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Olympic National Park – Part 2

lodge Olympic National ParkAs I mentioned in Part 1 of our Olympic National Park adventure, we pulled into Kalaloch Lodge right as the sun was sinking into the horizon.  The main lodge sits on a bluff overlooking a driftwood lined beach, so it was a great place to take in that sunset.

sunset Olympic National ParkWe hurried into the lobby/gift shop/office to check in and then, before we even went to our room, we headed to dinner.  (We were hungry!)

Kalaloch Lodge gift shopTheir Creekside Restaurant offered a good variety of entrees.
Kalaloch Lodge dinner menuMy husband had their roasted chicken breast – which he said was delicious.

Kalaloch Lodge chicken dinnerI had the best fish and chips that I have EVER eaten.  No joke.
(And it wasn’t just because I was starving. 🙂 )

Kalaloch Lodge fish and chipsAnd I don’t know what happened to the photo of our son’s dinner. hmmmm.

Anyway, we were staying in one of their cabins for the night.  So after dinner we put our luggage in our room and then went to explore the beach before it got too dark.

Kalaloch Lodge cabinsBut I did take a couple of quick interior photos while I still had some light.

Kalaloch Lodge cabinWe were in one of the “Two queen bed Kalaloch cabins” which had a separate bedroom.

Kalaloch Lodge room

Kalaloch Lodge bedroomThere were picnic tables outside where you could dine with gorgeous ocean views.

Kalaloch Lodge picnic tablesDarkness set in quite quickly, so we retired to our little cabin for the evening.  The next morning we were up early for breakfast at the restaurant.  (It was included in a special package I had reserved.)  Again, all of our meals were wonderful.

Kalalock Lodge breakfastsIt was overcast and drizzling rain off and on, but we wanted to explore the beach area more.  What’s a little rain when you are in the Pacific Northwest? 🙂 So with our raincoats on, we took off down the beach.

Kalaloch Lodge adirondacks

Kalaloch Lodge steps to beachWe loved seeing all the sea stacks – sooo different from our Atlantic coasts here in the South!

near Kalaloch Lodge WAIsn’t it amazing what wind and water can do to rock?!

near Kalaloch Lodge

I believe some of these photos were taken at Ruby Beach, about 6 miles from the lodge.

Ruby Beach Olympic National Park WA

Ruby Beach Olympic National Park

We said goodbye to the beaches and then took a 1 hour drive to Hoh Rain Forest.  This was really kind of backtracking, but I could not find a place to stay that I liked that would have worked out better for our transportation (and we really wanted to check out the beaches there at Kalaloch.)

Hoh Rainforest sign WAThe park had been doing a lot of recent clean up  – including removing trees that had fallen across the trails during the winter – BIG trees! (I think my husband was in awe of their work. 🙂 )

Hoh Rainforest trees

 The moss in the forest at Hoh was absolutely amazing!  The area gets between 140 and 170 inches of rain annually, so you can understand how moss just covers everything that doesn’t move.

Hoh Rainforest

Hoh Rain Forest pond

Doesn’t it look like this would be the perfect place to film a scary movie?
Hoh Rain Forest moss

It was raining pretty hard at that point, so again we hopped back in the car. We had a drive of an hour and a half to make, and this is where we were really backtracking. In fact, we had to pass Kalaloch Lodge in order to get to our next destination – Lake Quinault Lodge.

Lake Quinault Lodge frontI loved its old shingled exterior. 🙂

Lake Quinault Lodge side viewIsn’t it beautiful?!

Lake Quinault Lodge lake side

 And this is the view from the deck (the next morning.)

Lake Quinault Lodge lakeBuilt in 1926, Lake Quinault’s lobby certainly had the feel of one of the great old lodges from the turn of the century.  It was designed by Robert Reamer who also designed Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn.

Lake Quinault Lodge lobbyIt was very cozy by the fire with the drizzling rain outside.

Lake Quinault Lodge fireplaceAmazingly, Lake Quinault Lodge was built in only 53 days – yes 53 days!  This gallery of photos from the far wall shows the progress of the construction.

