Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Butchart Gardens, British Columbia, Canada

Butchart Gardens began as a cement quarry in 1888 as the area was rich in limestone deposits necessary for cement production.

In 1909 the limestone quarry was exhausted and the owners, Robert & Jennie Butchart set about turning this area into what has ultimately become The Butchart Gardens.

In 1931, the Butcharts' gave the Gardens to their Grandson, Ian Ross, to manage and expand.

Ownership of the Gardens remains with the Butchart family to this day.

See ya down the road !

Victoria, B.C., Canada

Since we were so near to our neighboring country of Canada, we decided to take the ferry over from Port Angeles for the day.

Below is a picture of the parliament building.

The picture below is of the famous Empress Hotel. It is a beautiful building. We walked over to see how much crumpets and tea were - don't ask - we decided against it!

The following three pictures were taken inside of the Parliament building when we took a tour. It was so beautiful inside. Very ornate and very impressive.

The picture below here is when we arrived on the ferry and were heading into the port.

Here is our ferry to take us back. We had a great day. Weather was beautiful and so was Victoria. I would love to go here again - next time with our RV.

We had lunch at the docks where you can catch a boat to go fishing or just touring. After lunch our new friends we met on the ferry were nice enough to take our picture.

See ya down the road !

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cape Flattery, Washington

If you travel to the North Eastern most end of Washington state, driving past Port Angeles & the entrance to Olympic National Park, you will continue on until you go through several towns and you will eventually (about 75 miles one way from Sequim, Washington) reach the Cape Flattery area.

If you walk the short Cape Flattery trail you will come to the most beautiful cliffs that overlook the ocean. (Pacific, that is)

Below I caught a picture of a seagull feeding and protecting her young on the cliffs.

Travel to the other end of the cape and you will see more awesome cliffs. It was a sight to see!

See ya down the road !

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dungeness Rec Area at Sequim, Washington

Located just a few miles from Sequim, Washington at the crest of the Olympic Peninsula, the views are varied and impressive.

Looking to the south you'll take in the vista of the Olympic Mountains and looking north you'll see the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island. Mt. Baker and other peaks of the Cascade Range are visible to the east; and to the west, Port Angeles.

We hike the short 0.5 mile trail to get to the 'spit' from the parking lot.

The spit is part of the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to more than 250 species of birds, 41 species of land mammals and eight species of marine animals.

If you care to walk the entire length of the spit, you will come to the new lighthouse that was recently opened to the public.
Dungeness Spit is one of the world's longest natural sand spits, growing at a rate of about 20 feet per year.

The first half-mile of the refuge is a picturesque trail through the upland conifer forest before reaching a pair of overlooks that give a spectacular view of the narrow ribbon of the sand spit.

The inner shore of the spit is a wildlife refuge for nesting birds and lucky hikers will be favored with seeing a variety of feathered critters. At its highest point, the spit is about 15 feet above sea level and parts of it are under water during winter storms.
See ya down the road !

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Olympic National Park, Washington

The Olympic Peninsula is home to eight American Indian tribes that developed complex hunter-gatherer societies and continue to keep their traditions alive. The Olympics were set aside as a national monument in 1909 and further protected as Olympic National Park in 1938.

Part of what makes Olympic National Park so unique is that it contains three distinct ecological systems; glacier-capped mountains, Pacific coastline and temperate rain forests.

The high mountain areas topped by mighty Mount Olympus are best explored on foot, along the miles of high country trails.

Glaciers are one of the favorite destinations. There are about 266 glaciers crowning the Olympics peaks, most quite small. Surrounded on three sides by water, the Olympics retain the distinctive character that developed from their isolation. The temperate rain forest provides one of the most lush and vibrant environments in the park.

A world of landscapes unfolds here: glaciers chisel U-shaped valleys, and brilliantly colored wildflowers blanket subalpine meadows. Geologists still debate the origins of the Olympics. Some 50 million years ago lava gushed from underwater rips in the edge of the continent, hardening into miles-thick layers of basalt.

Ice-age glaciers helped carve the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, separating the Olympics from nearby lands.

Olympic National Park protects the largest old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest.
Below is a cute black-tailed deer who happened to be gulping up some grasses near the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.

In the background of the photo below you can see the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Just the otherside of the Strait is Victoria, British Columbia.

If you ever get to the beautiful state of Washington be sure to go to Olympic National Park.
If you make it further up the coast, you will be able to go to the HOH rain forest also.
See ya down the road!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Port Townsend, Washington

This is the lovely town of Port Townsend, Washington. Settled in 1891, Port Townsend' s heyday as a late-Victorian seaport brought wealth and style to the community as upwardly mobile captains and merchants built fine homes for themselves.

Port Townsend is in the north east corner of the Olympic Peninsula.

Below is the Jefferson County Courthouse which was built in 1892 of red brick and sandstone.

The county's business is still conducted in the building, a National Historic Landmark and one of the two oldest courthouses in the state.

The building originally was the courthouse, the fire station and the jail.

See the jailbird below? What can I say about him except I did let him out, eventually!

Port Townsend's character today comes from its boom in the 1880's and 1890's as a major seaport, fishing and lumber area.

Town leaders and merchants built ornate and spacious Victorian homes and fine brick and stone buildings for their businesses downtown.

In 1976 the downtown waterfront and bluff were designated a National Historic District. Port Townsend is one of only three Victorian seaports on the National Historic Register of Historic Places in the U.S. and the only one on the west coast.

See ya down the road !