In the 1980’s, Penny and I made a list of places we wanted to see together. The idea of a trip up the coast, “The Whale Trail”, came into our collective mind. We would go to Santa Cruz, Coos Bay, Astoria, Grays Harbor, Neah Bay, Port Renfrew, the (then) Queen Charlotte Islands and southeast Alaska. Time constraints, continuing education and money issues rained on that parade, and we did make it to Santa Cruz once or twice, but never beyond it. All these years later, with our son raised and now living his own life, my spirit-soul mate and I finally made it to Coos Bay, Astoria, the Grays Harbor/ Ocean Shores region and, Tuesday morning, to Neah Bay. I spent Monday night sleeping under the blessed stars at Lake Ozette’s Lost Resort. Once or twice, I awoke during the night, glanced up and saw two stars directly above me, looking like a pair of eyes. Just before dawn. I awoke for the day, looked up, and saw one star, appearing like a heart beaming down at my heart.
Upon getting myself together, I went up to the office and found Lost Resort’s owner, who was somewhat befuddled that anyone would be up and about at such an early hour. There were, actually, about six of us wandering about. He took my payment, excused himself and I also moved along, to photograph my surroundings. Below is Lake Ozette itself.
I was glad to find, open for business, the Warmhouse, upon arriving in Neah Bay. The Makah people mean it, when they say “Welcome”. Of course, there is a $10 fee for using the trails, but it’s good for a year.
After biscuits and gravy, coffee and a bit of conversation with some of the Makah and a pair of motorcyclists from Idaho, I went on towards Cape Flattery, the northwestern-most point in the contiguous 48 states.
First, though, a stop was in order at Fort Nunez Gaona DIAH Veterans Park. This spot pays homage to the brief occupation of the area by the Spanish in the 1760’s (thus, the name Juan de Fuca being attached to the strait just north of here, as well as the San Juan Islands, at the north end of Puget Sound.). It also lists the names of every Neah Bay resident who has served in the nation’s military, living or dead. “Diah” is the original Makah spelling of Neah Bay. Below is a view of Neah Bay itself.
Those with several days to spend here may hike down past Hobuck Beach, to Shi-shi Beach and the old settlement of Ozette (U’cit, in Makah), which was the original home of the Makah people, west of the present-day lake of the same name. Neah Bay was the U. S. Government’s established reservation site for the Makah. Ozette gives me a reason to return, someday. Cape Flattery Trail is largely planked, making the area easily accessible to many who would otherwise have difficulty. It is a 3/4 mile journey, each way.
Port Angeles is a major hub for the Straits Coast. Here, one may take a ferry to Victoria, BC.
Here, people come from all over the northwestern corner of Washington to meet their supply needs. Here, one may swim in the Strait. I visited Feiro Marine Life Center, and met the resident octopus, among other tenants.
So went another full day, on yet another block. 🙂