This is the second part of my five-day voyage around the Pacific Northwest. Days one and two saw my significant other and I travel to Vancouver and Olympic National Park in Forks, Washington. With so much to see in such a short period of time, we chose to not waste a moment of our final three days on our unforgettable trip.
It was Labor Day and we awoke at our motel in Forks at 4am. We did this to catch low-tide by 6:15am because we had seen some beautiful pictures captured of colorful star fish resting on the sea floor. I guess we were naïve to assume we’d be able to find this location in the pitch dark of the early morning. But after a few stumbles and second guesses, we found the proper path on Rialto Beach. When we arrived, we were greeted by more star fish than we could count. We snapped a few photos and briskly walked away as the tide began to creep up on us.
The original plan was to head back to Seattle from Forks (about a 4-hour drive). But we had previously paid for entrance into all state parks at the Hoh Rainforest, so we figured we’d make use of that pass. On our way to Seattle, we stopped and walked the Sol Duc Falls trail. A couple hours later we arrived at Hurricane Ridge, which provided stunning views of the Olympic Mountains.
It was about 3pm before we finally set our sights back on Seattle. We boarded the ferry to cross Puget Sound once again and we were city bound! The two of us arrived and checked into our hotel before voyaging out into the busy town. Our first order of business was to find some dinner. We settled on the Hard Rock Café in downtown Seattle, famous for its large Kurt Cobain-inspired upside-down guitar in its entrance. The Seattle music scene of the 1990’s was a big reason why I chose to travel to the Northwest, and our meal at the Hard Rock set the stage for the next few days of our trip.
The Seattle scene rose to fame in the early 90’s with the emergence of the “Big Four” of the Grunge Rock movement. The Big Four Seattle-based bands are Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam. With that in mind, we hop aboard the ‘Stalking Seattle’ tour. The experience was incredible as we made various stops of historical significance. We saw the statue of Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam’s old practice space, and of course the infamous home where Kurt Cobain tragically passed away.
When the tour concluded, we walked across the city to stroll through the famous Pike Place Market. The market was packed with people, and most importantly, fresh salmon. As a big seafood fan, I had tried to get salmon the night before, but the restaurant had run out. The market made me hungry, but we had no time to eat as we left the place and boarded the Seattle Great Wheel, offering us gorgeous views of the Emerald City.
As the day grew into evening, we purchased tickets to the Seattle Mariners’ baseball game. We enjoyed a few drinks before the game as we walked around, taking in the unique atmosphere of a game day in the city. The Mariners lost the game, but the experience was well worth it.
We only had a few short hours before we headed back to the airport, so we knew we had to take advantage of it. Our first stop was to check out the Fremont Troll, an odd monument constructed under a bridge in 1990. Then we checked out the Ballard Locks. There, we witnessed a seal wage war with a few seagulls over a salmon he had caught in the water. Once again, I longed for a salmon of my own. And while I quenched my thirst for adventure in the Northwest, I was finally able to quench my desire for salmon by feasting on it at an airport restaurant before departure.