Lake Quinault Lodge construction photosWe did not stay in the main lodge.  Our room was in the Lakeside Building – apparently an old structure that was updated back in 2007 (and the rooms look dated to me.)

Lake Quinault Lodge lakeside builtingIt was not luxurious by any means, but it was clean and comfortable, and I liked the old black and white photos on the wall.

Lake Quinault Lodge lakeside roomAnd even better, it had a fabulous view of the lake (with a teeny-tiny patio right outside our sliding glass doors.)  I just wish it had not been raining, because I know that lake view would have really been something.

Lake Quinault Lodge lakeside room viewI relaxed with a good book for the afternoon, while my husband and son did a hike in the rain.  That evening we walked back to the main lodge for dinner past this building – The Boathouse.  If we return to Lake Quinault in the future, I would love to stay there.  Its accommodations are not a lot different from those in the Lakeside building, but they do have a dining area in each room.  (You can see the Boathouse rooms here.)

Lake Quinault Lodge boathouseA loooooong canoe hangs in the hallway right outside the Lodge’s Roosevelt Restaurant.  (Yes, President Roosevelt dined there – a few months before he signed the bill that created Olympic National Park.)

Lake Quinault Lodge hallwayThis part of the dining room overlooks the lake.

Lake Quinault Lodge dining room

Lake Quinault Lodge shingled dining roomAnd this side does not have quite the view that the other side has.

Lake Quinault Lodge non lakeside diningWe were lucky enough to be seated on the lake side at both dinner and breakfast. 🙂
You just can’t beat that water view.

Lake Quinault lodge table with viewOur dinner meals were tasty, but I will say that all the dining in the Olympic National Park was expensive – especially at Lake Quinault Lodge. (They kind of have a monopoly with very few choices in the area.)  Our son loved his pot roast, (the top right photo) but I’m not sure it was worth the $34 price tag.  I had fish and chips again, and while good, the fish was not as wonderful as that at Kalaloch.  And yes we had a warm chocolate dessert that was lick-your-plate-delicious. 🙂

Lake Quinault Lodge dinnerBreakfast the next morning was well worth the money (and not nearly as expensive.)

Lake Quinault Lodge breakfasts

 After breakfast we hit the road again – venturing out of the national park to a location that I had been dying to see – a place very different from all the old lodges.  But that is for the next post.  (I promise you’re going to love it! )  And I will give you a sneak peek so you won’t think I am a total meanie. 🙂

architecture coast of Washington

I can’t wait for you to see the photos I took there.  (I only took like…300. 😉 )

A couple of weeks ago, our younger son made a trip to visit his older brother there in Seattle.  They took off for a hike or two, again in the Olympic National Park.  And where did they end up for dinner?

Why, at Lake Quinault Lodge. 🙂

But this time, it was sunny.  Our older son sent me a couple of photos so that we can see how lovely it looks when the weather is beautiful.


Lake Quinault LodgeLake Quinault dockLake Quinault

Much better, don’t you agree?


Thank you once again for following along with us on this adventure.  I can’t wait for you to see the cute cute village in the upcoming posts!

Until next time…

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kathy - July 6, 2016 - 9:11 am

Kelly, I didn’t know I would love this area and these posts so much. I feel like these places would be perfect movie sets! For some reason I couldn’t leave a comment on the last post but it was my favorite! Beautiful!!!

Bonnie A - July 1, 2016 - 9:25 am

Your attention to detail in planning your wonderful trips is not surprising–it is part of who you are, and how you do everything you do. I’m thoroughly enjoying being able to enjoy the places that you visit!!
What a super sweet compliment Bonnie. Thank you so much! I am glad you are enjoying following along with our travels. 🙂
Much more to come!

