Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Washington: June 24, 2003

A continuation of the cross-country adventure I shared with Ben in the summer of 2003....

Day 17--Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Since there was only one other tent at the entire campsite (the one next to us) and tons of RVs, I had no competition for a shower in the morning.  We had a nice slow morning while we slept in and took our time getting ready in order to miss the traffic rush into Seattle.

After we broke camp and drove into the city, our first stop was the Public Market.  Getting there was really quite the adventure, since our maps were terrible.  We ended up having to wind through little side streets, including some truly huge hills, before eventually finding some $11 parking and heading into the Market.

Mostly, we just window shopped.  Our primary target was the Pike Place Fish Market.  When we eventually got there, I have to admit that I wasn't as amused by it was I had expected to be.  There were tons of people crowded around, so it was hard to see anything--I hate being short!  We looked at plenty of shops and stalls with jewelry, fresh food, and novelties.  In a way, the Public Market reminded me of the English Market in Cork [Ireland].

While at the Market, we stopped by a crepe place and had lunch.  We had a crepe with gorgonzola cheese and spinach for our main course, then a sweet one with Nutella, bananas, whipped cream, and almonds for desert.  Mmmmm.

Our next Seattle stop was the Seattle Center, where parking was much more reasonable.  We walked past a skate park, where it was neat to see all of the little kids doing such amazing stunts.  We went by the Space Needled, but we didn't go up.  In fact, we passed on most of the attractions because of the cost.  We found a nice park in the center and sat around watching little kids play in a huge fountain that shot up water in time with music coming out of speakers around the perimeter.  While we were there, a deaf woman tried to give us bookmarks in exchange for a "donation," but we gave them back to her.  Good grief.

After leaving the city, we drove for a very long time.  Since we weren't sure exactly where in the park our campsite was, we ended up driving way out of our way.  We went around the top of the park and then had to come back down the other side, so we ended up getting there much later than expected.  En route to our campsite, we stopped at Jack in the Box for the first time ever and got two tacos for 99 cents--after a very, very long wait.  We eventually got back onto Route 101 and took that to the park.

After skirting around Olympic National Park for quite a time, we eventually made it to Kalaloch Campground on the coast.  Our site was definitely the worst one around.  There was really no place to put the tent, since the picnic table was taking up the entire site.  Even once we managed to squish it in, the ground was so hard that we couldn't drive in the tent pegs.

As soon as we got the tent set up, we hit the beach near our campsite.  The girl at the check-in shelter told us the sun would set between 8:30 and 9:00, and we wanted to make sure we didn't miss it.

When we got to the beach, Ben went to stash our shoes behind a log so we could walk barefoot in the sand.  While he did that, he found a wallet lying in the sand.  We opened it up and recognized the guy whose campsite was across from us from his ID.  Moments later, we saw him walking down the beach towards us, looking intently in the sand.  Ben went up to him and returned his wallet, and the guy was overcome with gratitude.  First he tried to give us money, and after we refused that several times, he tried to take us out for a drink then and there.  (Really, where were we going to go?)  After we assured him several times that we didn't need any material form of thanks, he showed us pictures of his grandkids and then returned to his campsite, while he resumed our walk down the beach.

My little scavenger Ben picked up several pieces of driftwood as "poking sticks" and quite a few "cool rocks."  We played in the sand, splashed in the water, and explored.  I was especially amused by the long row of seagulls that all lined up and stood stock-still on the waterline to watch the sunset.  The sun didn't go down until a little after 9:00, and then a cloud was in the way so it wasn't as impressive as it might have been.  This was my first trip to the Pacific Ocean, and Ben's first trip to the ocean, period, so we made sure to take plenty of pictures!

Back at our campsite, we made dinner and then got ready for bed.  We had no idea where a bathroom might be, so we had to just pee in the woods near our campsite.  We also had to put away all our food, toiletries, and anything else that might smell, as so to avoid unwanted encounters with wildlife while we slept!

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