Seattle… we hardly knew ya

Bye bye Portland.  Not going to miss you unfortunately.  No problem about leaving early – it gives me more time in a place I know that I love – Washington!

I take the long route up the coast to Olympic National Park.  In 2003 I loved my 7 days exploring the park, so I’m eager to see it again.  My first night is spent at gorgeous Kalaloch (pronounced “claylock” – don’t ask why) campground directly above a beach, and I enjoy the marvelous view and a walk on the beach.  I like walks on the beach, drinking white zinfandel while listening to Kenny G, and watching romantic comedies.  Oh wait, this isn’t match.com?  Sorry – wrong website.

I could happily spend days photographing intertidal areas

Away from the coast, and into the Hoh rainforest for a short hike.  As with my last experience in the Olympic rain forest, I enjoy it for a day, but can’t imagine wanting to spend days backpacking here.  But definitely beautiful!

One of the treats of this hike was a creek with absolutely the clearest water I have ever seen.  It was amazing, and beyond description.  On the drive out, I passed a herd of Roosevelt elk.  These elk are bigger (!) than rocky mountain elk.

Elk.  It’s what’s for dinner.

The rainforest was gorgeous, but the coast was calling me again.  I got through the town of Forks (setting of the Twilight books) as quickly as possible.  On my last trip through Forks in 2003, it was a dumpy logging town that no one knew.  Now it’s a dumpy logging town with tacky Twilight-themed tourist traps.  “Bella burger” anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Successfully escaping the creepy pedophilia of Edward the vampire, I beeline it for Rialto beach and it’s campground.  Ahhh…. bliss.  Love this campground.  Love it even more that I was the only one there!  I walk the 1.5 miles on the beach to Hole in the rock, which is a series of photogenic seastacks and tidepools.  Bliss follows as I shoot photos while the sun drops into the ocean.

View from my tent!

If you look at the clouds in the photos, and remember the theme of the previous post, you can probably guess in one shot what my night was like.  Yup.  Rain.  Torrential rain.  My tent is filthy and soaked as I pack in the morning.

What to do, what to do?  Camp again?  With a saturated tent and rain continuing to fall?  No thanks.  Hmmm…. Seattle….. might be nice to go a day early.  Thank you Renaissance hotel for getting me in when you’re quite full!!!  Yes, I splurged.  I figured that I deserved it, damnit!

Been to Seattle?  What’s that?  No, never?  I’m so sorry for you!  Go!  Go now!  What an amazing city!  This was my 3rd visit there, and I was even more blown away.  I had a blast playing tourist, and just simply enjoyed walking around, soaking in the city’s energy.  Eating thai food 5 times in 3 days there was pretty wonderful, too!

The classic scene, but I wasn’t inspired to go for art

Gorgeous evening light – thank you cloudy weather!

The Experience Music Project

The Experience Music Project is more than a museum.  As the name suggests, it’s about interacting with and experiencing music.  I wasn’t expecting much, but I loved it.   The Sci Fi museum shares space with Experience Music Project.  The museum overall wasn’t much, but the Battlestar Galactic special exhibit rocked!  Sci Fi geeks of the world unite!

I expected to spend an hour, but stayed for three.

Battlestar Galactic exhibit at the Sci-Fi museum

The evening promised a gorgeous sunset, so I did the ultimate Seattle tourist activity – the Space Needle.

Sunset panorama from the space needle

I need to give a big shout of thanks to my old friend Sandi Davis, who met me for lunch at a stunning restaurant in Seattle.  She’s an old friend from college days and earlier that I haven’t seen in about 16 years.  We had a great time re-connecting and catching up.  And the pan-asian food didn’t hurt!

One of the ways I’ve been practicing photography and enjoying myself for the past few months is working with models, doing trades – they model for me, I give them photos.  I’ve worked with 5 so far, and it’s been great for my skills, portfolio, and enjoyment of life.  I found Brenda through a modeling website, and we decided to meet up for a shoot.  She was an absolute blast, and I now have a great new friend.  Our scheduled 90 minute shoot turned into 5 hours of shooting and dinner.  If your mind is going a certain place right now, stop that!  Brenda is quite married.

And, finally, one of the funniest places in Seattle – the gum wall.  I had walked within feet of this spot multiple times before, and never knew it was there.  The gum wall is simultaneously really gross, yet really wonderful.  That a city could embrace is wonderfully quirky.

And then my adventures in the mainland came to an end, as I was on a plane at 8:00am the next morning, bound for the great white north.

Coming soon, adventures in Anchorage and the Kenai peninsula!  Thanks for tuning in.

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