Today will mark the official beginning of the journey “Circling the USA”. We were up early and on the road to Neah Bay and Cape Flattery. It was overcast and cool at Sequim as we left, but no rain. We began driving west on US 101 to State 112. We were encouraged as we drove that the wind was not bad and no sight of rain. As we got to Neah Bay, the wind was kicking up a little, but still no rain. You see our hope was to get to Cape Flattery and then take the 1.5 mile round trip hike to the tip of the cape which is touted to be the northwestern most point of the lower 48 states. The hike back from that point was to be our official first leg of the journey. But as we approached the trailhead the wind began to get higher and it started raining quite hard. We decided that a walk on a narrow, wooden, possibly slick walkway was perhaps not the smartest thing a couple of senior citizens could do in the rain and wind. This journey, being a circumnavigation of the lower 48, means that Cape Flattery is not only the beginning, but also the end of the journey. That means we will be right back at this same point in about 6 months. That will make it the end of June, probably a much better time for walking to the sea.
So the journey begins southward from the trailhead of Cape Flattery. I wanted to say that the trip getting to this trailhead along State 112, was nothing short of astounding. For most of the 75 mile trip we were winding around headlands and bays and beaches and rocky outcroppings right at the southern edge of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which is also the northern edge of the lower 48. The wind made the surf rough and where the headland points met the Strait, the rocks were being pounded by the crashing waves, sending spray 20′ into the air. The only word I can think of to describe this drive is WOW! I hope the photos give a little sense of the beauty we were experiencing.
Now we are at the end of the first day of our journey at a coastal village on the Pacific called La Push. It is near the Quileute Indian Reservation. We arrived about an hour before dark and found an RV park where we hooked up to shore power to get everything charged up and filled up and rested up. From the little I could see before dark I think we are going to be in for a breathtaking morning as we are perched on the edge of the continent just a few feet from a raging Ocean. For dinner we had smoked salmon on crackers with cream cheese. The Salmon was smoked this morning by Linda at a place called Linda’s Wood Fired Kitchen And Bakery in Neah Bay. Lucy made some wonderful corn chowder and we had homemade bread, also from Linda’s. (more about Linda’s later) I found a little morsel of sugar free candy to finish it off and we are both curled up and reading or writing as we listen to nothing but the roar of the sea beating against the shore. We cannot see the surf even though it is just a few feet away. It is so dark all we can see are some lights off in the distance. The sounds of the sea are somehow relaxing and I am about to call it a night.
There is no cell service here and no Internet so it will be tomorrow before I can post this blog and the one from yesterday.