I took my daughter and niece on a research trip to visit La Push, Forks, and Olympic National Park for my upcoming novel, The Enchanted Bungalow--the ninth book in my Mystery House Series in which three friends in their fifties flip or visit haunted properties and solve mysteries to untether the ghosts. In The Enchanted Bungalow, the three friends--Sue, Tanya, and Ellen--will celebrate Tanya's sixtieth birthday with a Twilight tour.
My favorite place we visited was La Push. We stayed at Quileute Oceanside Resort. This was the view from our condo on First Beach:
The island on the left is called A-Ka-Lat or James Island. In the old days, the Quileute would lay their tribal leaders to rest in canoes perched in the top of those fir trees. The smaller island on the far right is called Little James.
We lunched at Riverside Restaurant where we saw seals swimming by our window.
Second Beach at La Push is even more beautiful. We saw starfish and hermit crabs in the tide pools. We also saw huge stones and ancient trees carved by sea and wind into sculptural works of art.
To get there, we had to hike a treacherous path through the rain forest. Despite the difficulty, the hike was worth it. The rain forest looked like the home of fairies--it was so magical!
People had left stones behind in the nooks of trees.
From La Push, we drove to Forks for the Twilight tour.
We saw Bella's truck, the Swan and Cullen homes (not the ones in the movies but the ones the books were based on), the community hospital and police department, and the high school.
Can you see Edward and Jacob peering down from the upstairs windows?
From Forks, we hiked through the Hoh Rain Forest where we saw the Hall of Mosses and the Spruce Nature Trail--exhilarating and breathtaking!
The trees were ginormous!
Many of them had perfect hobbit holes to shelter animals from the almost constant rain.
The draping mosses looked like curtains the way they hung from the tree branches.
From the rain forest, we went to Lake Crescent, where we saw more gorgeous views!
From there, we hiked through more rain forest to Marymere Falls.
The trail leading to the falls included bridges, stairs, and some steep hills, but the hike was worth it!
From Marymere Falls, we drove to Sekiu Point hoping to spot whales.
While we didn't see whales, we saw Canada in the distance and these amazing clusters of clams.
We also spotted a seal swimming toward us, but I didn't capture it in a photo. We were told by a couple of townies that sea lions visited the marina every day at high tide (around 3pm), but we didn't have time to wait to see them.
We needed to head to Port Angeles to dine at Bella Italiana, the restaurant where Edward and Bella supposedly ate.
The food was delish!! Then we went to a lookout tower and spotted two seals and an otter.
You can't tell it in the above photo, but I'm on a tower 150 feet above the sea!
The Pacific Northwest is the most beautiful area I have ever visited. If you haven't been there yet, I hope you have a chance to see it, too!