LaPush is along it.  We saw a few surfers on the other side of the breakwater.
This is beautiful beach two, it's a 3/4 mile walk through the rain forest to this beach, we took our time walking down taking photos of the various fungi and crawly creatures.  We didn't get down to Beach three it is a mile and quarter walk to it, we did walk some of it to see what fungi and creatures we could find.
I am trying to download another beach we went to, but it won't let me.  So I guess you won't get to see Rialto Beach.
So on down the road we go tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Olympic Peninsula

A view of Mt. Olympia, it's the snow covered peak in the far distance.
Our week at Rainbow's End is up, we didn't see a rainbow but did have 4 days of rain and mist, just like the Washington I had pictured in my mind, foggy and rainy.  The sun did come out for us the last two days.  We did see a lot of the area but my pictures aren't very good and I didn't take very many.

We learned that Sequim is usually the driest place in the peninsula and it is the lavender capital of the US.  Rainbow's End in in Sequim.  John Wayne used to come up here in his yacht and his family donated money to build a park and marina in his name.                                                                                

We did take a whale watching trip out of Port Townsend, it was very foggy that day so it turned out to be a disappointing trip.  We did see the fin of a Minke whale but no Orcas and I really wanted to see them. We stopped at Friday Harbor on Juan Island for lunch.  Port Townsend is very picturesque with quaint shops and a lighthouse and park we didn't have time to explore.

We went out to the Dungeness NWR around 4 times, the first three it was foggy and misting but we did find some interesting things, a newt, snail, banana slug, mushrooms and a few birds a Brown Creeper, and Spotted Towhees.

                                                                Dungeness NWR Spit
The spit is the longest sand spit in the lower 48 and 5 miles down the spit is a light house.  You can walk down to it, and it is rented out to those hardy people who would enjoy such an adventure.

We took the scenic drive to Flattery Point, it's is around 90 miles from Sequim and took around 3 hours, it's a curvy slow road.
                                               Here at the Salt Creek Rec Area
which is just off the road and has a beautiful campground and a WWII bunker.  The tide was out and people were climbing the bluff that's isolated out in the water.

Flattery Point is on the Makah
Indian Res. and the half mile walk out to the viewpoint to see the lighthouse is interesting mostly on a boardwalk through beautiful woods.
Flattery Point we read is to be the most northern spot in the lower 48 but it doesn't look like it should on the map.
We are just moving down the coast and will still be in the Olympia NP area.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Columbia NWR
This is my first visit to the state of Washington and I was surprised by all the sage brush on the eastern side of the state it needs irrigation water from the Grand Coulee Dam to make it possible to grow potatoes, mint, hay and etc.  The timber begins at Yakima Valley and there we see more fruit trees.  I didn't realize the Columbia  river was so big when we crossed the bride I thought we were crossing a lake.

We felt like we were roughing it for the week we stayed in Packwood, WA which is just outside the Parks Rainer and St. Helens.  We had no phone, internet and only 30 amp service which means watching which appliances we can use, like the water heater or the microwave, air conditioner or the water heater, and having no phone and internet drove Ken crazy.  We did have cable TV so we could watch Duck Dynasty and all those crazy programs.    There also was no McDonald's or a Walmart but we planned for that, there was a Subway 30 miles away and Ken could use his phone there.  We had a family of elk that would wonder through the park once a day and we could see Mt. Rainer if we walked to the corner of the park.  Our first day was rainy, heavy rain in the evening so we had to move in our leaky slide.  Sat. the sun came out and it was beautiful the rest of our stay, even a little too warm for this time of year.  Sat. we headed up to Sunrise Pt. in Rainer, it was beautiful we even found several little birds, juncos, sparrows, evening grosbeaks and Clarks Nutcrackers and our first bear for the trip.
 Day two we head in from the west side, hoping to see the Paradise area but the parking lot is full so we decide to try it another day.  We find a parking spot at Narada Falls and we walk down to take photos of it, the lighting is perfect but I can't fit it all in my photo, I don't have a wide enough lens.
We have a reservation to ride the Mt Rainer Steam Train that afternoon so we head to Elbe.  The train is late in arriving from it's earlier ride as someone got a bee sting and needed attention, the bees are thick and everywhere at this time of year. The ride is two hours and it takes us to it's museum and station in Mineral where we see several other working steam engines and their work station.
On day three we drive up to Windy Point in Mt. St. Helen National Memorial Park.  After 30 years most of the mountain side is still recovering but in some areas the park service has replanted some trees and Spirit Lake that was right in direct line of the explosion has recovered naturally. it was a beautiful resort lake surrounded by spruce trees there are still no trees now but the lake itself has recovered and now filled with fish again.
On day four  we go back to the Paradise area and have no problem getting a parking place, we take a short walk to see Mrytle Falls and a bit beyond to get photos.  The visitor center is now open and we take a look but no penny smasher, so we go back to the car and enjoy our Lunchables before taking another walk along Nisqually Trail.  It takes us to wonderful views of the glacier and we can see the hardy people up hiking on the glacier.
On our last day in the area we go back to Sunrise to do some birding but it is windy so the birds keep low in the bushes and trees.  The temp reaches 93 and breaks the record, so no microwaving that evening and we try the local burger shop, and have $10 burgers and fries, they were very good.
We are now in Sequim, WA and have phone, internet and 50 amps  at Rainbow's End RV, it's a lovely area so visit again to find out what we see around the Olympic Peninsula.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Adventure

We are back on the road again exploring a new area of the United States for me, Washington and Oregon.
I have been debating with myself on continuing this blog as most of my friends and family see my photos on facebook, but there are few not on facebook  so here I am again.

Our first stop was the Flaming Gorge on the border of Utah and Wyoming, there we saw some Big Horn Sheep along with the beautiful scenery.
Next was a quick visit with Ken's son and his family which have a new daughter  added to their beautiful family.

We spent a week visiting Yellowstone National Park, that's Old Faithful up there, we saw it a couple of times along with a couple of other geysers.  There were 5 fires in the park but all the roads were open, we saw only one smoky area where the firefighters were on watch.  We enjoyed photographing the bison and elk we would see along side the roads, we would usually see a family of elk on our drive back to the Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone.

We took a day drive down to the Tetons, there we enjoyed photographing a moose along the road.

We took a drive to Red Rock NWR a wetland area where Trumpeter Swans breed as well as many other wetland birds.  The lakes are some distance from the road but we did see the swans, white-faced ibis and several hawks and sparrows.  We also got a flat tire on our drive out, this was on a Saturday and the tire repair store was closed for the weekend, so we enjoyed the West Yellowstone's shops and museum.  It was a really nice museum, small but the videos on the 1953 earthquake and 1988 fire were really interesting.  We drove by the lake created by the earthquake on our way to Missoula, MT our next stop.

I have cousins who live in St. Ignatius just 25 miles north of Missoula, we called on them and had a very nice visit.  We checked out the Les Metcalf NWR, the National Bison Range and Nine Pipes NWR over the Labor Day weekend and we added some western birds to our years list. We stopped and enjoyed the murals in the St. Ignatius Mission too.  We took a drive up to Lolo Pass, just outside the town of Lolo there was a lightning fire that took 5 homes, the firefighters were still there watching for any hot spots.
                                                 View of Mission Falls, from up the road from my cousins.
We are now in Washington, so I now have visited all the western states.  We stopped and droved through the Columbia NWR where we added some more western birds to our list.
I am looking forward to our next stop the Mt. Rainer National Park and Mt. St. Helens.  So more to come.
                                                Bison in Yellowstone.