On Thursday, we headed up highway 101 towards Washington. Laura got to check off another state! With nowhere to be before July 4th weekend, we decided to work our way up the coast as far as we could, and see Olympic National Park. By the end of the day, we had reached the South part of the beach section of Olympic NP, so we found a campsite, in the rain. I guess there is a reason they call it the rain forest. The whole day had been cloudy.
On Friday we got up and headed to Ruby beach. This was beautiful Pacific coast with black sand, sea-stacks, and a lot of tidal pools to see the sea-life. We spent the morning looking at sea anemones, starfish, clams, and crabs before we pointed the van towards the Hoh rainforest. Luckily, this day was not nearly as rainy as the last several days. We hiked through the rainforest looking for elk, but we didn't get to see any. The scenery was beautiful. Huge ferns and moss covered trees were everywhere. When we finished our walk, we got in the van just in time for it to start raining.
After a bit of driving we came to the town of Forks, WA. All of you Twilight fans will appreciate knowing that we saw all kinds of tour buses with "Dazzled by Twilight" painted on them, and the whole town had twilight crap everywhere. I think there was a big festival even that weekend. I hope those companies enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame because you know that no one will care five years from now.
Leaving Forks we headed to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and headed West towards Cape Flattery, the most NorthWest point of the continental United States. After a half-mile hike, we came to the overlook. We were on top of cliffs with the waves crashing below us, some sort of huge birds soaring above us (I would guess some sort of eagle, but they did not have a white head). We even saw some puffins swimming in the ocean. It was gorgeous.
When we had our fill of the scenery, we hiked back out and headed east. We found a little camping spot that looked right out over the strait towards Vancouver Island, which we could see off in the distance. We made a campfire, and I enjoyed my dinner of wheat-thins, Tillamook cheddar cheese, and a chunk of fresh smoked salmon. It was great.
On Saturday we packed up and headed towards Seattle to some of my friends from seminary, Ken and Beth Miller Kraybill. We arrived at their home on Saturday evening. After catching up a bit, we packed a picnic and headed out to see the town. After seeing the troll under the bridge in Fremont, Ken reminded us that that very evening there was a world-record breaking attempt for the worlds' largest zombie walk. So we followed all of the grey face paint and fake blood to the Red, White, and Dead Zombie walk headquarters. We picked a spot of the sidewalk and watched 4233 zombies stroll past us moaning, groaning, and limping. It was totally weird. When we had had enough of the fake dead we drove down to the locks to spend the evening. Olives, salami, sharp cheese, bread, cherry tomatoes, and fresh Rainier cherries hit the spot. We even got to see the fish ladder where all of the sockeyes and Chinook were making their way up river to spawn.
The next morning, we got up and dressed for church. Seattle Mennonite was a great congregation to visit, but was rather empty due to the holiday weekend. Since I accepted the position of Minister of Outreach at Silverwood, Ken was sure to introduce us to the outreach ministers at Seattle Mennonite. We got an impromptu nickel tour of their work with the homeless that surround the church building, and got a lot to think about for when I get started at Silverwood.
After church, we walked through Seattle's Market Center and then had a wonderful lunch on the bay. A Sunday afternoon nap hit the spot, and we enjoyed a relaxing evening. Around 9:30 we wanted to go see the fireworks. After trying for forever to find a parking spot, we knew we wouldn't make it to the park in time, so we joined a neighborhood block party to watch the show.
We had a great weekend. Thanks Ken and Beth for showing us around and for all the hospitality! We had so much fun!