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sit properly

Weekend On Washington's Us 101

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This past weekend, we took a trip around much of Washington's US 101. I hit some old alignments and some roads that may or may not have been old alignments (like the Moclips Highway and the beach from Moclips to Ocean City) - all of WA 109, actually.

 

I have a bunch of pics, but it wasn't really an old alignment exploration weekend - it was just a normal vacation weekend with some history thrown in for fun.

 

I've done a little bit of searching (very little) and haven't found much about old 101 in Washington. I know much of it used to be State Road 9 and we even found some "Old State 9" roads that seemed to go nowhere at all.

 

It was a fun trip and it's mostly all described in a photo album.

 

That's available here...

 

Here are some samples...

 

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P1100868.JPG

 

P1100877.JPG

 

 

Thanks!

 

-Eric

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Eric,

 

Thanks for the great post, and the photos were amazing! But how did you get that tree to grow up around you? :lol:

 

Loved the eagle.

 

(BTW, maybe you should run the car through a carwash to get rid of the salt.)

 

Funny thing about 101 in Washington....never been on all of it, not in my 25 years here....it takes a "newcomer" to appreciate it. Must be the too close to home syndrome. :rolleyes:

 

When do you head out on the big trip? I owe you some ABB scans.

 

Dave

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Thanks!

 

Convincing a tree to grow around you is no easy task. Thankfully, he agreed and accommodated me for a nominal sitting fee.

 

Thanks for the tip on the salt.

 

I think that we've done almost all of the 101 now. The eastern part of the loop, probably not, but everything else, yes. I thought you did it a couple of years ago.

 

So what's the verdict on the old highway being on the beach? I'm looking at the 1915 Washington Highways map showing an uncompleted "Olympic Highway" and it's nowhere near the beach. Also looking at a 1931 map - it was 101/9 at that point in time, still not near the beach, except between Queets and Hoh. Am I thinking of something else?

 

I head out on the big trip on May 28ish. I'm trying to change jobs and possibly move before/during/after it, so it's becoming a weird challenge.

 

 

 

-Eric

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Great report. I've driven through that area once so recognized a few things but there were many more that were new to me. For example, I visited the World's Largest Cedar Tree but don't recall the other big trees you found. In 2008, the cabooses you pictured at Discovery Bay Railroad Park housed a functioning restaurant but the link I have has been long dead so I'm guessing is is no more. I missed the cabooses B&B a Sequim which seems even cooler than the restaurant.

 

Some of the photos, such as that of the highly desirable corner toilet, undergo some distortion and stretching when enlarged. I'm guessing that's not intentional.

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So what's the verdict on the old highway being on the beach? I'm looking at the 1915 Washington Highways map showing an uncompleted "Olympic Highway" and it's nowhere near the beach. Also looking at a 1931 map - it was 101/9 at that point in time, still not near the beach, except between Queets and Hoh. Am I thinking of something else?

 

-Eric

 

Eric

 

As far as roads on the beach; US101 in Oregon is far enough away that I know more of its history that that of the route in Washington! The 101 predecessor in Oregon definitely did run on the beach in some sections. But I don't think there was a continuous road north to south in Oregon along the coast until the 30's.

 

The beach was used in Washington for stages along the Long Beach Peninsula (southwest) , but that is not 101. I have a 1924 Rand McNally in hand and in that year there was no road equivalent to what is now 101 south of Aberdeen, although there were what appear to be dirt trails that might have linked together to make for passage. But they were inland scores of miles, so no beach driving there.

 

On the Olympic Peninsula in 1924, the improved (that meant graded) road ended at Lake Quinault on the south and near Forks at Mora (La Push) on the north, all inland except the final destination at La Push.. As an aside, the road between Pt Angeles and Mora is described in 1917 (ABB) as "fine gravel and dirt." The section between Hoquiam (near Aberdeen) and Lake Quinault is described as "good dirt and gravel." The section between Forks and Lake Quinault didn't exist, or if it did, it wasn't important enough to describe.

 

There is a road today (State 109) along the coast between Ocean city and Moclips but it doesn't appear on the 1924 map, and access to the coast there in 1924 was from directly inland. It does appear from looking at Google Earth that the beach there is quite open, and might be driven. However the 1915 & 1917 ABB notes only the road inland.

 

North of Moclips the Washington coast is rugged and pierced with headlands that jut into the water. My guess is that if there was ever travel on the beach north of Moclips it was very local.

 

That's what I think I know! :blink:

 

Dave

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Hey... Where's all the stone bridges and taverns? :rolleyes:

 

Beautiful shots of the coast.

 

~ Steve

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Loved the photo album, as always. I've driven 101 around the Olympic Peninsula twice, in 1990 and again in '98. Both times on Olympic NP visits.

One town with an interesting name you missed by heading out to the beach: Humptulips!

Loved the "no karate chopping seal pups" sign. Still laughing over that!

I guess Aberdeen still does not officially recognize their most famous son, huh? Oh well, Hibbing MN doesn't have a "birthplace of Bob Dylan" sign either. And he's still alive!

