Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Not the smoothest day, but it did have some high points too!

Slept fine at the 7 Cedars Casino. The fog looked like it was clearing, so we decided to go for a bike ride on the Olympic Discovery Trail located on the other side of the highway from the casino.

I got the bikes down off the rack... and Ruth's front tire was totally flat!

This actually didn't surprise me. When we bought the bike used, we knew the front tire sidewalls were badly cracked and the bike shop had given us two new tires as part of the deal. And I was going to install new tubes at the same time.

I just hadn't got around to changing them yet.

So, I got out our little air compressor to pump them up. The tubes in Ruth's bike have a different kind of valve though. Because it's a higher end bike, it has a specialty "presta" valve, instead of the typical "schrader" style one you would expect. That's okay, because there's an adapter on it. But, you have to unscrew a little fitting, which I forgot to do. So I ended up breaking the air compressor fitting where it attaches onto the valve.

Not impressed, and my own fault.

There is no way to repair it, so now we need a new compressor.

I managed to get air in the tire though. I just can't do it again!

I found the slow leak, and we decided to go for a bike ride anyhow. I figured we had maybe an hour before it went too flat to ride!

On the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Native land.

Still some fog hanging around.  

We checked the bike tire a few times, and when it started getting noticeably soft, we turned around. We ended up doing about 5 miles (8 kms), which is too bad because it was nice enough out there that we would have liked to have done at least double that!

Back at the motorhome, we got the bikes loaded up and headed towards the Olympic National Park visitors center.

On the way there, we passed a Walmart supercenter and stopped in... bought a two pack of Goodyear extra thick bike tubes (with Schrader valves... yes, I know that I have to drill out the rim.)... and a cheap compressor. I want to get another one like the one I had, but this will do for now.

At the visitors center, we stopped in for maps and guidance. We wanted to do the drive up to Hurricane Ridge. It goes from sea level to 5,200 feet in 17 miles (27 kms), so it's pretty steep, but I just wanted to make sure that Sherman could do it. The ranger said that buses go up there sometimes, so we should have no problem. Plus, it's nicely paved the whole way. And, Sherman is very experienced at mountain driving!

It was already after 2:00pm by this time. We thought about putting it off until today, but it was such a nice afternoon and today is calling for possibility of showers. So off we went up into the mountains.

They heard we were coming, so they paved the road for us!

Bald eagle.

A few miles in, there is a gated access where you have to pay to get in. We decided to support the National Parks system, and bought the $80 USD ($107.70 CAD) America the Beautiful annual pass. We also hope to visit Yosemite and Death Valley National parks on this trip, plus where ever we end up when heading up the east coast area in the spring. So we should be able to get worthwhile use from it.

I love driving roads like this.

Taken from the Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center.

Clear enough to see Mount Olympus at 7,962 ft.

We set off for a hike.

The hill on the right has forest fire damage from 2003.
It takes a long time to recover!

Scenery along the way.  

The old rope tow ski area dating back to 1958 still operates!

Beautiful afternoon in the mountains.
You can see the road we came up on.

You can see our trails.

Interesting old tree remains.

Another great view!

Scenery along the way.

The path cut across a very steep slope!

Just another great view.



View from Hurricane Ridge.

Great views left and right.

Enjoying the scenery.

So, we had a great afternoon, and managed to get in 3 miles (5 kms) of hiking before the sun started getting too low and we figured it was time to head back down the mountain.

Coming back down, I never touched Sherman's gas pedal for 12 miles (19 kms)! And hardly touched the brake either. I kept shifting between first and second gear to keep us at about 30 mph (50 km/h).

Then, we had to find somewhere to overnight. And, it was getting close to dusk.

We could have gone back to the Walmart, but it was in the other direction and I hate backtracking. And, we hate having to overnight at a Walmart. Besides, there's almost always a better option if you look for it.

I saw a small airport on the map, and we headed to it. There were no signs saying that we couldn't, so we parked in what looked like an overflow lot. We both figured it would be no problem, and we've parked in many small municipal airports in the past without any issue.

