Awesome beauty & a 19th century mansion!

Wednesday, 3 August.  Another poor night’s rest.  The lack of real sleep has made the trip not as much fun as I had hoped.  As it is easier to be miserable at home than on the road, after Bubonicon I shall point Red Shift towards Albany and head home.  Such is life with cancer and associated complications.

The day, however, showed promise.  It was mostly sunny and cool.  It’s a good thing that I got directions from the motel for hurricane Ridge as there were no signs in the town of Port Angeles that directed me down the street to the road that led to the park and mountain top.  Through itself was quite nice.  It climbed steadily from almost sea level up to 4 or 5000 feet above sea level.  It was delightfully twisty and I enjoyed most of the drive except when I got behind people who wouldn’t even drive near the speed limit which is only 35 miles an hour.

When I finally got to hurricane Ridge, it was worth every minute of the drive.  In front of one the North Olympics range was displayed in its beauty and awe.  Almost all of the mountains had significant snow cover even into the middle of summer.  I was speaking with a couple of tourists from Germany who were amazed that the snow was so deeply so late in the summer at such a low elevation.  The mountains were generally in the five to 7000 foot range.  This is quite a bit lower than the Alps and the Rockies for that matter.  As I’ve noted with driving through the Cascade Range the amount of moisture that falls on these mountains is considerably higher than that which falls of the Rockies.

Finally I drew myself away from the beauty that was before me and headed back down the road.  It basically put the car in 3rd or 4th gear and coasted down the hill.

Back down at sea level I headed out on US 101.  I was thinking of stopping in Forks, Washington, but I didn’t see a restaurant that looked halfway decent.  I pressed on and turned into the road leading to the Hoh rain forest.  I didn’t feel like driving the entire way in, but wanted to get a feel of what the rain forest was like.  I also stopped at a little tourist trap and got a Snickers bar for energy to carry me through until dinner.  The road itself was narrow and wound through the trees.  I felt as if I were driving through a part of Fangorn Forest.  Old trees that reached to the sky with moss, their exposed roots covered with ferns.  It was quite peaceful.

Back on US 101 I headed south to South Bend, Washington.  I was staying in the Russell House B&B.  There were signs posted, and I had no trouble finding the marvelous 19th century house.  After signing in was deposited in the Russell room which was a delight.  It really was as if I had stepped into another century.  Of course there was some modern aspects such as electricity and a wireless connection that actually worked.  Oh yes it had a claw footed tub and shower.

For dinner I drove down the road for Chinese.  The food was good, very plentiful, and not too expensive.  This works for me.  I took what I couldn’t finish with me for lunch tomorrow.

I’ll relax in the big brass bed and tried to get some rest.

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