When you have to spend your weekend working, what better way than to go whale watching and walk beaches. Sometimes life is just so hard. :-)
The weekend started with a ferry ride from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend. In the busy summer months it is advisable to make ferry reservations on some of the routes, the Port Townsend route being one of them, luckily we did. As we departed the ferry in Port Townsend, we zoomed over to 101 and headed west to Port Angeles. It was a sunny afternoon but there was no time to dawdle, we had a whale watching boat waiting for us to service its sound system.
When we reached Port Angeles, we checked into the hotel and hit FRUGLES on the way to the marina. I found them on Yelp and when you pull up and cars are lined up in the street you know you found something good. Frugals is a drive-up Hamburger joint, the service was quick (considering the long line of cars) and the food was delicious.
Our service call on the boat turned out to be quick, thank goodness. Before we knew it, the sound system was operational once again. To make sure though, we stuck to the original schedule and boarded the Island Explorer 4 the next morning to go out whale watching. Like I said, "It is such hard work." We had just barely left the dock when we found our first sign of wildlife – Harbor Seals enjoying a morning on the beach and a brand new pup just born minutes before our departure.
We enjoyed a beautiful morning out on the water, saw three humpback whales, found a collection of sea lions, and meandered by the Lighthouse and through the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.
As for the sound system – it worked perfectly, doing its job well throughout the trip. After a morning at sea, it was time to return to Port and disembark. We stopped for a bite of lunch, then decided a trip to Rialto Beach was next on the day's agenda, after all it was a 'working' weekend. :-)
Rialto Beach was a destination that had been beckoning us for years, our timing was off in regards for waiting for that 'typical' Rialto Beach photograph, that may have to wait for another time, but it was a nice day for a drive and a walk on the beach.
We ended our work day with dinner in La Push with a view of First Beach. As we were leaving the sun started its decent. Light rays sparkled like diamonds on the water and local fishing vessels returned to their home port after a day of hard work. It was a pleasant way to end a work day.
The next day, our work day called us to Hurricane Ridge. But first we needed substance to get us started. Again, thanks to Yelp, we found a restaurant for breakfast. First Street Haven tempted us because of the images and reviews on Yelp and they were definitely worth every star and more. Breakfast was amazing. We had Shrimp Benedict and a strawberry waffle that melted in your mouth. They are known for their cinnamon roll so we got one to go, our tastebuds craved more when we were done. Don't let the size of the place fool you, it made it cozy and intimate, and the service was entertaining and quick.
After breakfast we headed to Hurricane Ridge only to find a backup of cars that was at least 10 miles, the view at the top was going to have to wait for another day. Instead we headed back to Port Townsend to catch our Ferry, but first we detoured to Dungeness Spit in Sequim. This was another destination on our to-do list of places to visit and it seemed like a good chance to complete that task.
Dungeness Spit is a National Wildlife Refuge and park. We were greeted by friendly volunteers at the head of the trail, they provide a map and answered questions. The cost is $5.00 per group and goes to help fund the park. We took the primitive trail, enjoying the meandering through nature. We stopped at the bluff, before heading down to the Spit. We did not have time to take the 5 mile walk out to the Lighthouse, maybe next time. We strolled the beach, listened to the waves, enjoyed the warmth of the sun, and relaxed after a weekend of hard work. :-)
Who needs to play when you can work weekends like this.
Island Adventures Whale Watching Tours
Spend a morning, or evening in the summers, enjoying the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer, with a tour of wildlife and beautiful scenery, with the best boats and crews in the area.
Located in the Kootenay Rockies of southeast British Columbia, nestled in the beautiful embrace of mountains and living on the edge of the river, is the town of Revelstoke in British Columbia. This town was meant for the adventurer and lovers of the great outdoors. Any season, any time of of year, there is something adventurous and sometimes even daring enticing its visitors. Any place that loads up a Helicopter with bicycles and drops the participants off in the mountains you know offers the extreme in sports and outdoor adventures.
If you are not into the extreme or adventurous sports, Revelstoke also offers a quiet place to just kick back and enjoy everything that is good and relaxing in life. Surrounded by stunning landscapes and dotted along the edge of rivers, you cannot help but feel at one with nature and just let the stress flow out of you. Downtown is small and walkable with quaint shops and some great restaurants. There are great trails along the river for a stroll and to just soak up the view and ambience. Fresh mountain air soothes your soul and breath, leaving you relaxed and calm.
Museums, an inside Aquatic Park, theatre, a tour of the Dam, and more offer visitors a variety of touristy attractions and history of the area. Coffee shops, craft bier, and all the Poutine you can eat, tempt your palette.
A great destination to just be reminded of the beautiful things in life. I highly recommend you stop in their Visitor Centre, they were very helpful and full of great information. Pick up maps of the area and just take off and explore. Revelstoke has so much to offer so plan for a lengthy visit.
Comprised of mountain ranges, there is no straight route in British Columbia when going from one destination to another. Which is a good thing, gives you a reason to explore more of this beautiful country. Our road trip from Anacortes to Revelstoke, B.C. took us on a changing landscape trail of canyons, high mountains soaring toward the sky, valleys sunken in between towering peaks, wine country, desert mountains, each landscape unique and impressive. On this particular trip we did three of the Top 5 Scenic Drives in B.C, but I would add that all the drives in B.C are scenic.
We crossed the border at Lynden/Aldergrove, entering the charming area of Langley. A quick jaunt up Hwy 13 and we caught the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 east. We opted for the scenic route listed on the Top 5 Scenic Drives, the Trans-Canada Highway 1: Hope to Cache Creek, through Fraser Canyon. It added to our drive time, but it was worth the view. We stopped for lunch in Boston Bar, the Old Towne Inne Bar and Grill, a step back in time and the food was good and hearty.