OTOH, North Myrtle Beach SC proudly lets visitors know that they are the hometown of Vanna White.

Wonder if the boring clam is from Boring OR?

If you ever make the trip again, take any or all of the inland drives to the Hoh, Queets, and Quinault rain forests in the park. They're all amazing.

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Thanks for the report sit properly. Very timely as I am just starting to gather information for a trip through there this summer. The plan so far is to start at Port Angeles, explore what we can of Olympic National Park without backpacking, then head south on the west side towards Oregon. Any advice on lodging? Must see sites?

 

Roadhound

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Thanks for the report sit properly. Very timely as I am just starting to gather information for a trip through there this summer. The plan so far is to start at Port Angeles, explore what we can of Olympic National Park without backpacking, then head south on the west side towards Oregon. Any advice on lodging? Must see sites?

 

Roadhound

I'll share what I know but, having been there just the one time, it isn't much. My only overnight on the peninsula was at the Quinault River Inn. I can recommend it but for all I know there might be something even better just around the next tree. While there, I had a good dinner with view at the Salmon House at Rain Forest Resort. They also offer a variety of accommodations and might be that "something even better". Don't know. If you do drive by the Salmon House, you'll be traveling in the tire tracks of the fellow I followed: Keep the Show on the Road. A short time before my visit, KtSotR got some photos of the classic interior of the gas station just up the road. The building was closed when I was there but the operating self-service pumps saved my mobility and made a big impression on my credit card balance. The $4.659/gal gas remains a personal record but I was happy to find it.

 

My only penetration of the woods was on a trail at Hoh Rain Forest and on a gravel road to the World's Tallest cedar Tree that Eric's mentioned. I really enjoyed both but, since your plans are to "explore what we can... without backpacking", you've probably already aware of -- and already included or excluded -- them.

 

On the north edge, I really enjoyed driving WA-112 (and lesser roads) along a bit of the coast and visiting the general store and museum in Joyce. If you stop and Margaret is on duty at the museum, tell her I said hello. I did not get to sample a Fat Smitty's 'burger but many folks, including Becky Repp, claim they are the best. Smitty's is a bit east of the cabooses pictured in Eric's album. Both are somewhat east of Port Angeles so may not fit your plans. Besides Smitty's, Becky gave me several other suggestions when I was planning my trip. Two of the most intriguing, Sol Duc Hot Springs and Neah Bay, got cut by time considerations. I believe Thomas did a piece on Sol Duc but I couldn't locate it just now. I understand that there is a very good museum at Neah Bay on top of the scenic drive.

 

Since I had already (and reluctantly) decided to omit Neah Bay, Margaret in Joyce suggested I head south to Lake Crescent and I did. It's a beautiful lake which US-101 skirts on the southern shore. Of course, if you should take WA-112 to Neah Bay, getting Lake Crescent into the route would take some thought.

 

If you'd like to revisit my 2008 journal, the bit on US-101 starts here.

 

Aberdeen ramblings:

I was ignorant as to the identity of Aberdeen's "most famous son" but Wikipedia came through. However, something else concerning Aberdeen remains a mystery. This 2008 photo is from Aberdeen and I've still not learned what it's of. Large oars hung up to dry? Wishbones from giant cyborg turkeys? I'm hoping one of you left-coasters knows.

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Denny - The caboose B&B in Sequim were on Washington Street, going into town. I believe that's an old alignment of the Olympic Highway (it then left town heading north and is still signed as "Old Olympic Highway" -it's nice when they do that). My dream is to somehow, someday live in a caboose. They're cheaper than houses, but not super easy to acquire (I've seriously looked into this).

 

Dave - I must have been thinking of the Oregon parts of 101. I remembered a post you made somewhere about an airport being on the beach, but maybe transposed airport with old road and who knows what else. The beaches are VERY drivable, but were probably just local traffic. I still don't feel right about driving on them, but couldn't resist. It seems to me that 101/Olympic Highway hasn't changed all that much over the years. Sure, there are now bypasses through the larger towns and a few old alignments remain where they couldn't be widened, but all in all, it seems mostly as it was. That's kind of boring. :) Thankfully, it's beautiful.

 

Steve - Tell me about it! Not a single stone bridge! And certainly no sunken old roads from the 1700s! Taverns, however, well, there are some really old taverns out there! We're talking all the way back to 1890! Can you imagine! hehe!

 

Mga - I actually had to look up that it was Kurt Cobain who was from Aberdeen. I always just assumed it was Seattle. That's interesting because I had a friend from high school in Pennsylvania who grew up as friends with Kurt Cobain's little brother in Washington. He must have lived in Aberdeen. Neat. We'll probably take the trip again, but we often find ourselves driving rather than driving to. Destinations are hard for us. But we both want to check out the park a bit.

 

(edit)

There is, however, this...

Welcome_to_Aberdeen_cropped.jpg

 

 

roadhound - Sounds like a great trip, but why start in Port Angeles? It's a strange town. Port Townson is a great place to start and not too far away. We had to stay in Forks due to time (and please forgive me), it was getting near twilight when we got there (ugh, sorry). But I wouldn't suggest staying in Forks. Try a coastal town, they're great. We were particularly amused by Ocean City, but they're all mostly nice.

