Olympic Peninsula, 20-Sep-2012

Our last day had us driving from Port Townsend, along Hood Canal, then through Olympia with an impromptu visit to the State Capitol building. After we woke up we ate a couple rolls we bought the previous day at the Farmers Market, topping them with the rest of the chèvre we had gotten in Forks. We headed towards the car and stopped by the Food Co-op (like PCC) to flesh out our meal, in addition to getting more snacks for the trip. It was a very nice store, and we were even able to get the member discounts by saying we were PCC members.

First stop was to try to get to Rocky Creek Falls. We had rough directions which we started to follow, but we didn't see any signs. I was out of range from a cell tower, so couldn't look it up on the phone, so we went back towards US 101 until I could get data. Looking at the instructions, it seems you're supposed to find a small turnout and then find a small trail. We decided to go on to Murhut Falls, this time grabbing more detailed directions while we still had access to cell data. When we got to the forest road, the pavement stopped and we realized we didn't want to drive the full distance since we didn't want to spend a lot of time that day getting to a site (rather than spending time there). We looked at the map for Hamma Hamma Falls, and saw that its dirt road segment was even farther.

We settled on stopping at Triton Cove, which although it was essentially a boat launch, was a good opportunity to look out over Hood Canal. There were a lot of oyster shells on the beach. It wasn't clear whether they were because of birds feeding on oysters or because they were left behind after shucking (which you're supposed to do since there immature oysters apparently grow on the outer shells).

 Triton Cove

Triton Cove

 Triton Cove

Triton Cove

Looking at the time, we decided to stop at Shelton for lunch. On the way we caught more glimpses at Hood Canal, including some wetlands. Even though we didn't make many stops between Port Townsend and Shelton, we still enjoyed the drive (we thought about going up to the Mt. Walker Viewpoint, but it was rather foggy, so we figured we wouldn't be able to see very much).

We arrived in Shelton and stopped at a diner. It was about 12:30 and we saw a sign saying they were closing at 1pm that day, but figured we'd be able to order and leave pretty quickly. We sat at the counter, and the waitress didn't make us feel rushed, which was nice. We placed our orders and read, but it was hard to not listen to the waitress talking to the people sitting near us about how she hardly had time to do more than sleep when she got home before she needed to get back to work that morning. Our food came, and we ate, paid, and were out the door right at 1pm.

Since we had a bit more time than we had planned, we decided to stop by the State Capitol in Olympia. We scored free parking on the street and went in. It was only about 20 minutes before the next tour, so we decided to wait around for that. The woman at the front desk was very helpful and more than eager to answer questions we had about the front bronze doors. Our tour guide showed up and it ended up we were the only people there, so we got a personal tour. We covered all the floors, saw the state reception room, both the house and senate chambers (the former has adopted electronic voting, the latter still does a roll call), and went into the governor's offices and where the press conferences are held. When we walked past the bust of George Washington, she insisted we rub his nose for good luck.

 Capitol building

Capitol building

 State reception room

State reception room

 Statue of George Washington with well-polished nose

Statue of George Washington with well-polished nose

After getting back to the car, we did the last leg of the trip and were happy to be home.

 Trip route from Port Townsend to Seattle

Trip route from Port Townsend to Seattle