Friday, July 15, 2011

Day Twenty-One: Crossing the Treaty Line

Today was Twilight Day for the two of us. (For those of you who haven't read the series by Stephenie Meyer, you should.) Anyway, the story takes place out here on the Olympic Peninsula in Forks, La Push, and Port Angeles. So we did a tour of all of the places in the book.
We left around nine heading straight to Forks. Well, that was the plan at least. We were driving down 101 and saw a sign for Cape Flattery. It is the western-most point in the Lower 48. So of course we had to go, being from the east coast! No one told us that it would be an extra hour and a half drive with a 1.5 mile walk. Not that we minded either one. The road was pretty curvy and wet, and all you could see around you was trees and fog. Until you got to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It's the body of water that separates the peninsula and British Columbia. It, too, was foggy, but we saw a bald eagle perched up on a rock, looking down into the water. So cool!! It was a little hard to get a really clear picture of it since it was far away, but we managed with a little zooming and cropping. After that, it was another 20 miles to the Makah Indian Reservation, where Cape Flattery is. The Native art that you can see right from the road is pretty cool. They had their totem poles and then the designs on their signs. When we finally got to the end of the road, there was a sign that said, "Cape Flattery Trailhead." Wasn't expecting that. We had driven all that way that we weren't going to turn back without actually going. We put on our raincoats and fit in with the locals! It was about 3/4 of a mile down to the Cape, through old-growth forests and really, really tall trees. Luckily the only sign of wildlife we saw was the sign posted about a previous cougar sighting two weeks ago, and the really, really, REALLY big slug hanging out on the tree. (It truly deserves those three reallys.) We were able to get some great pictures under the cover of the trees. Once we got out to the Cape, it was foggy and a little hard to see where the water and the sky met. The rock outcroppings were pretty cool, though. And the caves that had been carved out from underneath. We saw a seagull with her baby birds in the nest, too.
After Cape Flattery, it was back out to 101 and down to Forks. Our first stop was the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors' Information. For a small town, it sure was crowded in there. We didn't really need any information from there, since we had a map of all the places anyway, but we just wanted to sign the guestbook and see if they had postcards.(They didn't. Bummer.) Then it was off to the Thriftway/Ace/Outfitters. This was partly because we were hungry and wanted a snack, and because it is where Bella works in the books. Then we went to the other important book tour stops, like the Forks hospital, police station, the Swan house, and the Cullen house, (not really the two, but stand-ins used by the town). We went by where the former high school was. They still have the "Forks High School, Home of the Spartans" sign up, but not the school. They took down the last remaining pieces last month and are rebuilding a bigger one. Oh well.
My previous first impression of the town was changed after driving around a little. It doesn't look like much from the main street, but once you drive out a little, it ends up being a cute little area.
After our Forks stop, we went to La Push. I almost La Threw the GPS out the window. (I really hope we finish the trip with it in one piece. Every so often it gets really annoying. We've almost left it a couple of times already!) It, too, is off the main road, but not nearly as far as Cape Flattery. The first place we saw was Jacob's house. Unlike the other two houses on the tour, this one looks exactly like the one in the movie. Then we went to First Beach, which is at the end of the Quileute Reservation. They were setting up for their Quileute Days Opening Ceremonies that were later on today. We felt like intruders, so we snapped a few pictures and left. On our way out, though, we saw the Quileute Tribal School and their new, big resort.
When we were done with our tour, we came back to Port Angeles for dinner. We finished our Twilight-themed day with dinner at Bella Italia. (The site of Bella and Edward's first date. Again, read it if you haven't.) I'm glad we made reservations ahead of time. They are apparently very casual in an upscale setting. We were dressed up in our "Friday" school clothes, while others came in flannel shirts and jeans. We ordered the mushroom ravioli and salmon fettuccine. Two dishes definitely worth ordering again. It was the best meal of the trip so far. (I guess it's not saying much when you eat crackers and peanut butter for dinner.) The waitress was super friendly, knew a lot about wine pairings (very impressive), and sold us on moving to the area. Even though it's raining, she said that they usually have awesome summers and she loves the weather here. (She used to live in New York.) Their big snowstorms are 3" and everything gets shut down. Love it! After a filled day, it is time for bed, for another fun day tomorrow!

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