Into the twilight zone

Deception Falls between Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island, WashingtonThe day after the whale tour we were continuing on to new adventures. The Pacific Coast and one of the world's few temperate rainforests stood was on the menu for the next two days. We only had to drive a couple of hundred miles, as we were taking the Coupeville-Port Townsend Ferry to the Olympic Peninsula. We had booked the tickets from home, and wouldn't want to be late for the ferry. The ferry leaves from otuside Coupeville on Whidbey Island south of Anacortes onm Fidalgo Island, where we had spent the night. Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island are connected by a bridge, so we only had to use one ferry.

On our way south towards Whidbey Island, we used one of Fidalgo Islands major roads, Washington State Route 20, to Deception Pass. In spite of the name, this is not a mountain pass but the waters between Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island. For many years it was thought that it was a firth, but eventually it was discovered that it was a sound, and that you could navigate through it and because of this "cheating", it was named Deception Pass. Just before the bridge across the strait, we made a short stop to take some pictures before we continued south on Whidbey Island. We found the ferry without any problems, but when we arrived at the ticket office, we had to pay a small additional fee on top of what we had already paid online because our car was longer than what we had paid for. When we made our original payment, we didn't know which car we would get, so we had just made a guess about the lenght. The additional fee was not overwhelming though. The original payment and the additional fee amounted to $ 14, which is a reasonable price, even with an exchange rate of 6,05 DKK to the dollar. The exchange rate rose steadily during our visit from approx. 5.85 DKK to the dollar to approx. 6.20, but we used 6,05 as a standard rate, making the $ 14 equal to 85 DKK.

The ferry, we had booked left at 10.15 am, and we had to get there between 45 minutes and 30 minutes before departure. If we arrived too soon we would be turned away and asked to return later, and if we were too late our reservation would be cancelled and we would end up in the line of cars without reservation. We managed to be on site 40 minutes before departure though. After approx. a 15 minutes wait the ferry from Port Townsend arrived, and another 15 minutes later it was empty and we could drive aboard. The ferry departed exactly on schedule, at 10.15. The ferrry route is part of the Washington State Department of Traffic ferry system. Washington state has the most extensive ferry system in the USA and the second most extensive in the world, surpassed only by the ferry system in British Columbia in Canada, just north of Washington. The trip lasted about 30 minutes and we went up on the ferry, but apart from the mansatory kiosk, which we did not take advantage of, there was not much to see. Because of the mist, we could not really see anything outside, so we just relaxed in a couple of reclining seats.

Madison Creek FallsWell ashore in Port Townsend, we had to find an old acquaintance, the US Route 101. Dorte and I had used the 101 in Washington, Oregon and California in 2006 and Tim and I in Oregon and California in 2010. This time we were going to use the northernmost part of this highway, from Port Townsend west to Port Angeles and then south to Forks. From home we had planned to eat Dungeness crabs on location in Dungeness on the nortth east part of the peninsula, but when we got there it was far too early for lunch so we continued west without stopping. Shortly after passing the town of Port Angeles, we left the highway to go a little south. We drove along a minor road in the direction of, but not completely into the Olympic National Park. Some way down the road we made a stop and took a short walk, (0.25 miles in each direction) to a small, pretty waterfall, Madison Creek Falls. In addition, we enjoyed the sight of the Elwha River, which was also nice. When we had seen what we wanted to see, and taken a few pictures or 15, we returned to the highway and continued to Forks, goal of the day.

Forks is a small town on the western side of The Olympic Peninsula, which modestly names itself "The Logging Capital of the World". Until a few years ago Forks was rather unknown except in the local area and among rainforest enthusiasts, but in 2005 Stephenie Meyer's novel Twilight was published, later to become the first in a series of four novels, which has later been made into films. The books is apparently about a young girl who falls in love with a vampire! I had never heard about neither books nor movies, but my son had, and they were not exactly his cup of tea. Therefore he was biased against the town already before we got there. I wasn't though, but after the visit I got the point as well. Everything was centered around Twilight. At the hotel we stayed at, we could have had Twilight rooms kept in black, red and gold (but we just rented an ordinary room). In the town, there were restaurants that served a Twilight menu and there were several stores that called themselves something with Twilight and sold Twilight memorabilia. Even if only part of the films are actually filmed in Forks, the novels mostly takes place there, and I have to say, that the town has entered the Twilight zone. One sign even offered Twilight firewood!

None of us were into all these Twilight stuff, so we drove to the town's visitor center and got a map of the area, and the we drove out to Rialto Beach on the Pacific coast. Along the way we entered the Quileute Indian Reservation, and unfortunately also this tribe has been the victim of the Twilight curse, as some tribe members in novels and films are having shapeshifting capabilities, turning themselves into wolves. These werewolves are apparently the enemies of the vampires, so even here, we were reminded of Twilight. We did, however, reach The Pacific in good shape and decided for a walk along Rialto Beach. Here we would visit Hole in the Rock, a walk of approx. 2 miles each way, but when we had walked about 1 mile, I decided to turn back. I was tired of having to remove gravel and stones from my sandals every time I had walked 50 feet. It was a little easier for Tim, who wore shoes. It was a little annoying, that I had quit before he did - I'm his father after all :-).

Simultaneously, the gravel was wet and very soft, so when we got back to the car after walking three miles, it felt like six, and the next day we were both quite sore in the thigh- and calf muscles. We returned to Forks and tried to avoid meeting neither werewolves nor vampires, and managed just fine. Not least because we had dinner at a restaurant right next to the hotel, which had no Twilight dishes on the menu.

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