We arrived in Port Angeles, Washington on August 9th and got the RV situated at her brother's. The next item on the agenda was to do something about Terry's computer. It had been acting up for quite some time and she finally found a place that might be able to retrieve her data. The good news was that it was not the hard drive. The bad news was that it was the computer itself. Although its under warranty, it would take time to make the arrangements. No place in the area offered any kind of a selection of laptops, so we drove down to a mall in Silverdale (across the Hood Canal bridge) about an hour or so away to find one. She found a Compaq Presario that filled the bill and we headed back. Just as we reached the bridge, cars were being stopped to let a Navy ship pass through. Once it passed, nothing happened. An electrical problem meant they couldn't close the bridge. After two hours of waiting, they finally let vehicles use the turn-around and go back the way they came. Cars, trucks and RVs were lined for miles waiting to get across. The alternative was to take the 100-mile drive around to the other side. For those in a hurry, it was a disaster, but for us, it just an opportunity to see some more of the beautiful countryside. We had lunch along the way and still made it back before dinner. The bridge was still closed when we finally reached the other side.
It had been six years since we'd seen Tim and Gael and Andrew. Andrew is now a tall, handsome young man and my brother is as handsome as ever. They live on 20 acres several miles outside of Port Angeles in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains, a beautiful place to park the RV. Brutus, Gael's little Chihuahua loved the RV and visited us whenever he could. On Sunday, Tim went with us on the ferry across to Victoria, British Columbia. After a wonderful breakfast at a hotel along the water, we took a bus out to Butchard Gardens. We didn't exactly run into him, but we did spot Richard (John Boy) Thomas there. Much as Terry tried, her camera just could not capture the grandeur and beauty of the gardens. We spent the better part of the day there before heading back downtown for a late lunch, a little window shopping and the return to Port Angeles.
On Monday Tim and Gael drove us to the Olympic National Forest near Sawyer Lake where we ate lunch at a quaint little restaurant that is a favorite of theirs and then we hiked several beautiful trails. The next day they took us to Hurricane Ridge where the scenery was some of the most spectacular of the trip. The hiking there was a little more strenuous, but definitely worth the climb. Panoramic vistas of the mountains and the coast from Port Angeles to Port Townsend and across to Victoria left one breathless.
We left Port Angeles on August 14th and drove down Highway 101 through Olympia to Interstate 5, then took Highway 12 east across the mountains - the scenic route. Cable was being laid all along the way, but in the mountains they started laying it in the center of one lane, slowing traffic considerably. Since we still weren't in a hurry, we were able to enjoy the scenery. We stopped in Randle, Washington in the shadow of Mount Rainer for the night, breaking the drive into two 5-hour segments, the last through Yakima into Kennewick.