25 September 2013

Trip to Forks, the last two days

Abby Weyr Forks Trip Day 18 & 19

Day 18 of trip was Saturday 21 September 2013. Most of 101 in Oregon is close to the coast and had some great views. Stopped at view points and heritage markers that provide some beautiful scenery and interesting info about the places – especially the settling of the areas. There are some nice picturesque towns along the way.

I got to Tillamook Cheese Factory about noon. Interesting self-guided tour. There is a cheese sample bar, packaged food and kitchen items store, ice cream shop, a cafĂ© and a souvenir shop all kind of crowded together. Had a grilled cheese sandwich that had taste buds jumping for joy. There were a couple of kitchen items I got – one is a different bottle opener made of silicon rubber loop that tighten down to size, hope it helps. The other was a cheese slicer with Tillamook on it as a souvenir.

South of Tillamook the towns took on a decided tacky tourist trap beach town look. Antique, collectibles, surf shops galore. Some nice scenery but enough is enough. At Newport decided to head to I-5. Nice drive through the mountains again to get there. As soon as got out of mountains and looked south I could see I was headed for rain and likely lots and hard from looks of clouds. I did though it was in bands lasting about five minutes. Most of rain wasn’t that hard and easy enough to keep driving. I wasn’t tired and drove until about 7pm stopping in Sutherlin Oregon. I might have kept going, but going through the mountain pass in dark and still some rain didn’t seem a good idea so  decided safer and wiser to stop for the night.

Sunday 22 September 2013 was day 19 of trip and would be last day. No rain. Mountain pass interesting difference in mountain vegetation. The Mt Shasta view point was open and could actually see the mountain, well the top was hidden in clouds. What could see had more snow than remember seeing on way to Forks. Stopped in Redding to visit Karen and return her Twilight token. It was nice to have the time to stand and walk a bit and enjoyable conversation, her husband is prior Air Force. Stopped in Vacaville Black Bear Diner for dinner and to let the sun go all the way down so not shining in my eyes as driving. Home about 2100hrs.

Monday and Tuesday have been unpack and catch up on mundane world life. Today is Wednesday and life returning to routine.

My thanks to my two virtual traveling companions. Hope everyone enjoyed the pictures and comments about the trip. I’ll be back to posting comments about things in a few days. Take care.

20 September 2013

Forks Trip day 17, starting home

Abby Weyr Forks Trip Day 17 starting home 20 September 2013

It was pouring rain this morning. Fortunately by time I got all packed up the rain had decreased to intermittent. On the road heading south on 101. It is kind of strange seeing a two lane 101, when so use to four or six or eight lanes. Rain started up again and let up as driving in and out of rain bands. 

As driving around the area, most times all you see is a narrow V of sky. The trees are so close to the road and so tall that is all you can see. Trees are everywhere it seems. There are some clear cut patches. You can see where on the mountain side it had be clear cut - size of trees makes a very clear line of where cut. Sometimes the trees are a little shorter or further back from the road and you can see wider sky above. 

I drove slower than most wanted, so if had a line behind me I would pull over at turn out and let them pass. Especially with the wet roads and unfamiliar territory I wanted to drive more carefully. Also slower helps in seeing the sights. With the clouds not much to see. When did have some clearing, you could see wisps of clouds being pulled upward. Looked dramatic. Didn't stop to take pictures. Not a lot of places to be able to do that. Wonder if a motorcycle would be better as needs less space to pull over. I imagine my mother rolling over in her grave at me driving a motorcycle. 

Decided to stop in Astoria, Oregon. Went through a lot of low lands with sloughs and creeks and rivers. Different from all the forested mountain lands. There is a Lewis and Clark National Park close to Astoria. There was a rest stop shortly before crossing the bridge from Washington to Oregon that had some interesting info on L&C. The Columbia River is wide and calm at this point. 

Tomorrow is Tillamook and Newport. Decide if continue on 101 or swing over to I-5. I'm missing my bed and a really good nights sleep. 

