Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Vacation, Day 2 - Astoria OR to Forks WA

Woke up this morning in Astoria, OR.  After packing up the car, getting breakfast in the hotel lobby (they only had ONE waffle maker, and a bunch of guests that didn't know how to use it), then getting gas at Safeway, we were on the road for real.  It took us a few extra minutes on the bridge to actually get into Washington (they're doing construction on the bridge), but from there on, we made good time.  We stopped in Cosmopolis at a glass studio, but the artists were out, and the apprentice on site wasn't making anything, either, so we browsed the store to be polite, but otherwise didn't spend much time.

Barrel of glass outside the studio/store

By this time, it was lunchtime, so I looked on Google Maps for a park in town, and we headed that direction.  Before unloading the picnic supplies, I needed to go to the bathroom.  I've gotta say, this might be the most disturbing bathroom I've been in, and I've used all manner of outhouses and squatty-potties.  I'd RATHER have a squatty-potty, because this toilet, while VERY low (and very small), was just high enough to make squatting literally a pain in the butt (and thighs).  There were two stalls, and this was actually the better one.  Who PAINTS toilets, and then never comes back, leaving the paint, both on the seat and in the bowl, to peel?  And seriously, it was about half the size, and half the height, of a normal toilet.  That doesn't really come through int he photo.  And water leaked from the handle when flushing.  It was just all-around awesome.

The toilet of DOOM

We ate lunch, then hit the road again, and our next stop was the Quinalt rain forest area, a little nature walk.

Devil's Club

 After that, our next stop was the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center and the Hall of Mosses trail nearby.

This was a little creek, plants floating "up" (in the photo), mosses hanging down above the creek.

Yep, another "panorama" of multiple photos stitched together.  Couldn't really crop out the ragged edges of this one.

After leaving the national park, we stopped on the way back for a few caches, including the one below.  If you're a cacher who might ever find yourself in the Hoh River Valley and don't want to be spoiled, quit reading now.  If you're curious, read on.

The hint did give away that the cache container was made to look like part of the structure, so I was expecting a fake bolt (they make those, plus people make their own), but it was actually more clever than that.  While I was looking for odd bolts that didn't belong, Nathan discovered it:

Do you see the cache?

It's right there.

 Yup.  :-)

How clever is that?  The angled piece of wood slides onto a nail to keep it in place and slightly off the ground.

Anyway, we found a couple caches along that road, then headed into Forks, ate at a place that was more bar than grill, but the food was decent, and checked into the motel.  This one had an outdoor pool, but the water was plenty warm.  It was just a bit chilly getting OUT of the pool, though.  It was nice to have an earlier night getting settled into the room--it gave me time to process more photos, etc.  It's now actually Tuesday morning, but now I'm caught up on photos and blogging, and we can hit the road with a clean slate.  :-)

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