Kathy and I accomplished our dream goal–we drove the entire coastal highway from San Diego to Seattle. That means CA-1 in California and 101 in far north California, Oregon, and Washington. The last miles in Washington were different than all the rest. Most of the Washington coast is devoted to the lumber industry and forestry. Managed and unmanaged timber groves, trucks laden with cut wood, factories devoted to timber processing, ship yards and docks with processed lumber and small ships to carry the wood products were scenes all along the way. The coastal towns and villages of Washington were not tourist centered as were most of the rest of the coastal highway areas. They were working towns. That does not mean that the coastal drive was not beautiful. It was. Hills and mountains were filled with beautiful vista and trees. All along the way, tall wildflower spikes of deep pink were along both sides of the highway, with a ground cover wildflower of yellow as a backdrop. This never ceased to amaze us. As we drove, Kathy spotted a sign that said the next road to the right had the largest spruce tree in the world on it. I stepped on the brakes and made the turn. Several miles down the lane we spotted another sign that pointed to a one third mile trail to the tree. We took the trail and then stood in awe of the massive tree–57 feet in diameter and over a thousand years old! Also in this Valley of the Rain Forest Giants are the world’s largest western red cedar, Douglas fir, and mountain hemlock, as well as the largest yellow cedar and western hemlock in the United States.
The very last leg of the trip on 101 took us away from the coast and up to the Canadian border. Along the way we passed stunning mountain lakes, especially the turquoise-watered Lake Crescent. Reaching a depth of 600 feet, the large lake is surrounded by mountains and forests. Highway 101 hugs the water all along the way. Finally, we turned south towards Seattle and ended our journey by taking a ferry ride into the heart of the city. WEG