Scenic Drive 1
Trans-Canada Highway 1: Hope to Cache Creek, listed as one of the Top 5 Scenic Drives in B.C.
As you wind through the canyon you experience a sense of wonder in Mother Nature's creation of steep walls, a flowing river squeezing its way through the canyon floor, and a rugged terrain with a long history of unique stories to tell. Twists, Turns, and Tunnels take you on a wondrous journey.
When you leave the canyon the drive takes you into a contrasting landscape of arid and desert-like countryside. A beautiful and unique scenic drive. We stopped in Kamloops for gas and a quick bite and a quick call to our hotel letting them know we were still on our way.
The trouble with traveling when you are a photographer is it means a lot of stops. Google map said this was a 7.5 hr drive – add meals, bathroom breaks, and more importantly photo opportunities, and the drive easily expands into an additional 3 hours plus. But, what the heck, we were on travel time and when surrounded by so much beauty who can resist. We finally hit our destination, Revelstoke, around 9:30 pm, just as the sun was setting. We had been on the road for around 11 hours at this point and a hotel room sounded divine.
Our first day after arriving, we enjoyed breakfast and walked around town a bit before hitting the road again for the next scenic drive - Revelstoke to Golden via Trans-Canada Hwy 1 (east.) We only made it as far as Canyon Hot Springs. It was a beautiful climb along Mt Revelstoke National Park into the lovely canyon, but after a long day in the car the day before and ears popping from crossing too many mountains, the climb into Glacier National Park seemed daunting, so we turned around and headed back to town, saving this drive for another day.
After a few days in Revelstoke it was time to head for the border and home. We took another scenic drive, Route 97, Revelstoke to Kelowna. The scenery was spectacular. Farmlands, mountain hills, lakes, and small towns captured our attention. I could have spent days exploring this area, we'll save that for another trip.
Getting back to Washington State took many twists and turns and various highways to get home. There was no straight route, so why not explore some of the areas. The ever-changing landscape as we changed highways added to the journey, each unique and with different characters. What was supposed to be the shortest hwy route in the journey, Highway 97 C from Kelowna to Merritt, proved to be the most challenging. Our poor little car sputtered up the long hill. The drastic change in elevation as we climbed in the pouring rain was an adventure into itself. Over 2,000 ft in elevation change with the highest peak at 5,669 ft, it was hard on the ears, the water bottle, and the little engine that could. High in the mountains, covered in clouds, it struck me that the Canadian Highway system seemed to build most of the highways high up on the mountain ranges.
From 97C we took Hwy 5A north to catch Hwy 5 South, where we would then again catch Trans-Canada Hwy 1 (west) towards home. Hwy 5 is another highway up towards the top of the mountain range. We saw signs often that said, "High Mountain Road. Expect Sudden Weather Changes." This drive was not listed on the Top 5 Scenic Drives, but it should be. Stunning views of valleys and mountains stretched for miles. By far, this was one of the most beautiful road trips. It almost needs to done in small sections, each with time dedicated to the area. There was too much to see and explore and not enough time to really experience the true beauty of this part of British Columbia.
Until next time.
Hope to Hell's Gate, a road that takes you on a winding journey of exploration, magnificent scenery, and a chance to experience Hope and Hell all in one road trip.
Just like life, this beautiful drive through the Fraser Canyon, listed as one of the Top 5 Scenic Drives in British Columbia, is full of twists, turns, and tunnels. Taking the Trans-Canada Highway 1 from Hope to Cache Creek began the first leg of our trip to see some of the most magnificent scenery British Columbia has to offer. Our first destination was a stop at Hell's Gate. We opted to not ride the Airtram to Hell.
Started in 1910 by Greek immigrant Efthemios (Mike) Demopoulous as the Anacortes Junk Co. the business lasted through three generations before it sold to Lea Mayberry, owner of Alley Cat Antiques. One of the keys to success for this long-standing marine business is how quickly they adapt. They have managed to change with the times, while maintaining their true character.
What started out as a supplier for the commercial fishing industry and the local mills, now caters mostly to tourists who come from all over the globe just to see this iconic place. One of the main attractions of Marine Hardware Supply is its unique collection of hardware. They will often put the oddest items out front to stimulate people’s imaginations.
“The reason why we sell so many odd things, is because we have so many odd things,” said Store Manager Rick Sohn.
Rick Sohn has been with the Marine Hardware & Supply store for thirty-one years. His years of knowledge in the marine and hardware industry provide an invaluable service for store customers. With the combined experience and “know-how” from store clerks, Larry Norman and Jack Curl, the team can answer just about any question a boater or non-boater throws at them. Do-it-yourselfers appreciate the local knowledge and friendly service.
What do boaters love about this business?
- We have a large selection of fittings and odd fittings. A boater can find just about any size they may need.
- Boaters will most likely find an answer to their question or be referred to a network of local resources.
- The unique collection of hardware draws boaters and tourists from all over, who appreciate the small-town atmosphere and friendly service.
When asked what item is most popular in their store, the answer was a surprise — gloves, hats, and t-shirts, followed by knives and books.
In today’s world, it’s rare to find a small business that remains successful through changing times, while retaining its character and meeting its customers’ needs.
Happy treasure hunting the next time you find yourself in the Marine Hardware & Supply store in Anacortes.
Short Stories of passion, of life, of people.
As I See It
Beautiful Scenic Drives
Couples Who Work And Play Together
On The Job
Places To Stay
Stories From The Front Porch
Washington State Ferries