Cape Flattery and to Forks

Mileage today: 138 Total Mileage: 1024

This morning we bid a sad farewell to the Lake Crescent Lodge and set off west towards Cape Flattery which is the most north westerly point of the contiguous USA. We took route 112 which is a scenic byway. We love the scenic byways. These are roads designated as such by the state as routes of outstanding interest and/or beauty, sometimes made up of just one road, sometimes of a few. We have always found them to be well worth exploring and today was no exception. Route 112 runs along the north coast of the peninsula for a lot of the way till it reaches Neah Bay, a small town on the coast, headquarters of the Macah Tribe and their lands. The views along the way of the strait between the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island, the Strait of Juan de Fuca (no idea if he was well named but it made us giggle) were stupendous. The strait is only about 15 odd miles wide by my finger measurements on the map book and the border with Canada runs right down the middle.

We stopped at the Macah Cultural museum which had very interesting carvings and artifacts – totem poles, war clubs etc and we also bought our parking pass there – $20 for a year. Neah Bay is a big fishing hub for sports fishermen as well as commercial halibut fishing. As we left town, there was about another 12 miles to go to Cape Flattery.

We parked up at the trailhead – it was quite busy – and began the walk to the point. It’s not far, about .75mile each way but that is a little deceptive because it is a pretty steep slope down on the way to the point, and of course, in the nature of things, if you go down, you have to come back up……… We saw some elderly people really struggling with the return journey. The trail passes through lovely woodland and parts of the trail are boarded over boggy areas. Out at the point there are wooden viewing platforms where you can see the caves and the sea stacks below you. Further out is a small island upon which Cape Flattery lighthouse stands. It is unmanned these days. The sea was really calm and blue today but I can imagine it would be dramatic if there were wind, crashing into the huge caves. Apparently there are puffins, but we didn’t see any. Super views. Well worth the hike in. The sea was a lovely colour.

I surprised myself by not puffing too badly on the return leg. It seemed easier than the way down….

We drove away and parked up at a viewpoint to eat our picnic lunch, then continued on our way to Forks, about an hour or so away. A pleasant drive, hardly any traffic. We called in at the Thriftway supermarket in Forks to stock up with food for the next few days. It was a good supermarket, everything you could want, but not cheap.

We are spending the next 3 nights in a wooden cabin in the woods about 12 miles south of Forks, right on the edge of the Hoh Rainforest. I found it on Airbnb. We are so delighted with it. The river is at the end of the garden and the cabin has everything you could need even a firepit outside, bbq, oven, fridge/freezer, games, dvds . And a lovely porch that is visited by hummingbirds. Well….. and we are surrounded by the dense trees and ferns.

Not sure if Forks is ringing any bells with you????? Maybe if I said that there is a sign on one of the motels in town that says “Edward Cullen did not sleep here”. ???? Ah well…. the Twilight sage of books and then movies was set in Forks and the surrounding woods and brought a brief liveliness, now largely past, to the town. I can see why, you could hide anything in this wilderness. Any scratchings at the window tonight will be completely ignored……

So… I have had enquiries about how we are managing with food and domestic arrangements on the long journey. We have a large chest cooler which acts as a portable fridge. We put frozen blocks in it or double bagged bags of ice if we haven’t been able to freeze the blocks. It holds all perishable food that we’re carrying. The rest can be in bags. We have yoghurts for breakfast, or croissants with jam on days when we can’t cook anything in the room. Obviously in accommodation with cooking facilities, we have a normal breakfast. Lunches, we take with us in a smaller thermal picnic carrier – hardboiled eggs, cold meat, sandwiches, drinks – we pack a freezer bag with ice or use a block for that too mainly to keep the drinks ice cold. Dinners we either cook in if we can, or eat out if not. Mostly we can cook in other than in the national park accommodation where there are no facilities in the rooms. Elsewhere we choose somewhere with a kitchenette or at least a microwave and fridge. Not difficult to do and it saves a lot of money and actually is a bit of fun. We eat pretty well.

Laundry – much the same. We brought enough clothes for 2 weeks, in packing cubes of course. Again many of the accommodations we have booked have guest laundries. I would plan to wash clothes every week. I brought enough washing capsules from home in a tupperware box because they are massively, massively better than any available in the USA.

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