Saturday, September 5, 2009

Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway

Yesterday, we drove west on Washington Highway 112, the Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway,  until we could drove no farther.  It was a drive through rural Washington almost to the northwest tip of the United States.
Joyce General Store
In this part of the state, the primary cash crop is timber.  We saw the tree farms in all stages except planting and cutting.  There were hundreds of acres of maturing trees of various ages as well as the ugly scars of recently cut sections.  Several logging trucks loaded with fresh cut logs passed us on the road.  
A Sea Stack
Privately owned land was interspersed with the hugh tree farms.  These small plots of land appeared to be small cattle farms.  There were certainly no rows of corn or fields of wheat.  The growing season is too short for those types of row crops.  Mostly, we saw perhaps one, two, or three acre lots with homes built close to the road and a small  vegetable garden to the side or in the back.  We stopped in Joyce, the first community we came to after leaving our campground.  It was a tiny thing, with the grocery and post office in the same building, a couple other business establishments, and that’s all.  Just a wide spot in the road.  We went in the General Store/Post Office.  That was fun.  It was the original building built in the early 1900s and it still has the beaded ceiling and the old wooden floor.  Many of the food cases appeared to be originals, as well.

After about 50 miles of this scenery, the road moved closer to the water and we began to have nice views of the strait.  Dotting the shoreline were small fishing villages.  The largest of these was Sekiu.  We stopped there for a cup of coffee and didn’t find much of a village.  Every available space along both sides of the road was occupied by either a boat or an RV.  Folks had turned out in force for the Labor Day weekend.
Marina at Sekiu
Close to the end of the road is the Makah Indian Reservation.  Perhaps our main objective for this trip was to visit the Makah Cultural Museum.  This museum houses the artifacts discovered in 1970 of a Ozette village which had been completely covered by a mud slide over 500 years ago.  These people lived in longhouses, made much of their clothing and household items from cedar bark, and fished the ocean.
Near Cape Flattery
The road ended at the northwestern-most unit of Olympic National Park.  At road’s end is a trail which takes the hiker or mountain biker to the shoreline.  It was getting late and my parents were not up to such a trek, so we made our turn around and headed back toward Port Angeles.

Today is a rest day.  I have some laundry to do, but the real plan is to rest.  Late this afternoon, we will wander over to Sequim in the hopes of finding something for dinner at the Three Crabs Restaurant.

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