 

I get one weekend off from work a month. Sarah gets every weekend off. So once a month we plan on traveling for the weekend. I should get one more weekend before my trip, so hopefully we'll find something. We're thinking about Yellowstone Trailing it down to the Walla Walla area. Here's hoping...

 

-Eric

Edited by sit properly

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Thanks for the report sit properly. Very timely as I am just starting to gather information for a trip through there this summer. The plan so far is to start at Port Angeles, explore what we can of Olympic National Park without backpacking, then head south on the west side towards Oregon. Any advice on lodging? Must see sites?

 

Roadhound

 

Roadhound,

 

I may have pleaded ignorance of US101 in Washington, but I'm not as ignorant as I look! :blink::unsure:

 

Assuming you really are starting in Port Angeles, I have to then assume you are coming across from Victoria BC by ferry, or will be dropped in by parachute. Otherwise you will approach from the west by road, which should then include a visit to Pt Townsend (as suggested by Eric) and to Ft Worden (where an Office and a Gentleman was filmed.) Stop at the hamburger stand on 101 at the intersection of the road to Ft Townsend or Becky will never forgive you.

 

Eric and Denny "closed the loop" between Pt Angeles and Forks, which I have never done, so there I am ignorant. I should note that if anyone in your family is a fan of "Twilight", it was based on Forks.

 

I would spend a night at Kalaloch if my budget allowed. Sheila and I spent part of our honeymoon there 30 years ago, so show some respect! They have a restaurant overlooking the ocean, but the menu when we were there last year didn't match the view.... but very good family fare (pizza, burgers, rubens) but not white table cloth special. If I could, I would get a cabin. The beach is long and not busy. The view is excellent.

 

Stop at Lake Quinault and enjoy the lodge and the old style service station. If you don't stay at Kalaloch, stay at Lake Quinault Lodge. Or, if you want family entertainment, detour off 101 to Ocean Shores. There are plenty of motels and a tourist oriented "main street."

 

I know and love Hoquiam and Aberdeen, and was over there two weeks ago, But they are not tourist towns. If I had an extra two hours I would take the loop south from Aberdeen to Westport, the lighthouse, and Tokeland (old hotel). The kids will enjoy the lookout tower in Westport, the souvenir shops, and the magnificent lighthouse. Buy a kite there and fly it on the beach. You may enjoy the fishing fleet photo ops. I have described the loop in posts on the forum, and it is 10 times as interesting as 101 in that section, but longer.

 

At Raymond you might stop at the maritime museum,. It is the only site I haven't visited!

 

One of the saddest places in Washington for me is burial site of Willie Kiel, about a 4.5 mile detour west on State 6. Willie's story is HERE, so I won't retell it. His actual grave is on the hilltop behind the roadside historical sign. Returning to 101, South Bend is a quaint town with a great courthouse. Bay center is a bit quaint.

 

The Long Beach peninsula is sort of the Santa Cruz of Washington, without the roller coaster. Moped rentals, lots of tourist stuff for the kids, Marsh's Free Museum with famed alligator man, etc......

 

For the more serious, south of Ilwaco you can visit Ft Canby , the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, two lighthouses, and see a lighthouse lens up close. I think this is the best Lewis and Clark museum on the west coast, and certainly at one of the most important sites, so it is a good place to share a little American history.

 

That is a very very quick summary of the US101 highlights. We haven't seen you here lately, so welcome back, and we all look forward to your spectacular photos.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Assuming you really are starting in Port Angeles, I have to then assume you are coming across from Victoria BC by ferry, or will be dropped in by parachute. Otherwise you will approach from the west by road, which should then include a visit to Pt Townsend (as suggested by Eric) and to Ft Worden (where an Office and a Gentleman was filmed.) Stop at the hamburger stand on 101 at the intersection of the road to Ft Townsend or Becky will never forgive you.

 

Originally I wasn't sure if I was going to get there from Victoria or the Mainland but it sounds like one would not be forgiven if they passed up a Smitty Burger, so I guess we'll come from the mainland and take the ferry to Port Townsend.

 

I would spend a night at Kalaloch if my budget allowed. Sheila and I spent part of our honeymoon there 30 years ago, so show some respect! They have a restaurant overlooking the ocean, but the menu when we were there last year didn't match the view.... but very good family fare (pizza, burgers, rubens) but not white table cloth special. If I could, I would get a cabin. The beach is long and not busy. The view is excellent.

 

If you had plans to stay at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Lodge on the same night as us you had better already have your reservation. I just snagged the last of the accomodations. I also made reservations at the Kalaloch Lodge. Keep, we will show the appropriate respect as I am sure there is a bronze plaque on the door of the honeymoon suite commemorating the event.

 

Thanks to everyone for the road trip intel. Altogether we plan on spending the better part of 3 days in the area and as usual everyone's help on this forum is a great assett to me in making sure we make the most of it.

 

Roadhound

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