Take care until next update. 

Trip to Forks Day 16, Last Day in Forks

Forks Trip Day 16, Thursday 19 September 2013 Last day in Forks

Updated General remarks at the bottom at 8pm, 19 Sep

The last day in Forks was a quiet relaxing day packing and taking a couple of hikes around town. It was a very clear sunny day. The afternoon had a little breeze but still short sleeve weather. Walked to City Hall / Police Station / Water department to get my Water Dept souvenirs – water bill, police pen, and junior police badge. Charlene mentioned that they had those on the tour Sunday evening. Walked a little further to the Miller Tree Inn to take some pictures in nice weather. The chain saw carving in really interesting. Stopped at Post Office for box or two to send stuff home.

Back at motel it did take two boxes. No sense keeping the fancy dress clothes for the parties with me and way too many books. Also sent some dirty clothes home that need to be line dried. Packed up suitcase and various odds/ends stuff.

Went for another walk, this time to the Olympic Sporting Goods store to see if they had any hiking sticks – ones with pointed end. There was no sign with hours and the door was locked. Then I walked on down to the True Value Hardware store. They were sold out of what they had. On to Chinhook Pharmacy for alcohol, my little bottle was nearly empty due to the hurt ear lobe. They are preparing for Home Coming celebration next weekend. The stores decorate inside and the windows and are judged on team spirit display. Nice chat with the cashiers.

One last drive to gas station then to Thriftway for couple of pictures of signs. Last stop was the Visitor info for their nature loop. A pleasant way to end the day and visit.

General miscellaneous comments about Forks Washington that may not have been previously mentioned.

There is more than one stop light – there is a flashing yellow light for emergency vehicles to use to stop traffic when needed.

All you have to do is stand close to the cross walk and cars stop to let you cross. I was amazed.

Everyone is friendly. Willing to chat a bit and share things about the town. They all embrace the Twilight phenomenon. I never got the impression that anyone thinks we are weird or anything for being so caught up with a series of books about vampires and werewolves.  

The people at the Forks Motel have been great. The room has been great. The shower head is half step down from wonderful – doesn’t have a massaging setting. There isn't a desk, but the table and chair are good height for using the computer as I have. There are enough outlets and easy to reach. The refrigerator was really useful; there is a microwave too. They have a little store for souvenirs and light meals and snacks that came in handy. I’ve been a happy camper here!

It is a small town. It is quaint. It is quiet and slow. It is a nice place to live.
I’ve had a very enjoyable visit, but it is time to head home. I’ll update as I have available internet connection. Hope you have enjoyed the visit along with me. Take care.

19 September 2013

Forks Trip Day 15 Hoh Rainforest and Ruby Beach

Abby Weyr Forks Trip Day 15 Wednesday 18 Sep 13
Hoh Rainforest Spruce Trail and Ruby Beach

Had breakfast at the diner associated with Charlie in Twilight. Returned the too small T-shirt to Leppell’s, they have larger size blank T-Shirt and will put the image on it. I can pick up later today or tomorrow. They agreed that the sizes run small for that company.

Plan is to hike the Spruce Trail in Hoh Rainforest today and then to Ruby Beach. Just before turning off of 101 realized I’d left water bottles in room…another forgetful moment. Stopped at Peak 6 store and bought some water. Managed not to look around the store again. Weather was clearing up, going to be a good sunny day.

The Spruce Trail hike is 1.2 miles and fairly flat. It starts off in older forest area by visitor center. Trees similar to what saw on Saturday on Hall of Mosses trail. As go along the path drops down a little to what was the river bed. The area changes from old shade loving plants to younger forest life. Start seeing white barked trees, grass and ferns. The path goes to the river and follows it for a little ways before heading back to the visitor center. It crosses over a spring fed creek with really clear running water. Didn’t stop to take so many pictures today so the hike took 1.5 hours. It was kind of sad to see so many people on the trail, just walking…quickly. How can they enjoy the scenery that way? How can they feel the majesty of the forest?