Gina - June 30, 2016 - 1:31 pm

What beautiful photos of your trip! Such a beautiful place, even on a rainy day. How spectacular to see the sea stacks (never knew that was the name 😉 ) in person! The mossy forest was so interesting. Eerie almost. The lodges were charming in a rustic way. The food looked delicious too!! I feel like I experienced the whole trip. 😉 And yes, what a difference the sun makes!! I just revisited your Western NC posts since we’re making a little day trip down there tomorrow. 🙂
Hi Gina! Glad you liked all the photos from the day in the national park. The Ho Rainforest WAS eerie! I would not want to get lost in there alone! I hope you enjoyed your trip to Western NC. My husband just returned from a mission trip in that area a week ago. Hope it did not rain on you for your trip.
It is such a beautiful place!

Barbara Livdahl - June 29, 2016 - 11:07 pm

I’m hoping your sneak peak is of Seabrook, one of our favorite beach places. In fact, we are headed there in September with our sons/families to celebrate our grandson’s 13th birthday!
You lucky girl! Seabrook is a perfect little town!! I would move there if we could. 🙂

Linda Ishmael - June 29, 2016 - 10:30 pm

How fitting to visit a national park on their 100th birthday!!! Thank you for sharing this trip another part of the US I’d like to visit. This forest was quite beautiful as well as unusual with all the moss. Loved the lodges and cabins!! But I can’t wait to see what comes next!!!
The very first day of the national park part of the trip was the day they offered free admission to all national parks in honor of the 100th birthday. It was kind of funny because our son has an annual pass, and he didn’t even get to use it. 🙂 I’m happy you have found the places in the posts appealing Linda. Stay tuned for the next post. It’s about a super cute place with great architecture!

Louvina - June 29, 2016 - 8:16 pm

I have been following all your adventures but for some reason my replies have not been flying?! I’m not sure why– I may be doing something wrong? But I have soo been enjoying every picture and comment and have looked back many times and each time find some more interesting things. The scenery out there is so different than anything I have ever seen– the beaches with all the wood and the rocks plus the mosses are beautiful. I hope this reply makes it to GA! 😊
Well this one made it all the way to GA, but I have no idea why your others haven’t come through…very strange! I’m so sorry for that Louvina. Hopefully, it won’t happen again. But I’m glad you have been enjoying the travel posts, and you are so right about the scenery being quite different from what we see here in the South. It was gorgeous!

Peggy - June 29, 2016 - 7:43 pm

Saw this in my email and thought I would open for a fast peek. Oh what a deceiving idea that was! The beach scenery really speaks to my heart but I love those algae covered forests. Those trees are so impressive. The Lake Quinault Lodge was awe inspiring especially being built in 53 days.
This post was waaaaay too long for just a quick peek. Sorry Peggy. The beach is hard for many of us to resist. That 53 day construction time was amazing; wasn’t it? I doubt there are many that can pull that off even today with better tools!

Donnamae - June 29, 2016 - 6:09 pm

This is another great trip! And the food…looks delicious! If I keep reading your blog…I hope I don’t gain any weight! Hehe! And the pics from your son…..beautiful! 😉
Oh dear! I don’t think you can put on weight from reading the posts, but if they make you go grab a snack, then you can blame me. 🙂
Thank you for all your kind compliments Donnamae.

Garden, Home and Party - June 29, 2016 - 3:41 pm

Both lodges look inviting from the outside. The menu you shared from the first lodge seemed expensive, with the 2nd lodge being as pricey, if not more. Oh well, I guess you only do this tour once!
It does look lovely on the sunny days your 2 sons recently enjoyed.
I love the looks of the quaint village you’re planning to share with us next time!
Yes, both lodges did look good from the outside. The interiors though, were not quite “interior designer” quality, were they?! But remember this is a national park, so I knew going in what we would be getting. Bainbridge Island was for me. Olympic National Park was for the guys. The upcoming village was for me, and there is a place after it that was for the guys. We have to do some give and take when we all travel together. 🙂
The food was a big budget item, but you are right. It was a once in a life time adventure.
I’m glad our sons got to enjoy the place with good weather. I would bet that a sunny day in the fall there would also be beautiful.
You are going to love this next place. I would love to live there! (If we had to move to Washington, this is where I would go. 🙂 )

