Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On to Sequim

After Yakima, we spent a couple of days in Issaquah. There was a motorcycle rally on of some sort, with the really tough bikers to the high school boys with their putt-putts. We didn't get too near since there were police everywhere around them and also we didn't think the tougher types would want their pictures taken.

We shopped a bit at their little village which consists of older homes that were moved to a location all together. It seemed like a good idea but I think the slow economy is taking its toll on the little merchants.

We sure see a lot of boarded up businesses everywhere. The recession is still on in Washington. Since we basically missed it in Saskatchewan, it is hard to imagine that unemployment is still such a problem here.

Anyway, we ended our stay in Issaquah with electrical problems with the towed vehicle so we had to wait for an RV guy who can do electrical work to show up. We finally got on the road at about 4 pm. Good thing we did not have too far to go. We caught the 6:15 ferry from Edmonds to Kingston. This cuts off the drive south to Tacoma and back up to the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula. We got to Sequim (pronounced Skwim) about 8:30. The RV park had been called to say we would be late so there was no problem.

We love this little park. We have a nice view of the mountains out our windows and grass between each site. The doggy walk even has a hydrant so the pups are happy too. There is an empty field directly behind us so (so far) nothing to obstruct the view.

In our first week, we have done some driving around the area, spent at day in Port Townsend, views sand scuptures in Port Angeles and went whale watching. Port Townsend is a picturesque spot with lots of Victorian architecture. It was settled in 1851 as a seaport. It is only one of three Victorian seaports left in the country and is a National Historic Landmark District.

Port Angeles is only a short drive from Sequim and 90 minutes by ferry from Victoria BC. We went there on Sunday morning to look at the sand sculpture competition. I doubt that they are the best in the world, but they are still very amazing. We were glad to be there early since the crowds began to arrive about noon and taking pictures would have become very difficult. It was hard enough with only the light crowd!

We left from Port Townsend to go whale watching on Sunday afternoon. We saw a lot of the San Juan Islands on the whale watching trip. I marvelled at the ocean and how changing the water is - smooth as glass in one place and then rough spots or ripples for no apparent cause. The guide said that some of the rough spots were from the tide coming in, especially when the water from a wider part of the ocean had to squeeze into narroe passages between the islands. I can see some people's fascination with the ocean.

We tried to catch up to some whales spotted in the morning who were moving north. The guide thought we might see the stragglers. As it was, the Orcas that we saw were likely the resident ones and not the transients that were seen in the morning. No matter. It is amazing to see them in their natural habitat.

Dalton took these pictures with his telephoto lens. In the one, note the TWO fins showing. We think it has a mother with the calf by her side. You have to be quick and looking in the right direction to see the whales. They were on both sides of our boat (they cut the engines and we just float so as not to disturb the whales). There were also a couple near the coastline that seemed to be playing. We were a way out so you needed the telephoto so get a good view.

Dalton also got a good shot of the very large pleasure boat that ran at full speed through the whales (and might have been chasing some), totally against the law that says no chasing or disturbing them. He emailed it to the captain who will be taking it to the authorities. This threatens not only the whales but the livelihood of the boat owners who make their living taking people out to view whales. The responsible ones are very protective of the whales.

We went such a long way out to see the whales that we were late getting back. Our poor dogs both had their legs crossed when we got back to Sequim (a little over half an hour from Port Townsend).

Last year we drove all along the north coast to the Makah Nation Reservation to see the cultural centre. This is a lovely area unspoiled by shopping malls - so far.

This unspoiled area is being hit by the onslaught of teeneage girls wanting to see the locations of the Twilight series. Apparently both Forks and LaPush have seen many visitors coming to see the locations of the book series and the movie. Of course, the local Chamber of Commerce has produced a map to help them find the places in the movie, such as the local high school in the Forks. I don't follow this, but anyone with teenagers in their lives will know about the phenomenon of vampire movies and series.

We have two more weeks in which to kayak, see the national park and the rain forest. Oh! and of course being at Sequim that has a Lavendar Festival, we have to go to a lavendar farm. Lots ot do around here!

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