Fairholme Lake Crescent - Beatty Family Pacific Northwest Trip 2015 Part Three
Joey and Emily had gone ahead of the group and found us first-come first-serve campsites at Fairholme Campground at Lake Crescent in the northern part of Olympic National Park. We were so worried about finding sites for our large group without reservations that somehow I did not expect such a magical place with a huge sapphire-blue lake surrounded by ferns and pines. The campground was set on a hillside with little paths curving through the woods and connecting at a larger path to the bathroom. It felt quaint, cozy and idyllic. In the evening I remember taking the girls in the stroller to the bathroom down the secret little dirt path; I ran with them to give them a wild ride and they were overjoyed as gravity led us down that bumpy corridor through the trees.
Here Orion got stung not once, but twice, by wasps. In almost the exact same spot on his arm! Once the first afternoon, and then again the next morning. Poor kid. He's a rambler into the forest nooks and that has its perils.
Set up a little coloring/play area for the girls, an idea that stuck and was useful for all the rest of our camping days.
Darin and Emily and I walked down our short path to the lakeshore with the kids. The clear waters had us mesmerized and the girls thought it was great fun to walk about on the little dock. Bella really wanted to jump off despite the afternoon's shade. One more for our "next time" list.
Our whole group minus Pops decided to head out for a hike along Spruce Railroad Trail to look for a swimming hole we'd been told about. Beautiful lush little trail follows along the historic tracks for the railroad that was used to haul lumber from the Sitka spruce trees after WWI. There are even a couple spooky old railroad tunnels.We came expecting to hike a mile or less, so we were fairly unprepared as far as the babies go, and we didn't realize until much later that the trailhead to the swimming hole was on the opposite side and was closed during our visit. We entered the trail from Camp David Road and hiked well over a mile along this tantalizing vivid lakeshore, trying to find the famed swimming hole which I now know is known as the Punchbowl and expecting it around every corner. We eventually found a little cove where the bravest among us took to the water like trout. Our cove was a patch of wild spearmint so Amy harvested a bunch that she would later brew into a lovely pot of tea that we'd all share. Lucy helped enthusiastically.
Everyone took turns giving the baby piggy back rides back. It was dinner time and the young were restless.
Amy had spied this perfect tree jutting out into those sparkling waters on our way in. On the way back out, despite the evening shadows and the freezing water, she just had to take the plunge!
Back at camp we greeted Pops, built a fire (yeah, this was our last campground that allowed fires, I got mixed up last time! Thank you Fairholme!) and made veggie dogs and chili bowls for dinner. Tootie and Oey bonded over some serious coloring time, a sight I loved to see. She is accustomed to the sweetest attentions from Bella but it is always extra special when one or both of the boys plays with her. Jarom even told me that it's "cute" when Toot calls him "Jare."
Speaking of, mornings with Bella are the best. She always comes seeking out Lucy, Polly, and Scout, ready to interact and play with them from sun's first rays.
Polly had a full blown cold by that time and had a fitful night. I decided that, no matter what everyone else did, we should probably head into Port Townsend early and get her some medicine just in case, plus citrus fruits and other healthy things to eat. Everyone else pretty much did the same. But first we meandered around having breakfast and taking down camp, and we all stopped at the visitor's center in Port Angeles for one last foray into the world of Olympic National Park.
Then we caught up with Joey and Emily in the pretty, bustling little Victorian seaport of Port Townsend. It turned out that we only had about an hour before we had to catch our ferry. We got the perfect bag of groceries to carry us through the second half of our trip at Aldrich's Market uptown, a place I had been before and was so glad to find pretty much unchanged. Although we were bummed they did not have Elderberry syrup for our little nighttime coughers, we did find local cherry tomatoes and blueberries, oranges and tortilla chips and salsa and yogurts and everything else we needed. We also played at a park across the street with Joey and Em and Scout, and then made a mad dash for slices of pizza at Waterfront Pizza where we were lucky to find a quick parking spot. We scarfed two, and brought two to share with the others on the ferry. Tootie loved their dragon motif, and to me, pizza never tasted so good!
You never met a group more excited about a thirty minute ferry ride. Even the wait in line was exciting! Seeing all our cars lined up together, including Mikie and Marisa's, who had joined us stealthily the night before, made me feel so together. Boarding the ferry and going on this adventure together, looking out at the water and the little town receding, getting snacks and running and jumping in the wind, scanning the waves eagerly with my little girls for dolphins and whales and sea lions, along with our Pops too....not sure now but maybe it was his first ferry ride? It was just exhilarating.
So fun to have one more sister along! Marisa is endlessly exuberant and game for anything. She, Amy and Emily are the perfect matches for my three brothers and make everything a billion times more fun! I love them so much.
A clamorous dash to our cars and we're aboard!
Falling-asleep Scouty, to the water's rhythm.
Now our group is complete! The ferry ride seals the deal.
Port Townsend behind us, Whidbey Island and Deception Pass and Anacortes ahead....so much stored already in our skin and hearts, so much more awaiting in the wild beyond.