lani - June 29, 2016 - 3:09 pm

We camped at the Park in our 1950’s vintage travel trailer last fall and I am appreciating the opportunity to relive it through your wonderful photos.. I agree, Lake Crescent was my favorite as well. We purchased beverages from their bar and sat along the shore of the lake in a couple of their adirondack chairs and soaked in the beauty. . I hope you got to see the Elwha river restoration project. The removal of the two damns and now the restoration is fascinating. Thank you for sharing. Lani
How fun! We have been discussing the possibility of a travel trailer, but I am such a backseat driver I don’t want anything we have to pull behind a vehicle…thinking about the kind that sits on the truck bed with the sleeping area over the cab instead. We’ll see. I would hate to miss out on beautiful inns too, but I do like the idea of having our “own place” to sleep in.
Another vote for Lake Crescent Lodge! I am so glad you got to enjoy its peacefulness. We definitely want to return there. I am afraid we did not see the river restoration project. I know that would have been interesting.
Thank you for taking the time to read the posts and comment Lani. 🙂

Gail Berkebile - June 29, 2016 - 2:44 pm

Kelly: I am absolutely loving this trip you are on! How beautiful..all of it! From the scenery to the lodges to the food! Thank you so much!!!! Makes me want to take a trip to the awesome northwest, where I never thought I would. You should work for the tourism council!
Gosh thank you so much for your sweet comments Gail! It was a very beautiful place to visit, and I can understand why our son likes living there. I hope you get to see and enjoy it all one day.

Dawn - June 29, 2016 - 2:25 pm


That lodge looks so amazing when it is sunny! What a difference the weather can make. You guys really know how to pack it all in when you go on a trip. The sights, hikes and food all look amazing. Thanks for sharing it all with us. I can’t wait to see what is next.

Yes, it does make all the difference Dawn! I wish we could have seen it in good weather too. Thanks for following along on the trip, and I can’t wait for you to see the next place we go. 🙂

Olympic National Park – Part 1


Goodbye to Bainbridge Island, and now on to Washington’s Olympic National Park, the favorite of my husband and our son.  This travel day was amazing to me because of the variety of geography we enjoyed in a period of less than 24 hours.  We began our day here at Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge.

Dungeness National Wildlife Area WashingtonDungeness is a sand spit that juts 5 1/2 miles out into the water, the longest spit in the United States.

Dungeness National Wildlife Area Olympic National ParkDue to a tight driving schedule for the day, we did not walk its entirety that morning, but if we had, we would have arrived at New Dungeness Light.  You can tour it if you hike the spit to get there, or even better, you can stay there with your family or a small group of friends for a week to actually be the lighthouse keepers. (The week before Christmas is the only availability left for this year.) I’ve always thought that would be something fun and interesting to do.

New Dungeness Lighthouse Washingtonsource

We left the Dungeness area after hiking about half its distance and drove for a little over an hour.
This was our next view…

Olympic National Park WAWelcome to Hurricane Ridge!
(And yes, there was an avalanche hazard for the day.)

olympic national park hurricane ridgeRemember how I was wanting snow last winter and never saw any?
Well Hurricane Ridge gave me my snow. 🙂

snow at Hurricane Ridge WAGorgeous snow all around!

road with snow Hurricane RidgeAfter exploring that area, we hopped back in the car, drove a little over an hour again to arrive here.
Hello beautiful Lake Crescent. 🙂

Lake CrescentThis was my favorite stop in Olympic National Park.

Lake Crescent LodgeUnfortunately we were one week away from their opening for the summer season. 🙁

Lake Crescent Lodge cabinsBut when we return, I hope we will stay in one of these cozy cabins.

cabins Lake Crescent Lodge

It was just so peaceful there.  (But I imagine when it is open, it is quite busy and probably not quite as peaceful.)

Lake Crescent Lodge Olympic National ParkI took this photo looking through one of their sunroom windows.
Wicker Heaven, just waiting to be put out!

wicker at Lake Crescent LodgeWhen it is open, this is what the sunroom looks like.

Lake Crescent Lodge sunroomsource

We walked all around their beach area on that sunny day.

