For Memorial Day weekend/our three-year wedding anniversary, we planned a short trip to Port Angeles/the Olympic Peninsula, mostly to visit Olympic National Park (our sixth national park together, and third in the past year!). It was sunny and warm the whole time and we got to see and do a lot. On the drive up, we stopped outside Brinnon to do the Ranger Hole trail with Cody and see the beautiful Duckabush River. We made a few more stops before reaching our Airbnb in Port Angeles, at antique stores and to see Fred the Brinnon Sea Creature and the World’s Largest Clam Pile. We had lunch at nextdoor in Port Angeles (super good) and then went to see Madison Creek Falls. We thought we’d do a trail by Lake Crescent that evening, but there were so many people around that we ended up driving a bit further to do the Sol Duc Falls trail.
In the morning, we got donuts at Cock-a-Doodle and then drove up to Hurricane Ridge to see some mountainous views – this park seriously has everything. Then we did a little dog-friendly trail along Peabody Creek since we knew it would be a while before Cody could get out and walk with us. We drove to Forks, drove to First Beach at La Push, then went to Second Beach and did some hiking around. For lunch, we went back to First Beach for River’s Edge, where we got to watch bald eagles fighting over fish scraps while we ate delicious salmon sandwiches. Next stop was my favorite, Ruby Beach. We spent quite a while there before driving into the Hoh Rainforest and doing the Spruce Nature Trail. While we were driving out of the parking lot, Nat noticed a little bird flailing around on the road and we turned around to move it off to the side (it had likely just had a collision with a car and was about to die). We pulled off next to a little stream, and I saw a river otter! Just swimming around for a while, right next to the road. It was so cool! I had never seen one outside of captivity before.
I have to give credit to the book Best Easy Day Hikes, Olympic National Park. For two people who don’t love “hiking” (read: elevation gain) and prefer more “nature walks,” and who have a dog, not allowed in most places in national parks and can only stay inside a car in the heat for a short amount of time, these kinds of books I check out from the library are great resources!