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Sunday, June 29

Part II: The Odyssey Continues...the Olympic Peninsula

Note: This is part of a series of our travels to the Pacific northwest. Posts are in reverse chronological order. To start at the beginning go to the first post, Chris and Jeff hit the...

As our intrepid travelers continue their journey in the Pacific northwest... Okay! I thought I'd turn this into a novel, but then I'd get all confused with first and third person narratives. Lol. Anywho, to recap: we flew into Seattle on a Tuesday. Dinner at Bahn Thai was that evening, and J took a walkabout to the Space Needle.

Wednesday was the SAAM and the Japanese gardens, and we both walked over to the Space Needle together. We were at the top for the sunset, and got tons of great shots of Seattle neighborhoods and night shots of the Needle on the way back to the hotel.

Thursday we had to rise early for the ferry to Bainbridge Island, and our day trip to the Olympic Peninsula. The ferry was a fun trip, but the drive was pretty uneventful until we got to the visitor center for the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe! This was THE highlight of our trip! We had both heard so much about Pacific Northwest tribal culture--both U.S. and First Nation--totem poles, potlatch, weaving, knitting; that we envisioned being smack in the middle of a rich source of cultural information and heritage. We weren't disappointed.

The visitor center was pretty new, and there seemed to be an organized effort to have this as the "gateway" to the tribal area. The highway ran right through it, with the visitor center on the right going north, and a short distance away was a large store with food, meals, groceries, gas, etc., and a casino a bit further on. (We ate at the store on the way in, and later on the way back to Seattle. All the food was homemade and fabulous!)

In the souvenir store, which had carvings, CDs, jewelry, paintings, and various garments with tribal symbols, we met Wendy, a tribal member, who was full of information about the tribe, and eager to answer our many questions about life as a S'Klallam member. (I apologize if I am not phrasing things in the correct way, I have no intention of insulting anyone by referring to things in an incorrect manner.)

I told Wendy about my interest and habit of picking up rocks and crystals from every place we visit. She gave us a tip for finding some jade, jasper and other stones on a secret beach in Port Angeles. Okay, I'll pass on the info: it is at Ediz Hook, just west of the ferry landing in Port Angeles. Follow the main oceanfront drive, and go through the Nippon Paper plant (which we heard is closing soon), and drive way out on the spit, to the beaches near the end. J was the hero in rock searching! I didn't find one green stone--he found tons! Although I found lots of red ones and some that looked like flint or agates.

Note: on the way back to Seattle, we stopped by the shop again, and lo and behold, there was Wendy! I proudly showed her our bag of "prospecting" and she helped sort out the rocks into what she thought were jade and agates. Now we just have to get our hands on one of those Ronco Gem Tumblers! (remember those?!)

The Peninsula
After a great chat with Wendy, we stopped at the tribal store and had a nice lunch. Then we set our sights on getting to Port Angeles and out to the mountains. Port A was....well, let's just say that it was not too interesting. We drove through it and headed out to Lake Crescent... (more on this later)

1 comment:

Alpaca Granny said...

What a wonderful time!