Back at the car I had a snack before heading for Ruby Beach. That was a great visit. A little hike to beach and climbing over driftwood logs to get to beach. There were some nice views of the sea stacks along the way. There was a ‘pond’ back from beach that the drainage path cuts across the beach. I decided to go the drier way first to some smaller sea stacks. 

Bright sun on the water was hard on the eyes. Used the polarizer lens on the camera. The smaller stacks were not all that interesting. Did see some interesting ‘colored’ rocks on the way. Walked across the water closer to the where the water was coming up and drainage water not so deep and feet only got a little wet. The larger sea stacks on this side were more interesting. There were some tide pools, but I didn’t see any critters in them. A young lady climbing around on the rocks pointed out a wood piece that looked like a beached whale. Nice to hear someone else seeing things like that.

On the way back stopped and chatted with a fellow Nikon camera user visiting from Manhattan. I crossed the drainage path and got wetter feet. Forgot to bring a change of socks with me. Do have a towel and dry pair of shoes. Wondering if I’ll forget my way home and just keep driving south. Time to head to motel and food. Made it back before Leppell’s closed so got my larger size T-Shirt. Watched reruns of NCIS on USA network while worked on pictures and blog.

18 September 2013

Trip to Forks, Day 14, Port Angeles

I didn’t stop in Port Angeles on the way to Forks, so today, Tuesday 17 Sep 13, I back tracked to visit places of Twilight interest. Enjoyed the drive along Lake Crescent going in this direction. Found a good place to park with easy walk to TWS places and other places. Found Michael’s and Bella Italia with no problem. Michael’s is the location that was Bella Italia until the owners split up – one got the location, one got the name and moved across the street. Both open up at 1600hrs and I’m not staying for dinner. Found a nice little place for breakfast, Oven Spoonful. Then to Port Book and News, not the new age store in Twilight. First thing as walk in is a delightful display of chocolates. They also have a bunch of cool toys for all ages. I found the science fiction aisle … and all but #2 of a series that I’ve been looking for the follow on books to the first that I read some time ago. The series is by Andre Norton and Sasha Miller, The Oak, Yew, Ash, and Rowan Cycle. The cashier recommended some places to visit. As walking toward car realized I was missing my hat. After putting the books in car, I walked back to Oven Spoonful and there it was. Hmmm…thankfully it has been a very long time since left something behind. Really like that red hat from San Diego trip, keeps the sun out of eyes and currently matches my red SMD T-shirt.

Walked down to the wharf area. A ferry was coming in. There was Feiro Marine Life Center to visit. It is an education organization mainly. There are pool with sea critters you can touch. Across the way was a small mall with a couple of restaurants and stores and empty space. One of stores was also art gallery. Found a Christmas walking stick. There were a bunch of interestingly decorated sticks, but the Christmas one seemed to call to me. I was hoping to find one of Native American art, preferably Pacific Northwest, but haven’t found any so got the Christmas one. The artist uses techniques inspired Australian aboriginals, Eskimos, and other native cultures, so close to what I was looking for.    

Checked out the Port Angeles Visitor Center / Chamber of Commerce. Nice chat with lady there. Suggested going out to the Coast Guard Station to see the harbor and city from there. Leisure walk to car. Noticed lots of places to park car and get on ferry, prices range from $6 to $10 a day. There is a nice area with benches to sit and watch the come and go of ships. The drive to the Coast Guard station ‘goes through’ a paper mill. Smelly. Clouds had been building up so sky was interesting above the city. Interesting enough view.

On the way back to Forks, I stopped at the Lake Crescent Lodge for late lunch. Nice place with beautiful views. The wind was picking up and felt a little on the cool side of comfortable. Ran through Katmom’s story “Emeralds to Rubies” as waited for meal. After eating walked out on to their dock and definitely not like her story. I walked to lodge with only my wallet and keys. Managed to leave my wallet in bathroom. Not had this problem in long time and then twice in one day?

