I Ate the State – Clallam County Rides Again!

Annnnd we’re back!

Continuing on the winding path through the hills and dales of Clallam County…

After packing up my gear and taking one last sojourn on my deck to enjoy some coffee and waves (much to the chagrin of the ever lurking seagull), I headed out of La Push.  A note regarding the road out of La Push (and the greater Forks area in general) – watch your speed.  At least twice a day I drove by well-placed speed traps on these roads.  Unless, of course, you’re one of the odd few who have actually purposefully gotten a ticket in Forks – in which case, don’t worry about it.  I’ve heard through the local grapevine a few Twilight nuts have done just that… Charlie and his friendly copstache don’t actually live in the area.  Just sayin’.  ;-}

 

Forest above 3rd Beach

Beautiful coastal forest on the hike down to 3rd Beach in La Push. Gorgeous beach!

 

Since I’d neglected to fill up my water bottle before leaving the hotel, I needed to remedy the situation.  And what better place to stop for water and breakfast than The Three Rivers Resort.  We meet again… I was in the mood for a home-style breakfast with possibly a bit of biscuit and gravy action – And that’s exactly what I got!  Complete with Pyrex plate and no-frills presentation, I felt like I was sitting in my grandma’s kitchen or something.  (A compliment of the highest form)  I also had the eavesdropping privilege of catching up on the local gossip being exchanged between the staff.  Seems there are quite a few people “living off the grid” in the area… Interesting…

Biscuits & Gravy

Pyrex plated, stick-to-your-ribs goodness! The Biscuits & Gravy at The Three Rivers Resort.

 

Filled with enough biscuits and gravy to fuel the entire day, I continued on to the next destination.  Since I’d already driven up US-101 on my way into the area, I decided to get back on WA-113 and follow it along the coast and back into Port Angeles.  Along the way, I stopped at The Old Mill Trading Post, located in the 110 Business Park at the junction of WA-110 and US-101.  It’s a very unique market featuring antiques, Native American art and collectibles with a very nice staff.  I picked up some pretty groovy diner-style salt-n-pepper shakers and a cool restaurant mixing bowl.  Certainly not items I’d planned to obtain in Forks, but you just never know what you’re going to find – and where.

A query for the town of Forks:  Why is there no ‘Forks of July’ celebration?  You have a big parade and celebration for the Fourth of July every year – why not customize it a bit?

With my newly acquired salt-n-pepper shakers in tow, I continued on towards WA-113.  It was at this point in the morning it really began to snow.  In Forks.  I was feeling speculative of how things would look around the Burnt Mountain area, but decided to take the WA-113 turnoff regardless.  As I drove along the road, gaining elevation, it got snowier and snowier with not a soul around.  It was a beautiful scene, but since I was alone, my phone had no reception, one of my arms wasn’t in full form and NO ONE was on the road, I made the decision to turn around.  I really wanted to drive along the coast, but had no idea what the road would bring on the way back through the mountains to Port Angeles.  Perhaps I’ll revisit my back roads plan in the summer months…

Back on US-101, it continued to snow.  A lot.  There were people sliding out, people driving who really shouldn’t be driving in the snow and errant recreational vehicles backing up the single lane stretches of highway.  Gah!  I kept thinking it would let up as I got closer towards Port Angeles, but it in fact continued to snow almost all the way back to Kingston.  I do love the snow and am normally fairly cool with driving in it, but must admit to not being a big fan on this particular day.  Nor was my elbow.  But onward we trekked – me and KC Sporty Spice (AKA my 2011 KIA Sportage) on the snowy road to dooooooom.  The stretch of road along Lake Crescent was particularly beautiful in the snow.  Be sure to check out the Lake Crescent Lodge in the summer months.  A truly beautiful and historic lodge set in the amazing Olympic National Park.

I’d been planning on taking a late lunch break in Port Angeles, but due to the continued snow and a desire to not get stuck in snowstorm traffic, I kept going.  I’ve traveled through Port Angeles many times and find it a charming area, as well as a great place to use as a base of operations for close-by mountain adventures and gateway to Canada.  (Ferries depart daily from the International ferry terminal – Check out Victoria BC!  Drive up to the beautiful Hurricane Ridge area.  The area features limited skiing in the winter and you’ll feel like you’re in THE SOUND OF MUSIC if you visit in the summer.) The downtown area of Port Angeles is very quaint and hosts several good dining options.  (Local eateries to try:  Cornerbox Restaurant & Cocktails,  SoHo Asian Bistro, Jasmine Bistro, Chestnut Cottage Restaurant, Michael’s Divine, La Belle Creperie, New Day Café)

 

Hurricane Ridge

Doe, a deer… Scenic Hurricane Ridge as seen in the summer months.

 

Heading back towards Kingston, I passed through the scenic area of Sequim – home to sunshine and expansive lavender fields.  (It’s the lavender capitol of North America, in fact!)  Considering how close Sequim is to the ocean and the rainier climes of Forks and the Olympic National rain forest, the area is surprisingly sunny.  It’s an absolutely beautiful area to drive through and there are many scenic back roads to check out.  For dining in the Sequim area, try the Alder Wood Bistro, The Dockside Grill at the Marina or Nourish.  And if you feel the need to stop and play a few slots or a bit of poker, check out the 7 Cedars Casino just outside of Sequim on the way towards Kingston.  The complex also hosts a very nicely stocked deli/grocery store/gas station (The Longhouse Market) with great additions to a local hiking adventure or beyond.

Just before getting back to Kingston and onto the welcoming decks of the Kingston/ Edmonds ferry, I drove through the ridiculously adorable town of Port Gamble.  This tiny hamlet, nestled on the shores of Hood Canal, is simply lovely.  White picket fences, beautifully preserved clapboard houses, charming antique stores and coffee shops all make it well worth a stop.  There is also a very nice outdoor market during the summer weekends.  However, as it was early spring and it was still snowing, I sadly did not get to enjoy Port Gamble’s charms on this particular day. 

That said, just as I rounded the bend out of Port Gamble, the snow finally began to subside.  And as I rolled into the ferry line – after learning I’d just missed the ferry to Edmonds – the familiar spring rain began to fall.  Welcome home!

And with that, I shall bid you adieu.  Hopefully with lovely visions of Clallam County dancing in your head…

I’m thinking perhaps a little Whatcom County action might be in order…

Cheers!

2 thoughts on “I Ate the State – Clallam County Rides Again!

  1. Pingback: I Ate the State – Jefferson County | Secret Galaxy
  2. Pingback: I Ate the State – Jefferson County – I Ate the State

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