Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I spent 11 days in the great northwest visiting my family last week. I'd promised my 83-year-old mother an 'adventure'--she just recently put my 91-year-old father in a nursing home after caring for him mostly by herself for the past 5 years or so. His mobility and health issues worsened, so she had to make this difficult decision. But now that she wasn't tied down, she needed a long overdue vacation.

So I planned a 4-day road trip around the Olympic Penninsula of Washington, a place I'd never been and my mom hadn't been in more than a decade. I figured (and rightly so as it turned out) that it would be scenic and far enough away from her usual routine that it would be a real adventure.

We rented a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was the perfect vehicle for a trip like this. It seats you high, is comfy for long drives, has 4x4 for dirt and gravel roads, and got fantastic gas mileage.

Our first day was spent driving from Bothell to Lake Quinault. With a couple of pit stops, it took us about 4 hours. We stayed at a cabin with a lake view at the Rain Forest Resort Village. It was very pleasant, clean, and the beds were super-comfy.

When we arrived it had gotten quite warm--about 85-degrees. We checked in, unloaded, and while mom rested a bit, I went down to the lake and waded for a while. The water was warmer than I thought it would be, so I stayed in for about an hour.
We ate dinner that evening at the Salmon House Restaurant across the street. Had flank steak, backed potato, and steamed veggies--wow! Was it delicious! Afterwards we walked back to the cabin. It was about 7:30 pm by then, but it was still very light out because we were so far north and near the coast. Mosquitoes precluded out sitting out on the front porch, but you could hear a loud chorus of frogs singing down by the lake.
 I went to sleep that night listening to the frogs.