After my shower this morning I tried on all the new T-Shirts. Found one that fits like it is two sizes smaller than stated. Did not get back to Forks in time to return it to Leppell’s. Worked on pictures and blog for the evening while watching NCIS and NCIS: LA.

and then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our Forever in Forks

family is about more than just blood. Jasper, Alice, Wolf Jacob, Nessie, Bella, Edward, Emmett, Rosalie, Esme, Carlisle.

Twilight Then, now and forever.... Stephenie Meyer Day 2013

Forks Trip Day 13 La Push, Rialto Beach

Woke up not feeling so good. The weather outside wasn’t nice either. So the morning was spent working on blog, uploading pictures and some writing, and sending emails with pictures. About noon the weather inside me and outside room had improved. I walked over to Leppell’s and a number of the Olympic Coven cast were there. Chatted a bit, thanked them, let them know posted my pictures. I bought some T-Shirts and gifts. She has some really nice and interesting Twilight related items. Still thinking about the Bella bracelet. Would like to have one, but ….

Went to La Push to check out the gift shop at the Quileute Oceanside Resort office. Found some more things to buy – mainly some earring posts. On to First Beach. Weather really clear but not bright sun. There was an Osprey flying and diving. Sometimes photography gets in the way of just watching and enjoying the moment. Chatted a bit with a couple watching the birds as well.

James Island from First Beach

One of the Osprey pictures

Decided to find my way over to Rialto beach again for the sunset there with the driftwood to maybe frame some images. Stopped at Second Beach. There is a ¾ mile hike to the beach up and down a good size hill. I did not know that when I started. I did not have on my hiking boots. I did not have water bottle with me. I did not make it to the beach. Keep in mind I woke up not feeling so good and it had been awhile since eaten and unprepared for that hike. One gentleman walked a ways with me and we had a nice chat. I got to hear the surf, but just got to point of enough to walk back from where I was. Took lots of pictures, a lot of the shapes reminded me of mythological beings – Godzilla was one and a lot of flying dragons.


Back to car and on to Rialto Beach. Popular photographic place that evening. Nice sunset with some interesting driftwood frames. 

17 September 2013

Trip to Forks, Day 12 Last Day of SMD

The day started with the Farewell Breakfast for the Forever in Forks group. It was raining lightly. Finally we get rain. Breakfast was good – waffles with warm berry syrup, usual pastries and fruit and breakfast casserole which was basically a fancy omelet. It was a rather quiet group, guess they got all the noise out last night at the party. I said my goodbyes and thanks to Anna and Sharon on my way as I left to go to church. I signed up for Bella’s Twilight Adventure Tour that evening at Leppell’s on way to meetinghouse. They mentioned that the weather was possible problem with dinner on beach to watch sunset, but would do something.

It was really raining when got to the meetinghouse. Strangely there were no signs as to what the building was. It looked like a meetinghouse, but wasn’t positive until went inside. While waiting for Sacrament meeting to get started wrote in my trip journal. Nice friendly ward and very small. One sister was very straightforward about needing me here rather than my current home ward. Nice meeting. It was still raining when I left after Sacrament meeting.

There were some SMD2013 events going on, but I really needed to do laundry. The soap box had enough soap for two loads and I had only one load. So what to do with the rest, how keep it and yet not spill all over everything? I did time it right…there was one washer open when I got there and as leaving two groups came in with multiple loads each.

Nessie’s birthday party was at Miller Tree Inn, also known as the Cullen home. Rain continued throughout the day off and on and varied from heavy to light. The Inn is really interesting…it has the graduation cap movie prop. There is a cute sign out front from Esme. The front room is set up as Carlisle’s office. There is an upright piano for Edward with Twilight sheet music from soundtracks. There are a number of other Twilight related items around the rooms. The party was a final photo op with the Olympic Coven. It was announced on FB and likely Twitter that there would be no refreshments, however later heard about Nessie blowing out candles on the cake – happened after I left, too many people in too small a space. Said final goodbye and thank you to Anna before leaving.