Lake Crescent Olympic National Park

And then it was time for another hour or so drive.
This was the view out the window this time.

Olympic National ParkSoon we passed these cute ranger stations.

ranger station Sole DuckAnd stopped here for a hike.

trail sign SoleduckThese are the Soleduck Falls.  This photograph does not do them justice because it is hard to capture their magnitude.  To put it in perspective, that “pole” going across the water at the bottom is actually a very large tree trunk, and if you look near the top of the photo you can see a man standing on one of the rocks there.

Soleduck Falls Olympic National ParkThe area also has a lodge with hot springs and cabins.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Olympic National Parksource

But we did not stay there.  Instead we once again hopped back in the car after our hike, drove another period of a little more than an hour and arrived at the Pacific Ocean right at sunset.

sunset Olympic National Park

 This is where we stayed for the night.

lodge Olympic National ParkAnd I’ll tell you all about it in the next post.  🙂

Olympic National Park is huge, and its variety of terrain is simply wonderful.  It was amazing to me that we could experience the longest sand spit in the United Stated, snow on top of mountains, a gorgeous peaceful lake, a raging river, cascading waterfalls, and a beach at the Pacific Ocean all in a matter of one day.  Thank you so much for following along with us on this adventure.  I’ll have two beautiful lodges for you to explore coming up.

Until next time….

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Irene Harrison - June 29, 2016 - 2:18 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all these breathtaking pictures! Thanks for taking the time to share them with us.
Thank you Irene! I’m so glad you are enjoying the travel posts.

Susie in MO - June 27, 2016 - 6:16 pm

Hi Kelly! I JUST got back from the PNW yesterday – was in Bellevue for a conference! It’s very weird to be a visitor in your own home – took some great pictures of the few remaining places in town I recognized. If you haven’t had dinner at The Beach House in Kirkland, make sure to add it to your stops. Back to heat and humidity today – what a change. Looks as if you and your “boys” had a superb visit.
Aw you could have gone by to visit our son, Susie! That would be so strange to be at a conference in your own home town. We have not been to The Beach House, but I will pass your recommendation along to our son who I know will be more than happy to check it out. 🙂 Hope we can too on our next visit.
Yes, the humidity is in full force here. Who needs a sauna when Mother Nature provides one the instant you walk outside? Thank goodness for air conditioning!

Alice - June 27, 2016 - 8:38 am

hi Kelly! I just found your blog and I really love it! You’ve visited places I hope to see one day and I’m enjoying reading through all the posts and looking at the pics. 🙂 Washington is just beautiful.
Thank you Alice! I am so glad you found your way over to the blog. Washington is a beautiful state, and I do hope you get to visit it one day. There is so much to see there (and so many good places to eat as well! 🙂 )

Peggy - June 26, 2016 - 11:45 am

How beautiful! We spent some time in Oregon traveling the coast. I would love to go to Washington. What awesome scenery! Can’t wait to see the lodges.
I wish we could have spent more time in Oregon. That will be for our next trip out there. I hope you get to see Washington on your next trip Peggy. 🙂
Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it!

Frances in England - June 25, 2016 - 5:55 am

Thank you so much for taking us on your trip. I so wish we were doing another trip Stateside in the near future, but it is not on the cards for the moment. However, your photos and words help a great deal, allowing me to feel I am getting to explore, albeit vicariously!
Well thank you for coming along Frances! I hope you get to make another trip here in the near future. There is so much to see and explore!

