Today I’m going to start sharing with you about our trip to the Pacific Northwest. Rob had a conference at the University of Washington in Seattle, so we decided to make a vacay out of it. Alex, Rob and I left out one Friday after work and booked it over to Atlanta for our flight. We arrived at Sea-Tac around midnight, which was actually 2am our time. Some of slept a little bit on the plain and of course the adrenaline was flowing so we were doing good. We drove from Seattle to Auburn, WA, which is about 18 miles away. This was the direction we needed to be headed for the next day’s adventures. Since we had never been to Auburn, WA, Rob decided this would be a good place to stay for the night.
Saturday morning, we got up and ate breakfast at the hotel (Clarion Inn Auburn Seattle 9 16th St NW, Auburn, WA 98001) and then drove through downtown Auburn. Cute little town. Then it was on to check out the capital of Washington. Anybody know what city that’s in?
Capital of Washington
If you guessed Olympia, you’re correct! From Auburn to Olympia was about a 40 mile drive (50 minutes). Rob has a bucket list of wanting to see all the capitals as well as their capitol, so we could check that off our list for Washington after our quick stop there. The area around the capitol is gorgeous. All different types of trees, mainly different types of Spruce. Alex could have probably spent awhile there climbing or just laying on some of the sprawling limbs. I enjoyed the flowers and trying to see the differences in tree types.
After that we continued on our road trip. I guess I failed to mention earlier that our accommodations for that night were in Sequim, WA, which we learned is pronounced like swim with a K thrown in, so skwim. Our main sight attractions to accomplish were some Washington coast beaches as well as Olympic National Park. Once we entered the Olympic National Forest, we stopped at the Pacific Ranger Station – Quinault Office to purchase our National Parks Passport and a National Park Pass, as well as get tips on what to see while were there.
From there we headed towards the Quinalt Mercantile and Cafe to see what they had to offer for lunch.
There is a decent size convenient store with all the food necessities you may need as well as lots of camping and hiking food and supplies.
We found Tillamook cheese, which is made near Portland, OR, so every time we’re in that area we stock up and eat lots of it for snacks while we’re there. We also got some beef jerkey that is Tillamook.
I snapped this shot as we drove by of the Lake Quinault Lodge 345 S Shore Rd, Quinault, WA 98575
World’s Largest Sitka Spruce
Quinault Rainforest Hike
As we drove up US-101 we noticed several signs for beaches, I had read about 1 beach in particular that’s supposed to be the most beautiful, but on a whim we decided to stop at Kalaloch Beach 4. So glad we did!
After you hike down from the parking lot, you’re met by a wood bridge that matches all the drift wood you see. Water carved boulders, tide pools full of sea anemonies and star fish. Seeing this beach, I confirmed that I just love Pacific Beaches.
We stayed there for at least an hour exploring this nearly untouched work of our creator. I could have stayed there for hours watching the birds and seeing Alex enjoy himself so much skipping rocks and climbing from boulder to boulder above the sea. However, we still had lots of road to conquer, so we had to go.
Next stop, the beach that was on my list; Ruby Beach (directions), which is only 5 miles north of Kalaloch Beach 4. It’s just a quick hike down from the parking lot and then you’re met by a sea of driftwood. Once you amble your way across all that you’re met by the dark gray sands.
We stopped in Forks, WA for to grab drinks to eat with our Tillamook cheese and beef jerky. Rob got a Marionberry soda, which is a product right out of Port Angeles, WA. Since finding Marionberry yogurt the last time we were up in that area, he’s loved that flavor, so we saw the Marion berry soda, he was so excited. He just wished he would have purchased more of it because we couldn’t find it anywhere else during the rest of our trip. I got a drink manufactured out of Australia, which I also enjoyed immensely.
Signs for Lake Crescent (directions) made Rob and I curious so we stopped and got out real quick. Beautiful, beautiful place. It was quite windy though.
Next stop was Hurricane Ridge (directions). Port Angeles is the point you get to turn up North to head to Hurricane Ridge. I love this picture I got.
Hurricane Ridge (Olympic National Park)
Hurricane Ridge was spectacular! We got there and the visitor center was closed, but luckily there were port-a-potties. I had to go bad and we could still explore. Lots of snow on the ground and lots of Black-tailed deer that were not scared of people.
After we drove back down, Rob wanted to stop at look at the water. He pulled into a parking lot and I noticed a raccoon over in front of the car and then looked over and realized there was a raccoon just to right looking at me in my window.
Here’s a little video I got.
We got out and looked at the water and the ships and pointed out to Alex that British Columbia was the land we were looking at across the Salish Sea. Then, we headed to dinner at Traylor’s Restaurant. I got the grilled Teriyaki chicken (amazing!). Alex go their Teriyaki Steak (had too much Teriyaki flavor) and Rob got the Crab & Cheese Sandwich (was ok, not really his thing).
One thing about traveling in the Pacific Northwest is that the days are long not really getting dark till almost 10 pm. This allows for getting lots of stuff crammed into one day, which is nice when you’re trying to see so much.
Want to see more pics? Click here—> Pacific NW 2019 Pics Day 1
Stay tuned for my next Pacific NW post about Day 2 when we travel back to Seattle for Mariners Game and more.