While waiting for the tour I worked on catching up on posts and photos. The weather had cleared some, so the beach barbeque was a go. The tour was fantastic. Charlene Leppell was our tour guide and Richard the driver. Charlene had lots of local stories about various points of interests related to Twilight. We stopped at the City Hall / Police Station, then to Miller Tree Inn. Richard noticed some elk had come out of the tree in field so we made a slight detour. We then went to house associated with Bella and Charlie Swann. It is a private residence and they don’t allow people close to the house. They do have a sign out front and allow pictures from there. Lovely gardens.

Off to Rialto beach and hot dog and s’mores. The weather was still not raining. We wandered about for about 15 minutes. This beach was rocky, much more like First beach is described in the books. All different sizes of rocks, fist size to pea size. Lots of driftwood around as well. It was too cloudy to see the sunset, but still no rain. Half way through my hot dog it started to rain, not hard. Food didn’t really get wet. We all just laughed it off as part of the adventure. We had s’mores too. Richard and Charlene have a great set up with multiple hot dog wire cooker and marshmallows made for s’mores. We packed up and off to Jacob’s house and motorcycle. It was dark by now so flash needed on cameras. One couple’s camera flash was working intermittingly. We all had to kind of wait for theirs to work or not. Oh forgot to mention they have life size cutouts that they bring out so we can take pictures with the cut out too. Charlene was wonderful in offering to take pictures of me at the places. We all sat on the motorcycle for pictures next to Jacob and then on the porch. The next stop was the treaty line and vampire meter at Three Rivers restaurant/gas station/store. Then on to the Welcome to Forks sign.

James Island is in background hiding in fog. 

The hospital and Carlisle’s parking space was the next stop. The sign has been moved around several times, for different reasons. Currently it is around the corner from handicap parking sign above a bicycle rack. That struck me as really funny at the time. Bella’s trucks in front of the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center was the next stop. There is the book correct truck, 1953, and the movie version, 1963. Final stop was the out of doors back of Leppell’s where the SMD2013 group party was held on Saturday. They have the Monte Carlo arch from the movie and gazebo shaped lights. 

The tour started about 1730hrs and we got back about 2130hrs. It was well worth the money. Interesting stories. Fun time. Great way to end SMD weekend.

Forks Trip Day 11, Hoh Rainforest, FiF Party

My apology for the late post. I am not a good traveler anymore and things have just caught up and I’ve not been able to stay up to post after getting back to motel room about 2300hrs. Today is day 13 of trip and I’m going to spend this morning catching up on days 11 and 12. This is being prepared off line due to internet connection being down, so hopefully it will be back before I’m done working off line. Thank you for your patience.

Attending Bella’s First Hunt at the Hoh Rain forest was the morning activity. It is about a 30 mile drive, but takes almost an hour to drive. It was cloudy until crossed the boundary for the park area and the sun started breaking through the clouds. A small group of us were gathered at the Visitor’s Center waiting for the Olympic Coven to arrive. After about 15 minutes I decided to go on without them. I was there to see the forest not the Coven. The Hall of Mosses seemed about the right length for time available. It was beautiful. Green mostly. Ancient, even the moss felt ancient.

The Olympic Coven with larger group of fans was on way up as I was finishing. They posed on the trail where our paths crossed. I took a couple of pictures – a nice one of Alice and Rosalie. Victoria and James were stalking the humans. Victoria was wearing a green t-shirt and with her red hair, further up the trail she’ll blend in well with the changing maple trees. Caught James hiding behind a tree and brush. Chatted with the James actor before he had to get back to stalking the humans. He is from a forest area and misses the trees and all. I posted all the pictures of the Olympic Coven as separate two separate posts.

