Hugh Erle Smith

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Favorite Forays

Trip To Washington, May 23, 2005

Sunday, May 22, 2000: Sandi and I flew to Washington to see the Olympic Peninsula and our friends, Anne and Don Whipple. 

The trip started off with a long line at Sacramento International Airport to check in. I could not check in on the web for some reason and this is when I found out why. A Hugh Smith is on the "No Fly" list so we had to go to another line.

Fortunately, we went to the head of that line and got through pretty quickly. 

I am now in contact with the TSA to get my name cleared for future use. 

Upon arriving at SEATAC we flew right through and out of the airport to our waiting car (we only make reservations for cars and airplanes, nothing else). 

We went to visit my Aunt, Uncle and cousins in Olympia for a couple hours and had a great lunch with them. I don't see them very often so I wanted to do just that. 

Then we drove to Ocean Shores, the nearest place from Olympia to the ocean.

We had planned on staying there for a couple days, but it is a planned retirement community with golfing and convention centers. 

And there is nothing but beach as far as you can see. 

We stayed one night at the Indian Casino with a room overlooking the ocean. 

The next day we left that forsaken beach and headed for Lake Quinault, a beautiful lake, about the size of Donner Lake, in the rain forest (140-160 inches). The lodge was built in 1926 on the south side of the lake. 

This is a gorgeous place and should not be missed by anyone! 

There are plenty of trails to be hiked and even the roads that go around the lake are...stunning. 

Thousands of pounds of moss, hanging from every tree. When we got home, Sandi spoke of how dull our yard looked. That's because washington is SO green. 

Y'know, there are NO Redwoods in Washington. Sure seems like the place. 

Lake Quinault has 5 of the largest trees on Earth, 2 Douglas Fir, Sitka Spruce, Yellow Cedar and Western Red Cedar. 
The three tallest species are Coastal Redwood (CA), Douglas Fir (WA) and Sitka Spruce (WA). Of course, California also has the trees with the largest girth as well.. 

Conchs of every kind, Reishi everywhere, Oysters, and Little Brown Mushrooms (LBMs).

A wild bunny, two herds of 10 Elk, Bald Eagles, Osprey. Waterfalls. WOW!

We met a postman on a trail who had been there for 35 years and had never seen an elk! And we saw 20.

We stayed here for 2 days and then went back to my Aunt's and Uncle's house to visit them again. I haven't been to see them since I was 12. We stayed at my cousin Karen's house overnight. You should see her house and yard! She built a custom Tudor style house and her yard is a forest of green, with little gardens of green all around , and trees surrounding the entire place. It is an awesome and peaceful place.

Kinda like a rain forest.

Wednesday we headed for the Alderbrook Resort and Spa, on the Hood Canal. The Hood Canal is a fjord, very deep and 60 miles long. Imagine the ship that first charted this waterway, 60 miles only to find it is a dead end!

But it is a very beautiful place, with great scenery and views of the Olympic Mountains.

We saw two Bald Eagles here. Sandi was able to stand under the pole he was on and I was able to get two pictures. At the Alderbrook, the tide was low and a pontoon plane was arriving to pick up some guests. That's always fun to watch. 
We had a suite on the top floor overlooking the Canal. This was the most expensive room we bought but it was well worth it. The Alderbrook is a very nice place. Since we did not have reservations, Sandi was not able to get a massage, until the next day

BUT TOO LATE! We headed for Port Ludlow on Thursday and on the way we looked for some of those cool little towns that have lots of great shops and atmosphere. The one we found was called Poulsbo (Pauls bow) and it was of Nordic origin. A must see, I think.

Then we continued on to meet up with our friends who had just returned from Hawaii.

Anne and Don have a yacht at Port Ludlow and from there they can boat to anywhere!

We met up at noon and off we went to Port Townsend, another really cool town with historic origins. A definite must see! Here we saw the town, lots of Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, and both days we were there, sea otters came up on the dock. Two sea otters climbed into a rowboat and ate their catch 4 times! And many times they did this on the dock, right beside our boat.

Don and I spoke to an engineer on a 125 foot tugboat, and we ended up getting a full tour. The bridge, the engines, lots of facts, from the guy who keeps the ship running.

There were many other things that happened to us too, too many to tell here.

What an adventure!

Saturday we headed back for Port Ludlow, but as soon as we left Port Townsend, we saw a Los Angeles class nuclear submarine heading for it's home, in the Hood Canal.

So we paralleled this 800 foot monster for 1 1/2 hours, all the way to the Hood Canal Floating Bridge. All I can say about this is WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!

What an adventure!

Then we went into port Ludlow for another night in a harbor. The harbor was flat except for the occasional boat and there were many types of boats to look at. So many boats! Trees all around. Puget sound.

What a fantastic place!