Category Archives: Canada

June 20, 2014 Port Angeles, Washington

We left the town of Forks and headed northeast on Highway 101 where we passed beautiful Lake Crescent, a 650 foot deep, 12 mile long glacially carved lake that is part of the Olympic National Park. 20140620_110905 The lake is the second deepest in Washington and in order to keep it environmentally friendly, quiet and peaceful, it only allows kayaks, canoes and row boats. We turned onto the Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway, following the shoreline of the glacial fjord connecting Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean.  The Strait of Juan de Fuca separates the Olympic Peninsula from Vancouver Island, British Columbia and reaches farther into the cold North Pacific than any other mainland point in the lower 48 states. We arrived at our campground in the Salt Creek Recreation Area.  This was once the location of Camp Hayden, a World War 2 harbor defense military base.  The campground has three tiers of campsites and our site was on the highest tier with a marvelous view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Crescent Bay, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  In the distance we could see snow capped Mt Baker, which looked more like a cloud than a mountain. 20140622_142907           Our first night there we had a cloudy, but still beautiful sunset.20140620_213908 20140620_214007     Our first full day we drove to Port Angeles and caught a ferry over to Victoria, British Columbia.  Port Angeles was a 19th century mill town and today is a bustling harbor with a population of around 19,000.  Murals throughout the town document the town’s history. IMG_0852         We caught the ferry which took us eighteen miles across the Strait of Juan De Fuca to Victoria in Canada. IMG_0836           Both on the way over and on the way back we had magnificent views of snow capped Olympic mountains.  IMG_0811 IMG_0822       On the ferry we saw many people with suitcases, bikes and tennis rackets, going for an overnight adventure.   IMG_0809                   We saw several seaplanes which transport people to and from the city of Vancouver. IMG_0812 Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, has a population of 300,000.  It goes back to colonial days with the first government building erected in 1859.  Even though it is a metropolitan city, it still had a small town feel.  It was clean and felt very safe. At one point we were stopped by a volunteer ambassador who could tell we were tourists and stopped to ask if we were enjoying our visit and had any questions. Since we decided not to take our car on the ferry, we figured the easiest way to see the island was to take the Hop On, Hop Off buses.  The hour and a half tour included the impressive Empress Hotel,IMG_0837           the magnificent Parliament Building,IMG_0835 Chinatown, Fishermen’s Wharf,         and Mile 0 which is the start of Canada’s Highway No. 1 which stretches through all ten provinces of Canada between the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts. IMG_0825           We also saw Craigdarroch Castle as well as a statue of James Cook IMG_0838 IMG_0839               and Queen Victoria.  IMG_0842 IMG_0841 IMG_0833                                   The bus driver stopped at Christ Church Cathedral and gave us time to go inside. IMG_0829 IMG_0832 IMG_0826 IMG_0828                         He pointed out the cornerstone of the church which had been laid by Sir Winston Churchhill. IMG_0830           With the price of our bus ticket we also had access to the water taxis going back and forth in the harbor. IMG_0844         We had a delicious lunch at an Irish Pub and did some geocaching and shopping before catching the ferry home.  We enjoyed the totem poles throughout the port area IMG_0845 IMG_0840               as well as a statue of a girl welcoming her father home from war which was placed in honor of World War 2 veterans.  IMG_0814         The next day we drove to Hurricane Ridge,IMG_0876 elevation 5,242 feet, in Olympic National Park         with some of the most magnificent views of snow capped mountains I have ever seen, IMG_0886 IMG_0883including Mount Olympus with an elevation of 7,980 feet.             IMG_0859                 Of course I had to have my picture taken in the snow with my flip flops. IMG_0863Bill bought a shirt at the gift shop which said “The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go” IMG_0875which is very appropriate for him since he is drawn to the mountains.  I am drawn to the ocean which is very ironic since I grew up in Virginia and Bill grew up in Florida!  We toured the Visitors Center which you can see in the background in one of the pictures. One interesting thing we learned from the movie there was that the mountains in this area were not formed by volcanic activity as are most of the mountains in the Pacific Northwest, but instead by the moving of tetonic plates which pushed the ocean floor up and formed the mountains.  They are not continuing to grow, yet they are also not eroding as do most mountains. While driving up to Hurricane Ridge we passed a deer along the side of the road, as well as seeing numerous elk and deer at the Visitors Center. IMG_0856 IMG_0879                       Knowing my love of the water, Bill ended the day by finding a beautiful waterfall in the park on the way home.  Madison Falls is a wondrous 60 foot waterfall in a peaceful setting with only a short walk on a paved trail to get there. IMG_0928 IMG_0921 IMG_0912                         Our last day in Salt Creek Recreation Area ended with a glorious sunset.  IMG_0942 IMG_0954 IMG_0991