Port Townsend and La Push, Washington State

We left Evil Freak Park early morning and drove North (perversely) to Port Townsend. Aptly named, Port Townsend is about as far North as you can get in the 48 states. It is a city that once had aspirations to be the logging centre of USA; back in the day the prevailing winds meant that it was difficult to sail around it. The early settlers planned to set up a big port, with railroad access to transport timber south - rivalling Seattle.

Unfortunately, powered ships arrived, the railroad didn't, and Port Townsend was left much as it is today.

Of course, it's a bit more oriented to the tourist trade now. We found this little 'soda fountain', and had ice cream and shakes;

Nice. I like.

After a couple of hours looking around and meeting a few friendly locals (damn, they're all friendly - I'm kind of looking forward to the next time we come across a rude waitress or shop assistant. Might have to wait until we get back to Europe), we continued into the Olympic National Park. Tight windy roads, but I'm getting used to the monster - haven't hit anything yet. It manages about 6 mpg ! And ticks along at a max of 2500 revs. Sounds like a tortured tank (I would say drives like one too, but it drives more like an oil tanker).

Anyway. Beautiful drive West. We stopped a few times, especially by Lake Crescent:

After a few hours driving we passed through Forks, and left the US101 to head to the coast, and La Push; the Indian Reservation of the Quileute (Spelt something like that; sounds like kwil-low)

It has to be said that La Push is a slightly dejected looking Indian fishing village. Nevertheless it has a special charm. The weather is strange here. Even though it's 30+ degC everywhere else, the rolling banks of Pacific fog make it about 15 deg C here. Anyway; we like it, and will stay tonight as well. This afternoon we will head a few miles up the road to the Hoh Rainforest; one of the world's few temperate rainforests. More about that later.

La Push:

And some pictures of the beach and our site:

I even made friends with a few of the locals (I hesitate to say natives) this morning. I saw the sign below, and thought that it might be my first indication of a lack of openness/friendliness in this country. I saw some guys outside, and asked them if I could take some pictures. Of course, they were only extremely polite and friendly...

Oh well, mustn't complain. Several people have already told us that all changes South of SF !

Tell you about the Hoh Chi Minh Trail later. I am also putting together a special collection of stupid signs (particularly road signs). They seem to specialise in them here! I saw one yesterday while I was driving around Lake Crescent (so no photo) that said:

"Bicyclists !
Important Notice.
Please read bicyclists notice in 1/4 mile."


Just as a start, here's this one from Port Townsend at a road construction site: