The Journey is the Objective

August 22, 2018

My first full day in Quinault was probably going to be my last.  Wilder Honda in Port Angeles is expecting to have Ellie fixed up by tomorrow so I wanted to spend the day hiking through the forests that border Lake Quinault.

I made morning coffee, then stopped by the Ranger Station to nail down a hiking plan.  I walked next door to the Quinault Lodge, hoping to get a beer before starting my hike.  It wasn't open because it wasn't even 11 AM.

I returned to my campsite to get my backpack with a granola bar, bear spray, rain shell, sweater, and first aid kit.  I also brought half a Nalgene bottle of sweet tea.

The Quinault Loop Trail anchor...

August 19, 2018

I woke up early, but this morning I didn't go back to sleep after my morning walk.  I was moving to Falls Creek near Lake Quinault for the next three days.

Lake Quinalut is on the south end of Olympic National Park, about 4 hours away.  I made reservations months ago on but considered canceling while Ellie was still out of commission with a broken rear axle.  I decided to make the drive to Quinault in Ansel. I wasn't doing Ellie any good in Port Angeles anyway.

I got my tent packed, hammock stuffed, and the campsite tidied.  After organizing my things in Ansel, I was back on the road.

For Lake Quinault,...

August 18, 2018

I was driving through Port Angeles on US Highway 101 and noticed a fenced area with several Vanagon Westfalias on display.  There must have been 6 or 7, all with their pop-tops raised. 

I pulled in and asked a girl in the office if I could have look around.   She gave me the okay, and I spent the next 30 minutes checking out their Westies.

The small lot was packed tightly, with just enough room between each vehicle to walk through.  I've definitely never seen that many Vanagon Westfalias in one place. Westies made up almost half their inventory!

I just love these vehicles, particularly the vie...

August 18, 2018

I woke up and took a short walk, then passed on breakfast in favor of getting into Port Angeles to get the repairs moving forward.

There had been road closures on the two-lane road into Port Angeles, but the roads were open and I made it to the dealership a few minutes early.  Ellie was already outside and the service department garage door were open for business.

Mariah wasn't there so I talked to her co-worker and got the options.  It was the driver's side rear CV axel that failed. Replacing it with Honda Parts would be twelve-hundred bucks.  An aftermarket part was available for half of that, installed.  So, I went with the aftermarket op...

August 17, 2018

After three days in North Cascade National Park, it was time to move on.  I could have done more, but I felt well-rested and ready for the next phase of my adventure.

I left through the west side of The Park on State Route-20, passing through the towns of Marblemount and Concrete.  There were several little restaurants that looked quaint and inviting.  I didn't stop because there was some uncertainty a few hours down the road.

I continued through Sedro-Woolley and Burlington, following SR-20 south from Hidalgo Island toward Oak Harbor.

As I continued south, Deception Pass took me completely by surprise.  I snapped a picture as the bridge...

August 12, 2018

I landed in Boise just after midnight.  Suffice it to say, the flight had plenty of drama.  Paul, 46 from Boise, had a heart attack on the plane and was brought into first class to be worked on by two passengers conscripted into action; a doctor in first class and an ex-law-enforcement officer from coach.

When we landed in Boise, the paramedics came onboard to take over.  With the patient off the plane and in good hands, it was time to get on with it.  

I found Ellie in the parking garage with the MiniTrail still on the back, just like I left them. I was a little concerned about the MiniTrail, so seeing them both was a bit of...

August 5, 2018

I stopped for the night near Montrose because I wanted to check out Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Within a few hours I was on the road and headed for Grand Junction.  

I found a cool lot (in Montrose, I think), filled with old rusty cars.  I was intrigued so I stopped to have a closer look.  I keep an open mind when it comes to taking photos in a situation like this.  I'm just open for a story or a pattern.  On this day, the retro-style of old automobile badges and logos stood out to me.

I took Interstate 70 west from Grand Junction toward Utah.  I drove into a sandstorm just before the state line.

I crossed...

August 5, 2018

I pushed through to Montrose the night before so I could use the morning to explore my first National Park of 2018.  Somehow, I'm just learning of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. 

Colorado has four National Parks in total.  Rocky Mountain and Mesa Verde National Parks are the big ones.  Great Sand Dunes National Park is still on my to-do list and Gunnison was on tap for today.  

The Park is separated into the North and South Rim.  Driving up to the North Rim takes 90 minutes, one way. There was no time for the North Rim, so I spent the morning exploring the South Rim.

From US-50, I took the...

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