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Summer of 2017 - Forks, Washington

Our home for the next 4 months
We had a very busy start to our summer at the Forks Timber Museum.  We arrived on April 26th and had to park in the parking lot because the path to our usual spot was a muddy mess.  A few days and lots of gravel later we were all set up behind the Museum.  We started work on May 1st and immediately began helping with preparations for an open house on May 31st.  A new exhibit (Tavern) was built by Joe and Tom.   Marty and I helped with updating photos and adding descriptions to exhibits in other areas.  Marty even made "fake" bacon for the the cookhouse, pioneer area and look-out tower. May was a drizzly month and we couldn't do much outside so working in the museum kept us busy.
Joe, hard at work building our new tavern exhibit

This tavern is a representation of Art's Place from back in the "hey-day" of Forks' logging industry

Breakfast, anyone?
Marty did an amazing job updating and restoring old photos to add to exhibits.  The previous "wall-page" exhibit had photocopies of photos with very little description. We spent lots of time going through the museum photos along with a few trips to the Port Angeles Library photo archives.

This page depicts the openings of Hwy 101 near Forks in 1931
The pages are now updated with photo prints and descriptions along with some pertinent, interesting artifacts.

While Marty spent most of his time working on photo restoration, I was busy entering more information into our database.  All cards for all objects, photos, and documents are now entered - all 10,000+/- of them!!  It was a very busy summer.

 We used one of our days off to hike on the Elk Creek Trail in Forks.  This is our third summer here and it's the first time we heard of this trail - thanks Merry Parker for the info.  It's about two miles total, just right for a quick hike.

Look Ma, no hands (or railing)

Some of us are not so brave

are they nuts?

Linda and I spent a morning at her "happy place", Clallam Bay.  She looked for agates and beach glass and I looked for a good place to relax and enjoy the sun.



Hiking the Hoh
Our work days were Saturday, Sunday, Monday and sometimes Tuesday.  We took advantage of our days off to do some exploring.  One day we took a drive out to the Hoh Rain Forest and hiked the Hoh River Trail.  It's a 26 mile trail, we did part of it, a 6 mile round trip hike out to Mineral Creek Falls. 

On our way back to Forks we stopped at Peak 6 which is a store owned by the Peterson family.  Minnie Peterson was an early pioneer of the area, she had her own business guiding folks thru the wilds of the Olympic Rain Forest.  She was a remarkable woman, we have a small exhibit on her in the museum. 

Mineral Creek Waterfall

Later during June we gave Linda a ride into Seattle so she could catch a plane.  Her flight was early in the morning so we left the day before and and stayed overnight to do a little sightseeing.  We had a confirmed reservation at Motel 6 but that didn't work out - no "clean" rooms?!?   The very indifferent customer service clerk was unbelievable.  We offered to clean a room but "that's not allowed".  I asked to speak to her manager "they're not available".  I asked what she would do if there was no manager available and she had an emergency "I'd call 911".  Motel 6 is the only hotel in the area that accepts pets so things didn't look good.  Luckily there was another Motel 6 close by and for "only $20.00 more" we had a room - phewww!   I wrote a review on yelp and trip advisor and received a reply to call their customer service department to resolve this issue.  I did that and they promised to get back to me - I'm still waiting.  You can turn the lights off, we won't stay at Motel 6 again.
A deck of cards w/survival tips

We spent the next day driving around Seattle (so much traffic!).  We visited the Klondike Gold Rush Museum which is part of the NPS so I was able to get another passport stamp - YAY!  The museum was very informative and had an awesome gift shop.  I even bought my brother and niece a present for their July backpacking trip to Glacier N.P.

Traffic in Seattle was crazy so we headed back to Forks in the early afternoon.   We're sticking to the Forks area for the rest of the summer, too much traffic in the "big city". 

