Considering that we have spent eight months and exactly 5000 miles trying to work our way north and west we could think of nothing more fitting than to take our weekend off from Mount Rainier and jump in the Jeep and proceed to the furthest Northwest corner of the lower 48.

If you drew a straight line on the map from Lucia, NC to central Washington I’m sure that it would be considerably less miles then we have traveled, but what fun would that be? You know what they say, “It’s not just the destination, getting there is half the fun.”. When you travel this far what’s another 300 miles, so off we go to Cape Flattery.

On our trip, we traveled through the state capital of Olympia, then across to Haquiam, where we were treated to a view of Grays Harbor. Continuing north through Amanda Park past Lake Quinault to Queets where we get our first ever view of the Pacific Ocean.

Being at the edge of the rain forest, when rivers flood, it sends massive logs downstream and into the ocean, which in turn washes them onto the rocky beaches. Rocky beaches and giant driftwood are not something that we are accustomed to seeing on the Atlantic shores. Sea stacks are another oddity to us, but hey, this is why we are traveling – seeing new things – meeting new people and trying to enjoy the lives we have been blessed with.

Traveling further north past the beaches – that are numbered – not named – we make a side trip to the Hoh Rainforest, stop for dinner in the town of Forks, which we learned is where the book and movie “Twilight” is based in.

Off of highway 101 onto 113 to 112, we get a room in the town of Sekiu. This is a small fishing town built behind a small mountain, right on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is our guess that the town was strategically placed in case of Tsunamis, which apparently are a threat anywhere in this area.

So after enjoying a nice rest, we rise the next morning and think “man we are living the dream”.

After enjoying a local artist’s chainsaw wood carvings and just the whole scene in general, we get back on the road and head straight into the Makah Indian reservation and the town of Neah Bay.

Hang a left in Neah Bay and a very short drive and we have arrived at a parking area in Cape Flattery. This is as far as we can drive, so the only thing to do is hike the next 1/2 mile down a beautiful trail, through more rain forest that has had a cougar and bear sighting – just a little spooky – then right out onto the very corner of the “good ol’ USA”.

For us, personally, we cannot think of a better place to spend a birthday on our adventure than watching the sea lions playing in the surf and on the rocks in the pacific ocean, knowing that directly behind us is the rest of the country. Like we said in our last entry, we consider it a major milestone in our journey. After soaking it all in and, just for a moment, considering trying to swim to Tatoosh Island (just off the cape where the lighthouse is located) we decide its time to head out and see what we can find on the way home.

Back down 112 to 101 into the city of Port Angeles, we stop for a brief look around and find this town to be scenic and interesting, but yet again our weekend is short and we are running out of time.

Heading south, we stop at an interesting burger joint called Fat Smitty’s.The outside is decorated with even more chainsaw art carvings than we saw in Sekiu and when we take our seats at the counter, a man extends his hand and introduces himself as Terry. As we speak, he tells us he has been a wood-carver for over 30 years and is responsible for the artwork that we have been admiring all over the state.From there, the conversation turns into one of those where you feel like you have known everyone in the place forever.

We notice an autographed picture of Robbie Knievel jumping a canyon on his motorcycle and the owner of the place tells us that Robbie used to live there and this was his hang out – she gave Mark a Robbie poker chip from the casino and said if we ever meet him to tell him that we have a common friend.

If you ever find yourself  in Discovery Bay Washington, make sure to stop in to Fat Smitty’s. From the owner – Mickey – to the patrons, they will make you feel at home and make you not want to leave. But leave, we must – go be responsible – make money to finance the next step of our adventure.

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