But a half an hour later a pickup truck pulls up with a guy wearing an orange vest with "Port Authority" written on it. He knocks on the door, and proceeds to tell us that we can't spend the night. I mentioned they should have some signs if that's the case, and he says that's why he's paid. Anyhow, he was nice enough to point us towards a nearby parking area near the fairgrounds and baseball diamonds where he says he has seen people overnight. He said it was city property but they don't seem to bother people there. It was only five minutes away, so not a big deal. 

So that's where we spent the night, and it was no problem.

Yesterday's drive, 62 miles (100 kms).

Not sure what's on the agenda for today. The forecast wasn't great, but so far the fog is lifting and some sun is showing through. Fingers crossed!

Record low price on the popular Shark Ninja Navigator Professional Vacuum.

And in Canada...


  1. Schrader/Presta pump head, $10...

    1. Thanks, but I can't change the head on my pump. And I'd just as soon get rid of the Presta valves!

  2. Spent a week or so in Olympic Natl Park several years ago. We enjoyed Sul Doc Hot Springs, Hoh Rain Forest, Kolach and other stack areas along coast. Also driving to Cape Flattery. The road along the Strait of San Juan de Fuca from Port Angles was beautiful but very curvy with quite a bit of traffic. Have fun!! Restaurants in Natl Park not worth the money in our opinion. We did eat at a fantastic Thai Restaurant in Port Angles down near the ferry terminal but can't recall the name.

    1. We will most likely spend about a week here as well and will probably see most of the same places. We are sitting here right now trying to decide if we want to drive out to Cape Flattery, it was in our plans to this drive but the weather may not be cooperating for us and we don't want to make the drive there and back if it is going to be too foggy to see anything. We will decide shortly.

  3. Just so you know the America the Beautiful pass will also get you 1/2 off camping fees in all Corp of Engineer parks as well...

    1. Thank you John, we didn't realize that it was good for 1/2 camping fees in the COE parks. :-)

  4. I feel your pain with those *@&#$*@ tire valves. Schrader valves work so well, why did they come up with something so unworkable? :c(

  5. If you are close by, check out the pretty little town of Port Gamble.

    1. No we won't be close by there. We are making the trip around to the otherside of the peninsula and then down the 101 to near Portland where we will do a little side trip into the Columbia River Gorge.

  6. What a gorgeous hike! Jealous!

    1. It was a beautiful hike, we really wished that we had had more time to go even further along the trail but we didn't get up there until later in the afternoon. :-(

  7. Please, do not come to our country and complain or be nasty to those in our country. Be grateful we let you pass through with your attitude.

    1. I am not sure where you got the impression that we were nasty or complaining to those in your country. We have been nothing but polite!

    2. Ruth, you were hit by a bot manipulated by a shill. Other bloggers have been hit by them, too. My e-mail has also been invaded by a few. The first clue is how they sign in, "Middle Class American." I must say their English has improved. If it looks out of place, I just erase them. Their purpose is to sow discord; an arrest was made last week of one of the ringleaders, a Russian.

    3. Dee Tillotson, thanks for info! Happened to me, another group thought I wrote something not nice...bots getting more active. Anyone who TRULY knows Ruth & Kevin, KNOW they're ALWAYS: Polite, Respectful, Considerate, Helpful & Kind! Negative comments are NOT the truth!

    4. Perhaps it was just spam, Kevin was going to delete it, I guess I should just have let him do it. Thanks Pat for considering us such good people. :-)

  8. That highway reminded me of El Espinazo del Diablo. Beautiful!

    1. We thought the same thing! It also reminded us of the free road between Morelia and Toluca.

  9. Made first visit to Olympic just two weeks was an incredible visit.

    Cape Flattery was still amazing in the fog, gives an extra bit of umph to the crashing waves.

    Enjoy all the mushrooms the park has to offer. See if you can find the elusive cauliflower mushroom. We caught one glimpse on the Hoh River Trail...its a incredible looking fungi.

    Do what you can to catch a sunset from "the beach" of The Lake Quinault Lodge. It was an incredibly beautiful experience.

    1. I hope that you had good weather for your visit. We started off great but it has quickly gone downhill and is very wet. Not sure how much more of this beautiful scenery we will get to see.

      we will keep our eyes open for that neat sounding mushroom. And with the weather now, I am not sure that we will catch any sunset in the next 10 days or so! :-(


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