21 April 2013

Exploring the Corners of the United States

The Historian and I took a long weekend away in March, and wandered up to Cape Flattery, and down through Forks and La Push, and into the Hoh Rainforest.  

Traveling to this area from Seattle needs at least two nights to avoid very long days - as with most rural areas there is a lot of driving between sites and really couldn't be accomplished in a day.  

We started off going through Port Angeles, then along the north coast through Clallam Bay and Seiku and made it to the Cape in late afternoon.  Cape Flattery is the northwesternmost corner of the contiguous United States, and is contained within the lands of the Makah Reservation.  (In fact, we traveled through four reservations on the trip Makah, QuileuteJamestown S'Klallam and Elwha.)  
Doubtless Ms. Salmon frowns due to the indignity of having to wear clothes.

In the future I'd try to get there in the morning, as the late afternoon sun made for a lot of back-lit photos but it was still beautiful.  To travel to the Cape, visitors are required to purchase a $10 pass from the local store, and we found the Makah to be exceptionally warm, friendly, and chatty people.  When the restaurant we tried to go to was closed, one of the locals spotted us, asked if we were hungry, and suggested we join everyone at the community center to watch a basketball game.  Utterly charming.  

I also highly recommend the Makah Cultural and Research Center.  In less than two hours you can see a well-curated small museum whose focus is artifacts from the Ozette Archaeological Site.  Approximately 500 years ago, six longhouses were buried by a massive mudslide, and therefore preserved until 1970 when a massive storm uncovered the first artifacts.  The museum is well curated, and showcases the processes by which the people manufactured tools, etc.  America's own mini-Pompeii.

Views from Cape Flattery.

Tatoosh Island emerges from the fog, Cape Flattery.
There is a lighthouse there as well, and had been used by the Makah
as a launch point for whale hunts.

Hobuck Beach, Makah Reservation
A study in geology, Hobuck Beach.

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