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Blog for Victoria Bennett Beyer Photography

The photography blog of Victoria Bennett Beyer, featuring travel photographs from road trips across America and botanical photography of plants, flowers and leaves.

Fort Ebey State Park

Victoria Beyer

SEVEN WEEKS ACROSS AMERICA

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After we dropped Grandpa off in Port Angeles to catch a flight back home, we continued across Washington State. We rode a ferry to Whidbey Island, and spent the night at Fort Ebey State Park. There you can explore concrete structures that served as a battery and the concrete gun emplacements that were built to help defend the coast during WWII. The sun was setting as we pulled up so we set off right away to check them out. They were very popular with the kids from the nearby campground, and it was a delight to see big kids having as much fun playing outside as the little ones.

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The old parade grounds face the ocean and the view of the sunset from there was just fantastic.

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Olympic National Park - Hurricane Ridge

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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Several friends encouraged us to drive up to Hurricane Ridge at the northern end of Olympic National Park, and boy are we glad we took their advice. The panoramic view of the mountaintops was amazing. I REALLY wish I had a wide-angle lens so that I could have captured it properly. But just imagine this first image X 10 on all sides as you spin around. It was the most incredible view of the trip, for sure.

 The blue patch at the top left is the Straits of Juan de Fuca and you can see Victoria, Canada, on the other side.

The blue patch at the top left is the Straits of Juan de Fuca and you can see Victoria, Canada, on the other side.

After a quick loop through the Visitor’s Center (heavy on the gift store) we took a nice hike. We were so lucky it was a clear day. We could see all the way north across the Straits of Juan de Fuca to Canada. As we walked through the meadows we came across a marmot colony, with several of the little guys peeking out from their burrows and trilling loudly.

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It’s a good thing we got there in the morning, because by noon when we left, the parking lot was packed and there was a solid line of cars doing the super-slow drive looking for spaces. The drive up and down the mountain was spectacular, as you might expect, and we were happy to see some wildflowers still blooming.

Olympic National Park - Rialto Beach

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

 You can see the Quillayute town of La Push and the rocks of First Beach in the background.

You can see the Quillayute town of La Push and the rocks of First Beach in the background.

We hit another Olympic National Park beach - Rialto Beach, on our next day.  There are huge mounds of driftwood - and I  mean entire tree-sized driftwood - along the parking area and pushed up against the edge of the forest.  We saw some of that at Ruby Beach, but this just went on and on and on down the shore, as far as you can see. 

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We walked down to Hole-in-the-Wall, a huge stone arch surrounded by tide pools.  Grandpa walked with me while Bri and W took off to get their feet wet (brrrrrrrr!).  We all had a nice time, soaking up the sun and watching the birds and a seal feeding at the shoreline.

 The view once you pass through Hole-in-the-Wall.

The view once you pass through Hole-in-the-Wall.

 While these tide pools were not teeming with the volume of sea creatures we saw at Cannon Beach, there were still some to be found.

While these tide pools were not teeming with the volume of sea creatures we saw at Cannon Beach, there were still some to be found.

Olympic National Park - Ruby Beach

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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Driving up the Washington coast proved to be a much quieter experience than driving up the Oregon coast.  There were quite simply fewer places to stop and less people, which was really nice.  We had heard Ruby Beach was a must-see, and we were eager to park the RV and stretch our legs.  The parking lot is above the beach, and looking down we assumed it was a strenuous hike, but really it was easy and we were down in no time.  

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Brian and W got right to wading along the shore.  They eventually made it down to the large rocks and even found an arch.

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My favorite part, however, was the huge collection of driftwood piled against the shore.

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Though I did eventually look down and was entranced by the beautiful variety of stones that make up the beach.  

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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We spent a day driving up the Oregon coast, which is dotted with little towns and very little RV parking.  It was so charming, but there was hardly anywhere to pull over, even in parking lots.  We got hungry and had to wait two hours before we could find somewhere to pull over.  We would have liked to explore more, but there was just nothing for it.  

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Luckily, we had planned a two-day stop at Cannon Beach.  There was designated RV parking in the town center, and from there we walked to our hotel (a splurge!), where we had this view of Haystack Rock from our balcony.  I could have sat on the balcony all day, but there were tide pools to explore (I can check tide pool exploring off my life list), and a very cute little town to explore on foot.  We had several fantastic meals, and W had fun exploring the beach and swimming in the hotel pool. 

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I was hoping for a Milky Way shot of Haystack Rock, but it was not to be.  We enjoyed both the foggy and sunny weather in just two days, but the night leaned toward foggy.