Back on the Olympic Peninsula we took another day trip, this time to Lake Quinault which is about 1 1/2 hours south of Forks.  This is probably my favorite part of the Olympic National Park, it's just a little too far to go regularly.  We drove the road around the lake, some of it paved and some not so paved.  We did a little hiking out to a homestead on the north side and also saw a few waterfalls on the south side.  We also took a short trail to see the world's oldest Sitka Spruce - a measly 1000 years old!

Another "infrared" photo

Hiking the Maple Glade Trail
1000 year old Sitka Spruce tree

Another "happy place"
As we headed back north to Forks we made a quick stop at Kalaloch Beach. 

Time to head back to the car



We were in the Forks Fourth of July Parade!  The Forks Visitor Center Director, Lissy, didn't want to drive their van in the parade so she asked Marty to do it.  I asked if I could wave my 2016 Cubs World Series Flag out the window - she said sure!  It was fun and I did get some cheers (and a lot of puzzled looks).  The Forks Timber Museum was well represented in the parade; Linda and her "Red Hat" ladies rode in their very decorated truck, Joe and his son-in-law walked next to the "lumber carrier' which our board president, Tom, drove.  The lumber carrier even won a first place ribbon!

Go Cubs!!!

Red Hat Ladies

Tom and the award winning Lumber Carrier
Craig and Joe walked behind the Lumber Carrier

After the parade we had a picnic with Joe and Linda and their family back on the museum grounds.  Fried chicken, potato salad, and lemon cake - yum!
Not Portillo's but it will do until we get back to Chicago
Here are some sights from our day trip to the Elwha River on July 11th

Madison Falls
Elwha River
Infrared Photo of Elwha River

During July, we also visited LaPush (about 20 minutes west of Forks) for "Quilleute Days" celebrating the local Native American tribe.
Canoe races

1st Beach
Are you my llama?

I love the Pacific Ocean!


This is a mural painted on a building near the dock in Port Angeles - doesn't it look real?

We had many visitors in the museum this summer who told us they had seen whales at Kalaloch Beach or along Hwy. 101.  It was driving me crazy because I've never seen one in our three summers here.  Marty and I drove to Kalaloch to look (actually he just wanted to take a picture of the "Tree of Life").  No whales that night but after another visitor said they saw them we tried again and found them!! 
Whale watching along the coast

Hard to get a good photo - but it's a whale!!

The "Tree of Life", this tree is amazing, hanging on by its roots.

We have a new trail up the hill behind the museum.  It's about a 5 mile loop although we walked 2.6 miles without finding the "loop",  we just ended up turning back.  It starts in a clear-cut area and then climbs up to second growth and then into an old growth forest - very primordial. 

The most exciting event in August was the Eclipse.  We had 94% totality which was cool but next time (2024) we will be somewhere with 100%!  We waited until the last minute to get eclipse glasses and, of course, they were all gone.  Luckily, we have very nice people visiting the museum and a couple from Seattle gave us a pair. 

Amazing Photo

Amazing Photographer!

Marty made a pin-point hole in the roof of the log house

When the moon hit your eye like a big pizza pie........

Crescents through the trees
This very nice Badger fan gave Marty some welders glasses
Cool glasses and shirt


Sunset at the Northwest most point in the United States

Hiking to Cape Flattery

We stayed busy in September finishing up projects, doing a little more sightseeing and getting ready to head back to the Midwest.  We were originally only going to spend three months in Forks but the workcampers who were scheduled to relieve us had some health issues so we agreed to stay until 9/25.  This is the latest we've stayed but the weather looks good going east and we're planning to take Highway 2 and stop in Glacier National Park on our way home.  Our fingers are crossed that the forecast stays fair. 

Goodbye Joe and Linda - We Miss You Already!!

We left Forks on Monday, September 25th and expect to be back in the Chicago area for some October baseball on October 10th.  It was especially hard to leave Forks this year because we're not coming back until spring of 2019!  Next summer will be a new adventure for us - a logging museum in Maine.