Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Anacortes WA to the Redwoods CA

Through Washington
The ferry docked in Anacortes at about 3:30, but it was after 4 by the time we were off and through customs. We decided not to continue south, but to stay the night at the Washington Park right in Anacortes. It wasn’t busy, so we chose a quiet pull through site.

Quiet pull-through with water and electricity
We then discovered the washrooms right near us were closed and it was a bit of a walk to the open ones. John found a short-cut though! We didn’t unhitch, just put the stabilizers down and put the inside bins and boxes away. 

As we drove out these 2 were feasting on someone's lawn beside the road.

Mount Baker off in the distance, as we drove out of town

We were not planning to spend much time in the north,
This is all we saw of Seattle as we drove on the East side of the city

so drove right to the Airstream Park, Washington Land Yacht Harbour in Olympia. [Actually it is in Lacey, just outside of Olympia.] Our plan was to stay one night, if we couldn’t find our favourite hosts, Carol and Chester from Mystic Springs, and two nights if we found them. Our GPS all the way south wanted to keep us off I-5, and take us on a secondary state highway. I finally turned it off, and followed the map until we got close.  We drove in to find ourselves in a huge gravel parking lot with white lines marking the spaces, and posts with hookups,

A huge gravel parking lot
and a few Airstreams and other RV’s.

This is actually Washington Land Yacht Harbour- you have to own an Airstream
to purchase one of these homes.
Although the office was closed, part way down the lot we found someone in a beautiful clubhouse. Walking further back, we found an Airstream, like Carol’s, but no one was home. We walked back home, and as John was unhitching, Carol drove in. We had a lovely visit catching up that night, and decided to do our own things during the day and spend the next evening together.

John and I went to Tacoma to see the Museum of Glass.

View from the Bridge of Glass

It is awesome. You walk around the back of the building toward the entrance, where Chihuly has a magical clear glass exhibit in a reflecting pool.

View as we walked in...

and the other end as we were leaving.
As you enter the building, you see an amazing wall mural of glass.

Inside, there is a Hot Shop inside a huge metal cone-shaped studio,

Viewed from the outside
where artists are creating wonderful projects using the 4 or 5 ovens. One artist was making glass water drops which will be part of a wall installation.

The sketch on the right is his guide

completed water drops 
One artist was making barnacles while her husband, Kelly O’Dell, created a clam shell. He was using a plunger technique which I had never seen.

The plunger is created first of clear glass

The assistants are fusing together strips of coloured glass 
forming the Murrini pattern
The plunger and the plate of coloured glass are fused together

The clam shell has been transferred to another blowpipe,
and is beginning to take shape

While the artists and their assistants are working, each step is being explained and questions answered, and overhead cameras show what each is doing. Fascinating. Unfortunately, we couldn’t watch the whole process as we wanted to see the galleries too.

Chihuly has a couple of galleries with his Venetian Series, The George R Stroemple Collection,

The story...

featuring puttis, many in gold, 
Puttis with Hand

 vivid pastels

and others in blazing colour, 

Amazing colour

A larger putti, 
A collection of smaller works

all featuring the coiled tendrils and overblown flora. 

The rest of the museum features an interesting mix of glass, and glass and wood by Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace.

There were a variety of flowers with roots in glass

A delicate balance 

One of an beautiful painted birds in glass

A vibrant bowl of fruit

Each stem of the wine glasses is a different fruit.
In a long gallery on an outside wall are the children’s imaginative works. Children draw their ideas, and then one is chosen to be created by the artist in residence, and displayed along with the child’s explanation. They are whimsical and amusing.

Outside again, you climb the ramps or the great staircase to the roof to cross Chihuly’s Bridge of Glass to Tacoma’s downtown and the WA State Historical Museum. On the west side of the bridge is a wall, with other pieces of Chihuly’s Venetian Series mounted in blocks.

This section is a small part of the wall of glass blocks

It is incredible. The next section has huge tumble of green glass blocks on poles.

Then you pass under a Chihuly ceiling, as you walk the last section

to the Museum
WA State History Museum

and Union Station
Union Station
on the other side of the bridge.

Looking back across the bridge, is the most incredible sight- a modern bridge span, an old Millers Bros building turned into lofts, a newer apartment building and Mt. Ranier covered in snow!

Mount Baker, modern bridge span, and an historic building now lofts.
We walked down from the roof just as the sun was beginning to set.

After a great visit with Carol, it was time to move on. 

We drove south
One of Washington's Rest Stops

and into Oregon...
Crossing the Columbia River into Portland, Oregon
through Portland,

A maze of highways

Crossing the Columbia River again, as we turned west,
downtown on the left, the harbour on the right

and turned toward the coast on W99 to Champoeg [pronounced Sham-pooey] State Park.

