Jul 312013

We woke to a gray foggy morning yesterday, and I would have loved to roll over and go back to sleep, but we had a lot of miles to cover. The shortest route between the Escapees Evergreen Co-op in Chimacum to Oceana Resort in Ocean City is south down U.S. Highway 101 along the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula and then west to the coast, a distance of 137 miles. But what fun would that be?

Instead we took U.S.101 west across the top of the Olympic Peninsula, skirting the edge of Olympic National Park, and then followed it south to Humptulips, where we took local roads a few miles out to the beach and to Ocean City. It was 198 miles, and a pretty darned slow 198 miles at that.

As I said, it was a foggy day when we started out, but it burned off after an hour or so.

Foggy road

One of the slowest parts of the trip was the ten miles or so where the highway clings to the south shore of Crescent Lake. Narrow, no shoulders, lots of curves, and some dips in the pavement that added to the fun. At 1,000 feet deep, the lake’s sparkling blue water is amazing. In tomorrow’s blog, I’ll tell you a couple of mystery stories about the lake.

Curvy US 101 2

Crescent Lake curve

Crescent Lake

Crescent Lake 2

The highway turned south near the logging town of Forks and continued through heavy forest as it jogged out to the coast. This is a land of trees, mountains, and water, and we crossed a number of bridges, most of them narrow.

Crossing US 101 bridge

Terry always likes to take my picture as I drive across bridges or through tight construction zones. What, you never saw a guy concentrate before?

NIck driving

Our first view of the Pacific Ocean was breathtaking. Terry and I love being around water, from the Florida Keys to the Great Lakes to the wild Pacific Northwest coast.

First beach view

That’s Destruction Island, and the lighthouse went into service in 1891 and was manned until it became automated in 1968.

Soon the view gave way to a heavy fog bank and the road turned back inland.

Fog bank over ocean

We saw a lot of logging trucks all the way around the Peninsula. I know from my newspaper days in this part of the country that a lot of these guys can be pretty aggressive drivers and won’t hesitate to bully slower vehicles.

Logging truck US 101

In Washington it is against the law to have a backlog of five vehicles behind you and pullouts are provided to move over to let traffic pass. Unfortunately, not all of the pullouts will fit a large RV.

US 101 pullout

It wasn’t always a fast or necessarily easy trip, but every mile of it is scenic.

Mountain view

Olympic Peninsula valley

This is logging country and we passed many sections of tree farms that had been clear cut. But in this wet climate, regrowth is amazingly fast.


Eventually we made our way to Oceana RV Resort and got parked in our full hookup 50 amp site, where we have good satellite TV reception, decent Verizon internet service, and are close enough to the beach to hear the sound of the surf.

Winnie at Oceana

Well, we could if it weren’t so cold that we had to close the windows! It’s only going to be cloudy and in the low 60s for most of the next week. But that’s typical weather here on the coast. There’s a reason they call this a rain forest.

Once we were parked and settled in we followed a path out to the beach and went for a long walk, enjoying being there even if it was a gray, chilly day. Who needs sunshine and blue sky to have fun?

Thought for The Day – If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else. – Yogi Berra

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Nick Russell

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  10 Responses to “Around The Olympic Peninsula”

  1. Send some of that ‘cool’ to Hondo, TX where we are sweltering with temps above 100 for the next 10 days!!!

  2. thanks for the memories, we drove down 101 last summer, the beautiful unending sites are amazing we love that part of the country, yes you sure were correct when you stated the log trucks are aggressive drivers.They will actually tail gate until the intimidate the driver and he pulls off as fast as they can to let them go by

  3. Enjoy Nick, as you said it’s beautiful country, we were there last year and stayed at a Coast to Coast RV Park in Copalis Beach, not far form where you are. We can’t wait to go back…..

  4. I see the white post and chain in the front of the site. Looks like you are staying in a seasonal site. TT only shows Oceana with 11 full hookup sites and they don’t even mention 50 amp. Could it be that the owners of the Gypsy Journal get special treatment or are you staying on a friends site?

  5. Forks…like the Forks from Twilight? Did you see any glittering vampires? LOL. These are some amazing pictures. The water looks so inviting.

  6. Once again, thank you for the beautiful pictures! I’ll never be there in person, so this is truly appreciated.

  7. Brian, yes we are on a seasonal site. No special treatment, under our membership we could have stayed in a 30 amp full hookup site with very low water pressure and trees blocking our satellite dish, we we were given the option of paying $5/day for this site with 50 amp full hookups, better water pressure (though still not great) and a god shot of the sky. That option is open to anyone if a site is available.

  8. And by the way, sometimes we DO get special treatment at some places and even free products occasionally because the owners/managers know we have a huge audience and that if we like the place or the product they will get some good PR. But we also let them know up front that we’ll tell it like it is, good OR bad, regardless of any special courtesies they show us.

  9. Gorgeous scenery, thanks for sharing the photos. Was foggy till noon here and again this evening it looked like it would roll in…I wonder if summer is over here? It was chilly enough when we got home at 8 PM, we considered turning on the heat.

  10. We did that exact drive a week ago, but we were fortunate to have warm, sunny weather. That road next to Lake Crescent was an experience with our rig. Art had both hands firmly on the wheel, for sure! We plan to return to Ocean Shores in the near future, a very interesting little town.

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