Monday, August 25, 2014

to Seal Rock

The salt air calls to us as we make our way north along the eastern coast of the Olympic Peninsula.  We don't have a destination picked out, so we drive through a few campgrounds before deciding on Seal Rock Campground at $18/night.  There is another camp just up the road for $14/night, but I would rather spend the extra $4 and be right next to the water.

We select a site on the lower loop with a good view of the water, a few spaces down from an early 70's Airstream.

Our new mat. the most colorful thing we own.
Spot the Pug!

It is low tide now and we take the dogs to go poke around the exposed rock.  Minute hermit crabs cling to the myriads of oysters left exposed by the retreating tide.  

Do you suppose barnacles ever get bored?
It is a very grey day, adding to the placid atmosphere of the gently rolling water.  An occasional seal head can be seen poking above the surface.  

Hubs and I play our "Spot the Nasty Trash" game at our site and I win with a pair of sopping wet men's underwear.  Hubs earns the title of First Loser with an old slice of tomato. 

If you are contemplating a stay at Seal Rock Campground, be warned.  There is poison oak everywhere!  Aside from that, and the fact that only a few sites have a view of the water, and the bathrooms are old and dirty, this is a nice place.  The water spigots spout good-tasting, clean water, the sites along the water have just enough sun for our solar panels to charge our battery to full, and there is a pretty walk to the water.

A number of people are harvesting oysters on the rocky shore.  A special shellfish license must be purchased to do this, so Hubs and I pass on the oysters for now.  

The next morning, we try to convince ourselves to stay put, but the $18/night price tag is too steep and we pack up.  After hitching, Hubs takes the dogs for a walk to tire them out while I finish a few chores.  The other Airstream owners are by their camper and we get to talking.  They are in the process of renovating and this is their maiden voyage!  They kindly let me look inside and I am so impressed with the work they have done.  

Hubs comes back with the dogs, and soon we are on the road headed north to who-knows-where.  First we thought we would go to Heart o' the Hills campground in Olympic National Park, but a look at the map showed a squiggly line for the road.  That always means either the road is following a river, or it is very steep and winding.  Neither of us want steep and winding today, so we keep plugging.  It is Friday and we hate trying to find a new site over the weekend, but we are glad to find that the Elwha Campground in Olympic NP is only about half full at two in the afternoon.  

This campground is just the kind we like!  The tree trunks are covered in opulent moss, making everything luminous green.  

I found North!

We choose the site that gets the most sun and are making camp as the host comes over to chat.  An elderly man with a grabby stick and a bucket, he keeps the grounds immaculate.  There is not a candy wrapper or dirty sock anywhere.  He tells us about the plants in the campground, especially the berry-producing ones, and talks about berries I have never even heard of.  They all sound wonderful and my stomach is growling.

What do you say we drive into Port Angeles for lunch?  

There is a burger joint called Frugals that looked interesting, and with a line that long it has to be good.

Port Angeles is the last big town on our tour of the Olympic Peninsula, and it is definitely a port town.  Huge shipping barges cruise the waters between here and Canada, with the faster passenger ferries zipping between them. 

Our burgers are good and we spend the rest of the afternoon snooping through the shops downtown.  

Tsunami Evacuation Route


  1. Great stuff, as usual. A travel log instead of the typical tourist trappings.

    On a different note, I hope you don't mind me asking here because I haven't seen any discussion about it yet, but what do you plan on doing for health insurance? I'm having a heck of a time finding affordable health insurance (< $500/month) for those that are on the move. I'm looking at close to $750/month out of Utah (our first planned winter) for health and dental with a $3500 deductible that must be met first. Yikes!

    1. We moved to South Dakota so that we could get cheaper health insurance. First step is to get a PMB (mail forwarding address), then get a drivers license in your desired state, then get health insurance. I would highly recommend contacting Kyle Henson ( who specializes in health insurance for full-timers. He can walk you through the process.

  2. Hey Laura,
    Tim Manzo here, hailing to you from the other northwesternmost part of the state, just across the Puget.
    Glad to have found your blog today.
    FYI, there's a GREAT campground at Neah Bay, the northwesternmost part of the peninsula. It's on the Makah Rez: $20/night. I think the sites are take em as you can get em. Great views, and space between sites. There are facilities there.
    My wife stephanie and I live in Bellingham now, and we love it. Please stop by if you are driving through, we'd love to have you both for a visit, meal, and rest time if you need it. Bellingham is probably the best town in North America. Or one of the best.

  3. Thank you - I'll give Kyle a call. He's exactly the person I've Bern looking for.