Sunday, September 27, 2009

Touring WA-Seattle & Olympice Pensulia

Hi! We are still in the state of Washington and will be for about another 2 weeks. When we left Randle we headed for Hoodsport and stayed at a nice Coast to Coast Park. We went into Olympia WA a few times, one to get our flu shot and another to the Shipwreck Bead Co. What a great bead store. They also do catalogs sales, you can see their add in most bead books. Bob was hungry for Red Lobster and Olive Garden so we visited them also, on different days. We visited a small town called Union along the Hood Canal, that reminded us of the New England states. We took the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle, it was about a 45 min. ride. In Seattle we visited the Pike Place Market, what a place, it is open 7 days a week and everyday is a busy one. It is the home of the flying fish, we have seen on TV many times. They do a great job entertaining everyone especially when someone buys a fish it goes flying through the air to the counter where it is cleaned and packaged. They also sell fresh flowers , by the stem or huge beautiful bouquets for $10. The market is lined up on one side of nothing but flowers. There are many other crafts, food and vegetables for sale. It is something to see. We went to the space needle, wanted to have lunch at the restaurant but they were completely booked. The sight from the top of the needle was fabulous. While in line for the Space Needle Linda was interviewed by the crew from the Dr. Oz show, they taped her asking the Dr. a question, she will be notified if it will be aired.

Another day we visited the Olympic National Park, it was established in 1938. They were many great photo ops. We hiked the Staircase Rapids Loop Trail. The trail runs 2 miles along the North Fork Skokomish River. A micro hydroelectric power plant was installed in 1981 ,it flows through 640’ of 12” penstock to turn the Pelton wheel and drive the generator. It can produce up to 7.5 KW of electricity to supply the entire staircase area. One of the largest fallen red cedar is about 800 yrs old, it is 43’ in circumference and 14’ in diameter. It is a beautiful hike. It was a little bit of a challenging trail, but we made it. We also toured another fish hatchery. In the picture see the bucket of eggs taken from the salmon.

We are now in Chimacum, WA. We are at a very nice Escapees Park. We met up wth our friends Penni and Dave . We also met up with them in Alaska. We took the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle. They were in Seattle before but not to the market. We also had dinner at the Crab Pot. We had their special Dungeness Crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, potatoes and corn on the cob. This was all dumped onto paper on the table and you just dug in. They left 2 days ago but we will meet up with them again at the Rose Parade over the holiday.

We visited Port Towsend, a cute town with a marina, nice RV Park many little shops and restaurants, along the Puget Sound. We toured Fort Worden that was built along with Fort Casey and Fort Flagler during 1897 & 1911. They were built to guard the sound cities. They were called the “death triangle” for it would be death for the invading enemies. No attack was ever made nor was a shot ever fired in anger. This was a self -contained community with everything a regular town needed. The Fort was active until 1953, when it became a juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center from 1954 to 1971. In 1972 it became a State Park and Conference Center. It is now maintained by the Washington State Park and is used for public education etc.

In the park is the Point Wilson Lighthouse which was established in 1879. The first white beam was seen on Dec. 15 in 1879. The original light was on top of the light keepers house and moved to the present tower in 1913 .The white light with red , flashes ever 20 seconds and comes from a 1000 watt bulb. It shines through a rotating Fresnel lens. The lens is worth about 1 million dollars; the light has a range of 16 miles. You can tour the lighthouse on Sat. only, and only a few people at a time are allowed in the lighthouse. The lighthouse was manned until the early 1960’s It is now automated and maintained by the Coast Guard. There are 59 steps to the top, but what a beautiful view.

There was a Kayak Festival on the beach while we toured the lighthouse. We never knew there were so many different Kayaks. Everyone was having a great time in the water and also vendors selling them. There is also a Fort Flaglar, which is on the same order as Fort Worden and is used in the same way that Fort Worden is being used.

We also took a tour of the Commanding Officers Quarters. This was completed in 1904 and overlooks the Admiralty Inlet and Point Wilson and is located at the end of “Officers Row”. It provided housing for 33 commanding officers and their families. It has now been restored and furnished with furnishings from the 1904 to 1910 era. There are 2 great RV parks, an upper forest campground and a beach campground. While we were touring the fort a car club from Tacoma came in and set up on the parade grounds. It was the Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile clubs. In all about 50 cars showed up. .See slide show below, if slide show doesn't appear click on view all at bottom.

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