Here’s another look at Port Ludlow: Boaters Guide – Port Ludlow Marina A little bigger RV and would settle here longer; visit lakes and beaches, eat in the restaurant, take a cruise, just a little more room I think but not too much. Do they have boat tours / rentals that allow dogs on board? 

Western Hemlock

Western Hemlock:  sorry photos aren’t better, wonderful trees in WA.

Big Leaf Maple

Big Leaf Maple

101 to Gig Harbor is about 2 1/5 hrs from Port Ludlow if you drive without stopping which I rarely do. I have to stop at little marinas and grassy parks just to see what’s there. Found a cutoff, Olympic National Park leading to Seal Rock Campground; a few spots were edged on the interior road so you’d be overlooking Dabob Bay, picnic bench and campfire tucked behind in the trees. These sites were for small RVs, under 21 feet. I saw larger rigs crammed in these spaces, couldn’t blame them it was so pretty!

Note…. Need to get Mason waterproof boots so he can do these rocky beaches with me and the Lagotti.
One can harvest oysters in season. The closest town  is Quilcene.

20160615_172919a

Roadside stop

Am so happy to find the Pacific Northwest is stunning, you can’t go wrong esp when away from the crowds. 20 of the 40 largest continental rivers are here spread out from Northern California to Southern Alaska.  There are volcanoes:  Mount Shasta, Mount Hood, Mount Saint Helens, Rainier and Mount Garibaldi. Untold numbers of lakes, forests, rainforests, wildlife and did I mention the fruit and produce as well as the fish and seafood? It was cherry season along with fresh corn, apples, early peaches. The cherries were so good I found myself staring hard at them as if they were out of Snow White and were really poison apples, irresistible, red, red and white. Wow, this was how fruit tasted in my memories, rich, sweet, flavorful! The corn was amazing, really I had to keep looking at the food as I enjoyed it, I’ll never be used to tasteless (and expensive) produce where I live, pretty on the outside, empty inside; it’s been so long since I’d had these flavors I’d almost forgotten.

20160615_173142

20160616_114552

20160615_171556

 

The nearest RV campground to town center Gig Harbor was not particularly scenic but it was time for laundry and grocery shopping. I was again fortunate landing 1 of the 2 or 3 empty spots, it was the closest spot to the laundry which was good since I had a ton of it, with a large grassy area and away from any noise. You’d think laundry would not be confusing however it was very confusing. The machine kept indicating to add more quarters but if you do so, as I did, your clothes stay soaking wet at the end of the cycle and you have to start over. Something about an extra-large load staying wet unless it was actually extra-large, my load was extra-large with all the bedding and rugs. The time was whacked too, these machines had secrets, the regulars had to save me. Many of the campers were long-term, I heard the tales and woes of their lifestyles, how they arrived and how they’d be staying unless some future brought them a different fortune. One woman in particular said the only way she could leave was if she met a nice man with a truck; she’d divorced and her share was a beautiful 5th wheel and enough money to pay rent but no truck.He husband had been abusive, the kind that hit women. The laundry was expensive and took forever, it was done late and I wanted to get groceries before the natural food store closed. It was an odd store amazing produce and tons of unknown and decadent chocolate desserts, a small meat/fish counter and lots of beer, later I went to Safeway.  Late parking at the Downtown Harbor area was a breeze, everyone was leaving for the day,  so the dogs and I went for a long walk in the soft drizzle enjoying the scenic views.

20160616_194254

Gig Harbor Washington

20160616_194658a

Gig Harbor. Clams and Oysters?

20160616_195132a

Gig Harbor

I stayed in town a few days exploring the dog park and the beaches; traffic was intense. Read an article stating the numbers of vehicles had more than tripled the last decade. More residential areas, more shopping developments and a variant of roundabouts that were too small caused congestion everywhere.  I secretly ached to get in there and straighten out the transportation for this city. However I know how it goes, innovation in city planning is rarely appreciated in favor of the traditional. As an old boss of mine used to say when I suggested that if we had to put in parking meters (that really were not necessary) we at least put in a modern system allowing  payment by cell phone with a system that charged for time used with a variable fee depending on congestion and length of stay  (this not to punish parking but to increase turnover/availability as needed.) His response was a traditional plunk the quarter in the slot meter (and a quarter would buy 10 min or so) was the correct solution because that’s what had always been done, never mind that it wouldn’t work; those meters suffer constant tampering, breakdowns, collection problems, animosity and tend to waste valuable parking real estate…and so on… and who carries around rolls of quarters other than campers needing showers or laundry!

20160617_110757

Went for a nice walk across the street from the off leash dog park, very scenic, lots of dogs. Finding the off leash dog park was a nightmare even though it was nearby…  really really bad signage which I found to be the norm in pacific coastal Washington. Often streets which one is led to by direction or GPS are marked dead end, do not enter, turn into rough dirt and gravel and one has to guess, is that it??? Lots of times I gave up since it was not possible to safely park and check it out, didn’t want to risk needing a tow . 

Clipboard03

Things seen while walking the dogs.

Clipboard05a

So many flowers, only captured a few.

20160617_123841

Sunrise Beach Park near Gig Harbor

Sunrise Beach Park on the Colvos Passage was a place I have to tell you about but not for the reason you might think. A bit of a rough road but no problem for my little LT.  My dogs had a blast, the pups running in the water and Mason sniffing trees. On the path up from the beach I let them run in the grassy field. That was the mistake!  How was I to know that hidden in the soft spongy green stuff was a light green, very sticky stinky poop and that their happy rolling around was not simple joy but a smashing of gunk into nice curly absorbent Lagotto hair!

20160617_123245

Having fun at the beach.

20160617_124357

My Good Boy Mason, running in the grass, he did not get full of icky poop.

There I was with my two forlorn Lagotti tied to a picnic bench with my bucket, water, wads of  paper towels and my Dawn Dish soap taking up a large amount of the parking area traipsing back and forth with supplies and dumping filthy wipes. All of us with a sour face. Mason was hiding under the RV watching, he was clean! It was super Yucky! No way would I allow Jeana and Jackson, esp Jeana in my rig like that. Eventually they were tolerable, that’s when I got stuck in the worst of the traffic as my GPS sent me searching for a pet store that was not there, then all the way to the other end of town for another store I could not find!!! Was about to give up when suddenly there was a big old PetCo not listed on Garmin or Cellphone. The clerk never heard of a product to spray on a dog to disinfect it, Nature’s Miracle makes it. Good grief, was Washington a separate island unto itself! When we returned to our campsite I sprayed them thoroughly with camp water, it was cold, to remove the Dawn dish soap and bam, Jeana’s tail went limp. I was real nice to her after that trying to cheer her up, her tail was very sore. Walked and walked to get them dry, then I left them to use the restroom; they spilled all their water on the carpets and went on a barking spree…. no, no no. I came out to yell at them and normally I don’t yell at them, I could hear them from afar. Jeana was on the dashboard having clawed away the front curtain, part of the dash cover and disconnected the electronics, she fit there easier than Jackson. Yep cleaned that up and installed the sunshield, then the curtains.

20160617_172424

Jeana after several washings with her tail all worn out downtown Gig Harbor. She looks clean doesn’t she!

I was not unhappy to leave Gig Harbor, heading out extra early on Sunday morning to Tacoma and the Museum of Glass.

 

Clipboard06f

Leaving Gig Harbor very early morning. Lovely.

Advertisements