Rosemary - June 25, 2016 - 2:14 am

Hi a Kelly, must be half asleep this morning as I ended up putting my comment on an earlier post instead of here, not sure how that happened!! Anyway …
What a beautiful and interesting drive Kelly, So many variations of scenery all in one day. It made me think of a day we spent, a few years ago,that started with us wearing t shirts in a sunny San Francisco, driving through the Napa Valley …still warm and sunny! Then along a very icy, snow lined road up to Lake Tahoe, where there was so much snow! My children were all quite young and promptly lay down in the snow to make “snow angels” 🙂 Such a memorable day …as I’m sure yours was. Keep having fun and enjoying your travels!
No worries Rosemary. I took it off the other one. 🙂 Your day sounds just like ours with the variety of landscapes. It certainly made for a fun day, didn’t it? One of those we will remember forever!

julia walker - June 24, 2016 - 9:43 pm

Hi Kelly! I felt many emotions throughout your tour but your photo of the sunset on the ocean literally took my breath away! Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. Your friend in Cincy, Julia
Thank you so much Julia. That was one beautiful sunset. We had driven all day, and it was such a thrill to finally be at the Pacific Ocean at the end of it.

Tricia - June 24, 2016 - 7:04 pm

Hi Kelly! What a wonderful day you must have had. It’s funny to see the snow banks and your son in shorts! Love the little cottages, so cute. Having never been to the west coast it’s nice to share in your adventure. Thank you!
Yes, the shorts were not quite the appropriate things for that deep snow! But then we did start the day with warm weather…who would have dreamed we would have seen over 10 feet of snow after we left?! Crazy! Thank you for reading and commenting Tricia. 🙂

Barbara Livdahl - June 24, 2016 - 2:19 pm

I am so happy you enjoyed the park! We have enjoyed many times there with family in all our years here in WA.
You are lucky to be able to take advantage of it so frequently Barbara. Beautiful area!

Gina - June 24, 2016 - 1:28 pm

What a beautiful place to visit and explore!! That snow!! Wow, I couldn’t believe how deep! I loved the little cabins too and the wicker. What an inviting spot that must be when it is open. 🙂 The sunset was stunning too. Thanks for letting us tag along another trip!! 😀
That snow was unbelievable!! I have never been where it was that deep. Glad you liked all the cabins and the wicker too Gina. And thank you for following along with our trip. 🙂 More to come.

Garden, Home and Party - June 24, 2016 - 12:25 pm

What a beautiful park. I will have to add that to the list of places in the Pacific Northwest that I’d like to visit. The place you stayed looks wonderful, can’t wait to take the tour.
Your son looks very young. Is he attending college in Washington?
Lake Crescent Lodge was definitely my favorite of all the national park places. Plan your trip when they are open. How funny you should say that about our son. No, I’m afraid he is not college age. In fact, he has been out of college for about 6 years and he works for a tech company in Bellevue. (But he should be happy to read that he looks young. 🙂 )

Vel Smith - June 24, 2016 - 12:13 pm

I’m enjoying your pieces on our beautiful state. I live in Western Washington and love these same places. Despite my 70+ years, I feel that joy of discovery like the first time. You and your blog are delightful!
Thank you for such a sweet comment Vel! I am so happy that you are enjoying all the posts on your part of the state. You live in a wonderful wonderful area!!

Milli McDonald - June 24, 2016 - 11:19 am

Yes! The Olympic National Park is gorgeous! We stayed in one of those cabins at Crescent Lake. It was pretty peaceful. The lodge is like going into another era. It feels as though the ladies should be in long skirts and wide brimmed hats and the men suited as to the era. Beautiful photos Kelly.
Lucky you Milli!! Crescent Lake looked like the perfect place to relax. It definitely does look like you are stepping back in time to a simpler place.
I hope we make it back there one day.

Dawn - June 24, 2016 - 10:58 am


Your day trip was full of adventure and lots of different landscapes. It all looks like so much fun and interesting. It would have been so hard to not walk out that sand spit to the light house. Thanks again for sharing! Take care. I can’t wait to see where you take us next.
I too would have loved to have seen that light house up close, and if it had only been the 5.5 miles we would have done it. But it was 5.5 miles to get there, and the same 5.5 back. We unfortunately did not have that kind of time for it that day. Hopefully we can fit it in on another trip to the area.
There were so many wonderful things to see in the Olympic National Park – too many to fit them all in!

Sandy in FWB - June 24, 2016 - 9:44 am

I am enjoying my vicarious trip to the PNW. Love it when you share your travels.
I’m so glad you are! Thank you for following along Sandy!

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