Summer Road Trip 2018, Part 8: Olympic National Park, Deer Park to Elwa
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 option.,
Now the bad, bad, bad news. Missing that voicemail yesterday from Mariah meant I missed the chance for a delivery today. The parts won't be here until Tuesday and today is Saturday.
(Insert a dash of regret here.)
So, I'm seeing the park in Ansel.
The road that runs adjacent to the dealership is the National Park access road for the Deer Park area. I decided drive up to the Deer Park Ranger Station to have a look.
It was nearly 20 miles, nearly half of it on dirt road, to reach Deer Park. I started to question my decision to make the drive in Ansel but I continued without giving it much more thought.
The road eventually popped out above the tree line on an exposed slope with an amazing view of the valley below.
I parked Ansel and followed the sign a short distance to the Ranger Station. It was an A-frame cabin nestled in a clump of trees and situated on top of the mountain. The Ranger was out and the door was locked so I wasn't able to get the park cancelation. A gentleman standing nearby told me the Ranger had just left, probably headed up to the campground.
I waited a few minutes then took a short walk around the area. There are several hikes starting from the Deer Park area, with distances ranging from .5 to 7.5 miles. The campground has 14 campsites, each with fire pit and picnic table.
I drove back down the mountain and took US Highway 101 west out of Port Angeles. Before long, I saw a National Park sign for the Elwa River. I turned in to check it out but immediately saw a sign advising drivers that the Elwa area was closed to vehicles.
I didn't think pursuing this road made a lot of sense so I hung a U-turn and drove back to catch US-101. I'd just continue westbound, toward Crescent Lake and the Sol Duc River.