View of the Park entrance to the campground and day use areas

We had stayed here two years ago, and found it the same beautiful gem of a park. We found a full serviced pull through site for the night.

Our large site

Off again on Hwy 18

Rainy, but the orchards need it....

Skies cleared somewhat, but it was misty as we headed to the coast

Part of the road was through the forest
to Lincoln on the Oregon coast.

We finally got to the coast!
We were delighted, the temperature was no longer freezing at night and into double digits [Celsius] during the day. The coast is as beautiful, wild and rocky as we remembered.

The surf was up, and a beautiful site

Much of the drive is right beside the ocean

Cape Foulweather
We wasted no time, but drove south to one of our favourite campgrounds, Carl G. Washburne, for a couple of days.

The same site we had 2 years ago
We took the trail to the beach

Moss on the trees- the rainy coast!

Branches form a  tunnel to the beach

The entrance to the beach
and walked along the hard sand.

The beach at low tide
Then we took the short cut back through the day use area and forest path to the campground.
Picnic area in the Day Use area

I found my magic forest on the way back to the site
We had to check internet and have a latte and lunch at the Green Salmon

in Yachats [pronounced-Ya-hots], stopping first at Cook’s Chasm on the way to check the “Spouting Horn”.

Cook's Chasm Bridge

View back to Cape Perpetua

The Horn
Then we drove south to Florence. The curves at Cape Perpetua with its drop straight down to the ocean didn’t even phase me this time! We drove to visit their lovely Old Town. This was the hub until the bridge was completed in 1936. It was one of Roosevelt’s New Deal Projects to provide work for locals. After its completion, Hwy101 went to the west of the town centre, and merchants moved their shops up along the 101. The Old Town is now a lovely place to walk around, with interesting shops, galleries and restaurants. Unfortunately it was too dark to take pictures by this time, so we just wandered.

Next day was another hook-up, and drive south

Florence Bridge

And through the tunnel at the Hecata Lighthouse

to Brookings. This coast is fabulous. At times, you are deep in dark tunnel of trees 
Through the trees above the coast
and then you turn a corner to an incredible view of the beach, dunes 

The Dunes
and crashing waves, 

The Coast
and sometimes sea stacks.

Sea Stacks 
We would liked to have stopped at Bandon

Bandon bridge

Rain, as we drove through

Old Town Bandon- fond memories

The cranberry bogs of Brandon
or Gold Beach,

The bridge to Gold Beach
but we were trying to beat the rain and mist. We were not too successful, as we drove in and out of rain all day. Luckily the mist was patchy and never an issue for us. We got to Harris Beach State Park just in time to get unhitched by dusk. We were actually in the same site as 2 years ago.

We did get sun, on the day we left! Our site...
There were sites facing the ocean, but the wind was getting stronger, and rain was forecast for the next several days, so we decided to stay further in. We had decided to stay for several days, depending on the forecast. Fred Meyers provided us with great food shopping and good internet access.

One day we drove down to the beach,

Sea Stacks with crashing surf

and then down to Brookings’ Harbour to watch the storm.

Waves crashing on the pier in the harbour
The rain was blowing horizontally on the coast, the wind was so strong.

The wind blew the rain horizontally across the bridge above the harbour
Hot lattes were really good. Another day we drove south to Crescent City just over the border in California. First we visited the Information Centres for the State Parks and the State, then had a late lunch at the harbour
Restaurant at the harbour

with the sea lions and seals just outside the window. 

The Harbour

The seals just hanging out...

We just had to drive again through the incredible, majestic redwoods of the Jedidiah Smith State Forest.

The forest is deep,

the road narrow,

the trees so massive,

the truck is dwarfed,

and they climb to the sky.

The forest
It is a narrow dirt road which wanders among the redwoods. We were too late to do any of the hikes, but we enjoyed the awesome drive.

We monitored the weather closely, and discovered that the next day was our window of opportunity to travel without rain. The sky was cloudy, but with streaks of light.
Some light in the sky...
The wind however, was fierce, and we were glad when the road turned inland for a while away from the coast.

We took two detours, or rather Scenic bypasses off the 101: the first was the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway through the majestic Redwoods,

A paved road this time...

but, the same majestic Redwoods

Even the Airstream was dwarfed by the Redwoods

A break in the Redwoods had moss-covered trees

The Big Tree

and the second the Avenue of the Giants.

The 1908 forest fire damage
These are incredible drives, on good paved roads, but still winding through the stately Redwoods.

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