|Subject: Re: Olympic Peninsula trip|
Hi Cynthia & Ivan
I just returned from the Olympic Peninsula, its one of my favorite places. I'll add to the others info by saying that you MUST visit the Makah Museum in Neah Bay, it is one of the most interesting places I have ever been, not to mention the most scenic. The drive out to it takes several hours, but you won't mind because this is some of the most scenic coastline you will ever see. We saw so many whales right from the beaches right off the highway, we had to drag ourselves away. Eagles (both Golden and Bald) are as common as flies. This place is unbelievable, certainly not touristy, and incredibly educational. The Makah tribe are the only tribe allowed to hunt whales legally in the USA, and while this is very controversial, it is a practice that is confined to symbolic rather than sustaining hunts.
I like the Washington Coast quite a bit, its wild and much less visited then the Oregon Coast. Right past lake Quinault is the Quinault Fish Hatchery. Stop in and get a personal tour of the place and if your lucky, you may hit it during a day they are harvesting since they only do this once a week because it is too expensive to do it more often. Where else can you visit a town named Humptulips?
For some reason, I love Ocean Shores! Its terribly touristy, motels galore, but you can drive on the beach for miles and this beach smells wonderful. You might also like it!
The drive south from Ocean Shores to Cape Disappointment(formerly Fort Canby State Park) is beautiful, there are lots of places to visit on Washington's long beach. I love the Boardwalk, there is a new Lewis and Clark discovery trail, lots of kites flying, museums all over the place, and one of the best Lewis & Clark Interpretive centers around. Not to be missed!
Finally, we did not cross the Astoria bridge, but instead decided to drive up the Gorge and cross the river at one of the last remaining ferries around. In this way, we were able to experience the Columbia more like the Corp of Discover might have seen this area 200 years ago. If you follow the Gorge up river to Cathlamet and then take the bridge to historic Puget Island, you will find this ferry. Its very scenic.
Hope this helps!
Amelia Hesson Chatsworth http://www.csun.edu/~afm1545/