Back North

Tuesday, June 07, 2016 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Forks, WA to Victoria, BC
We left the charming Quillayute River Resort early, hoping to check out a couple of beaches before heading back east to Port Angeles for the 12:45 ferry.  Though we loved the inn, "resort" is a bit of a stretch.  Linda and her husband have owned it for six years, having bought it 20 years after the previous owners had closed it.  The grounds are meticulously maintained, lush with natural forest areas as well as manicured landscaping around the building.  Hummingbird feeders hang outside the suites, strategically placed to be visible when sitting at the suite's kitchen table with its view of the river.
Our first stop was Rialto Beach in Olympic National Park.  Located on the Pacific Ocean, Rialto Beach is covered with hundreds of driftwood trees deposited there by storms (pictured above).  The mist and chill breeze blowing in from the Pacific suited the setting.  Sea stacks and other rock formations were visible off-shore, and we were surprised at how busy the park was before 8 a.m.  We found two letterboxes near the parking lot.
Back on WA-110, we drove west to La Push Beach a series of three beaches aptly named First Beach (northernmost), Second and Third.  There we took the widely acclaimed 0.7-mile hike from First Beach to Second.  Through an ancient forest where even the moss has moss, down a series of steps.  
Lush growth just off the beach
The tide was out and numerous rock formations with sea life clinging to them were exposed.  After huffing and puffing our way back up the 350-ft elevation gain and to the parking lot at First, we hopped in the car and continued to Port Angeles.
Sea life at La Push
Arriving at the ferry terminal around 11:30, we had plenty of time to prepare and eat a lunch salad after checking in and paying our fare.  Then we gave our on board groceries a hard look. Peaches and cherries in our stash were ditched after we read that BC bans entry of pitted fruits.
Finally our lane was instructed to load—the last one.  As usual, the ferry parking attendants were packing the vehicles in like sardines, 4 cars and SUVs abreast on one side with trucks, RVs, and buses parked two abreast on the other.
Quietest place on the ferry—outside 
Upstairs, our experience was the polar opposite of the peaceful puzzle-supplied passenger lounge on the previous ferry.  Built in 1959, the M.V. Coho apparently has been in hiding when updates were done.  Table seating was quite limited with no electrical outlets, of course.  Over the course of the 90-minute passage, passengers in the lounge were battered with lots of noise from a pair of children who pulled drink holders out of the tabletop and banged them together as though they were in a parade.  Oddly, their parents seemed to think the children were clever and adorable.
Tight squeeze!
Returning to our car as the ferry was about to arrive in Victoria was a challenge.  Not only was it difficult to find, we struggled to get to it because the vehicles were so close together.  Upon arrival, we were again in a lane that was made to wait and wait and wait before disembarking.  While waiting in the passport control line, we saw a semi truck in the boarding lane with a double trailer carrying lumber.
BC legislative building
After clearing border control, we drove one mile to the British Columbia provincial legislative building, also known as the Parliament building.  We took the self-guided tour.  As with many legislative buildings, the construction began with a design contest in 1892.  Sixty-five sets of drawings were submitted by competitors from across North America.  The winning design was submitted by 25-year old architect, Francis Mawson Rattenbury. The project was his first major commission and led to opportunities to design several more landmark structures in British Columbia.
Inside the dome of the legislative building
Construction began in 1892, and the building was officially opened in 1898.  Between the original building and several additions made between 1913 and 1920, the total cost was just over two million CAD.  Rattenbury designed the classical building using a fusion of Baroque and Renaissance styles.  His stated vision was to create a monument that would incorporate both the classicism of Europe and the rugged style of architecture of North America.  Wherever possible, he specified building materials from British Columbia, including stone, wood, copper and slate.  
Legislative chamber with majority party sitting on one side, minority on the other
By 1972, the Parliament building had suffered from many years of neglect, creating the need for a major restoration and a renovation to modernize the building's utilities systems.  The government committed $80 million to a project that took ten years to complete.
     space    space  
Great place for a yummy meal
Following our self-guided tour, we explored the inner harbor area then walked north on Government Street, pausing to peruse menus, ending up at Bard and Banker, a Scottish-style pub with kilt-clad servers in a former bank building.  With a diverse selection, the pub offered numerous dishes we could choose from.  After a delicious meal, we walked back to the Doubletree Hotel to rest up for our return to Vancouver tomorrow.


Daily Stats
  • Miles driven:  86
  • Weather:  54° to 62°, PC
Legislative building rotunda