Monday, August 8, 2016

A slight change of plans for the better

We had been in Salt Creek Campground just west of Port Angeles, WA on the north side of the Olympic Peninsula for a few days.  As I had discussed previously the pluses and minuses of public vs private campgrounds, we were experiencing one of the minuses.  It is a very busy place exacerbated by the fact it was the weekend and tons of families come to "get away" for a bit.  So even though we were on the top row of the terraced sites, we had many kids and animals running through our site, lots of noise, although it was quiet at night, so it was exciting, but not as peaceful as we would like.  I think this convinced us that in the future we would make sure to not stay in a public campground over the weekend.

We did some exploring of the Olympic National Park.  It is a bit of a challenge without strapping on a backpack and hiking many miles.  There are only a few roads that penetrate the park, and there were really only 2 near us.  One to Hurricane Ridge, and one to the Sol Duc Hot Springs.  By the way Port Angeles is quite a busy port, lots of boat traffic, ferries, huge cargo ships, shipyards, and a much bigger town than we had expected.  Up to Hurricane Ridge we went.  It is a 17 mile winding twisting, climbing road to the viewpoint at 5242'.  It was beautiful driving up and we saw few vehicles, but when we crested the mountain and turned the corner, there were what seemed to be hundreds of cars and people everywhere!  It is a popular spot.  Many hiking trails in the area and the views are spectacular.
Lots of snow still on the mountains

And along the path

Very pretty!
That's the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island in the distance
The next day we headed over to the hot springs road and traveled 12 miles up to the end  near the hot springs and found a nice little loop hike through incredible forest.

Some big trees

And beautiful water

How's that for clear water??

Quiet and peaceful

A really nice trail

We drove around the area some more looking for some fishing water that was open, but had no luck.  The weather has been pretty but cool and windy, maybe hit 60 or so in the day, low 50's at night, not that we are complaining:)  Neither Jan nor I were as enthused with the Olympic Peninsula as we thought, pretty but feels sort of hemmed in like being on an island almost.  But we were looking forward to our reserved oceanfront campsite in La Push right on the Pacific Ocean.  Why I don't know, but I happened to be looking on, one of our go-to sites for campground info, and I read a couple of recent entries where some folks that had reserved oceanfront sites were moved to an adjoining campground back in the woods or moved away from the ocean with no recourse????  Well, we made our oceanfront reservation back in February, so we were sure we were all set, but maybe I should call to confirm before we go all the way to La Push, about 14 miles off the main road.  So I call and inquire as to our oceanfront site as our reservation clearly says, and am told that no we are not going to be on the oceanfront!  So I ask will we be able to at least look at the ocean from our site?  No, that wouldn't be possible, you will be away from the ocean, and be on the end of a row of sites, all occupied, thus preventing you from seeing anything other than them....  I said, well are there any waterfront sites available?  No there aren't.  I said I made this reservation way back in Feb for an oceanfront site, what happened?  She said I should have indicated I wanted specifically an oceanfront site.  I said the reservation WAS for an oceanfront site, well that's not how it works.  Yes I am ranting, but we were pissed!  So we canceled, ate the deposit, as they would not return the money, and called and called and got a site at what turns out to be a very nice campground in Silver Lake, WA, near Mt St Helens.

So we had a nice although rainy drive down along the coast yesterday and are going to be here for a few days, and hope if the weather will cooperate, to go back up and see Mt St Helens again.  
The rainy, although beautiful Pacific coast

Do you think the wind ever blows here???
We can say our experience with the La Push campground doesn't happen very often, but luckily we are able to go with the flow and work out an alternative plan.  When you are full-timing many things come up that cause a change of plans, destination, service or whatever, so it does no good to get upset because you never know whether that change may reveal something new and wonderful.

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