Today we are headed to the Olympic Peninsula. We drove south out of Seattle all the way around Puget Sound, and then back north to the northern edge of Washington. We are headed to Cape Flattery on the northwest tip of the state, but first…lavender!
Sequim, Washington, is known as the “Lavender Capital of North America”. That’s quite a niche claim, but somebody has to do it. Lavender farms are very popular here, so we have picked out the Purple Haze Organic Lavender Farm to visit.
Our first observation upon arriving was that the farm was not very big. We had expected lavender as far as the eye could see. But this operation was more or less like somebody had an oversized yard and decided to plant lavender.
There is a gift shop, and an ice cream shed, and it is very popular to pay a few bucks and go out into the lavender and pick your own.
The store does not take it’s name of “Purple Haze” lightly. As the title of a famous Jimi Hendrix song, there is a large Hendrix poster hanging inside. Among the items for sale was a journal bearing the inscription of “Don’t worry, be hippie” and a t-shirt that said, “If it weren’t for flashbacks, I’d have no memory at all”. This place embraces purple haze.
After a quick bite to eat in Port Angeles, we are off to Cape Flattery. The drive takes us along the northern coast of Washington. But don’t worry, because of the extremely tall and dense trees, we could not see the water for 95% of the drive. The stretch of road is windy and you can’t make great time on it. It was common for a slow driver to pull over to let faster vehicles through.
The stretch between Port Angeles and Cape Flattery is about 80 miles, and there is a strait that separates the US and Canada along this stretch. It took more research than expected, but we believe this body of water is called the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
We are visiting Cape Flattery because of where it sits. It is the northwesternmost point on the contiguous United States. While we didn’t see much traffic on the drive to Cape Flattery, the parking lot was nearly at capacity.
There is a half mile trail from the parking lot down to the cape. There are boardwalks along various points of the trail, but most of the time you have to watch your feet so you don’t trip on the stumps and roots.
The end of the trail did provide very scenic views. Especially for folks from Oklahoma. There were several lookout platforms created, but there is nothing stopping you from walking right to the edge and taking a “closer” look.
After about an hour at Cape Flattery, I needed to leave with Miles and Peyton to take them to the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal. Everybody said their goodbyes on one of the viewing platforms at Cape Flattery, and we hiked our way back up to the parking lot.
Along the drive back, the very tiny town of Clallam Bay is the biggest settlement we drive through for about 80 miles. There was a small harbor with fishing boats. Makes you want to cheer for the little guy. Your Van de Kamp’s fish sticks aren’t coming from here!
We made it to Bainbridge Island with time to stop and get dinner before Mallory’s ferry arrived. Mallory left Estonia this morning about 22 hours ago and traveled across 10 time zones to meet us in Seattle for the rest of the vacation. She has been serving at a Russian language Christian Camp in Estonia, not far from the Russian border, for the past several weeks. We are excited to see her!
We parked in public parking and Miles & Peyton rolled their suitcases down the street to the ferry terminal. As we were walking up the ramp, we could see the cars and people departing the boat. Did we miss Mallory? No, we didn’t. Because Mallory was the very single last person off the boat since she didn’t realize the boat had stopped. That’s what happens when your headphones are in, and you’re not facing the people! A janitor got her attention and suggested she exit the boat.
Mallory had wanted to do some sightseeing in Seattle after her plane landed, but turned out that all she had time to do was to visit a Starbucks Reserve, a place that Miles and Peyton had also visited during this trip. Think Starbucks, but more pretentious. Those are my words, not theirs. Actually, all three of them enjoyed it, so I’m glad they went!
It is a 90 minute drive from the ferry terminal to Port Angeles where we are staying tonight. I got to hear all about Mallory’s adventures and people she met. At one point during the conversation, Mallory asked me “Is it Monday here?”. It is easy to get confused with a travel day like she had!