There were a couple of stores on the way in and I stopped on the way out. Kind of fun mix of tourist souvenirs and hiking/camping equipment. There was a small open air market by Chamber of Commerce with some interesting vendors.

The costume contest was nearly over by time I got there. There were some good costumes. Emmett was arm wrestling fans at same time. The Coven ladies were the costume contest judges and the Coven guys were supporting Emmett.

There was a group photo at the Forks High School with the Olympic coven. Very large group. I wonder how the photographer got us all in. It will be interesting to see once it gets on SMD web site or Facebook page. 

Time for a break and get ready for the big Forever in Forks party tonight. Got dressed up with excellent reason to wear my Twilight jewelry. The tables were crowded together in the Elks Club. There were water glasses set on table, but no water. Tables off to side had the silent auction and raffle items on display. I bid on a travel mug with hot chocolate packets and was the final bid. All proceeds are going to Stand Up 2 Cancer. There were two photo booths set up – one inserted you into forested area with FiF 2013 at bottom, the other took four shots and provided props to play with. Yes, I did both and no intention of sharing with anyone. I don’t do goofy or play act well.

The music was loud so hard to talk and hear each other. With closed packed together tables it was hard to move around. I found a seat and mostly stayed there. They had to set up another table for ticket holders to sit and eat and one for the musicians to display their CD’s for sale. It was close to 1930hrs when dinner was served. No announcement was made to whole group, just to those by the buffet tables or at least I did not hear any announcement. People started getting food and others realized food ready.
The food was good and hot or cold as suppose to be. There were a couple of different salads, rice and shrimp dish, tomato and sausage soup, potato and cheese bake, vegetable medley, rolls, mushroom ravioli and salmon cakes. Most of us at our table didn’t care for the soup, various reasons. Everything else was good. Desert was sort of simple compared to what we had at the picnic, very nicely decorated cupcakes.

The no announcement thing happened again when the musician guests started playing. All so loud hard to tell when the music went from recorded DJ to the live musicians. The room barely quieted. I felt sorry for the performers with that competition. Cider Sky was the first to perform and then Iko. Both groups only played three or four songs as part of concert. To me it was more dinner theatre than concert, but I’ve been out of live music performances for long time. After the live performance the music went to karaoke. The only song I recognized was “Proud Mary”. There were children in the group and at least one song had explicit language warning with the words. A lot of the young women there were wearing outfits that covered about as much as Tina Turner’s outfits usually did and maybe still do.

The Hoh Rainforest trip, costume contest and arm wrestling were arranged by the Stephenie Meyer Day group and the party was part of the Forever in Forks package. FiF also had a showing of both parts of Breaking Dawn that started at same time as Bella’s First Hunt. There was another party held by the Stephenie Meyer Day 2013 group that had The Hillywood Show ladies as a guest. I was going to try to make it over there too, but didn’t. I didn’t stay at the party for the raffle or to see if the Hindi Sisters made it to that party too. Apparently Eric Odom and Jack Morrissey showed up to both parties. He played Peter in BD2 and Jack Morrissey is Bill Condon’s partner. I did not see either one of them. I stayed as late and as long as I could take the loudness.

16 September 2013

SMD Olympic Coven Pictures Saturday and Sunday

First a couple of Emmett arm wrestling a fan.

Then at the group photo in front of Forks High School.

Bella and Edward were a little late getting there. Wonder what they were doing?

The coven in front of the collected fans.

At the Hoh Rainforest Hall of Mosses Trail

James stalking the humans while Alice and Rosalie take a break.

Saturday night's Forever in Forks party Jasper and karaoke.

Sunday at Nessie's Birthday party at Miller Tree Inn aka Cullen's Home

SMD Olympic Coven Pictures Day 10, Friday Picnic

These were all taken at the Forever in Forks picnic at La Push on Friday 13 September 2013.

Edward talking to someone's friend that couldn't make it.

With Stephenie Meyer, not a good picture but sharing anyway