Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday... trip on a tank! ( well this is a few tanks but still alot of fun!)

       Over the next few weeks I am going to do a trip on a tank Camping style.

Kalaloch is one of the most visited areas of Olympic National Park.  Kalaloch and Ruby Beach are located on the southwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. They are directly off of Highway 101

There are two places that you can camp Kalaloch and South Beach. These two camp areas are the only two camp grounds on the southern coast of Olympic National Park.  Kalaloch is open year-round, and has 175 campsites, four of which are wheelchair accessible. Make sure to reserve as early on in the year as possible, as they fill up quickly and most are booked throughout the summer.  If you want to take the chance to drive out to Kalaloch without a reservation, You may get lucky there were several sites that opened up. Also it will help if you get there early and check in with the park ranger he or she is there to help you. 

The two spots that we had were B-11 and B-16 both were great one was for my parents and the Hub's and I the other was for my grandparents. B-11 was a site that they have used on many of the stays that we have had over the years as a family. They have been going to Kalaloch campground for over 55 years.  The site is nice but its really cold in the shade and doesn't get the sun and for the older or younger crowd you shouldn't camp in this site. For the Hub's and I  it would have been a perfect camp site.  B-16 was perfect for one tent and for my parent's fifth wheel. It was wonderful after going every summer from the time I was 5 years old I feel like this trip was the best time I have ever had.  Mainly because it is the first time that all five days were beautiful and sunny, there wasn't even a need for a tarp. 

Just an FYI, check out is 11:00 AM and check in is at 12:00pm.  When we got there last week our two spots that we have had reserved (sense January 2010) There were people that were taking their time to get out of our spots.  SO if you do go please have your stuff ready to check out at 11:00 it’s really the only thoughtful thing for you to do. 

South Beach, just south of Kalaloch, has about 50 campsites and is open Memorial Day to late September. It has no shelter and is perfect for the days that aren’t stormy unless you are in an RV. A tent with no shelter in Kalaloch is a huge risk. I know for me its not one I would take. 

There are many hikes you can take on the 101 near Kalaloch. What I love about it is that each beach from trail 4 to Ruby beach are so different and beautiful in all the different ways, but each need to be enjoyed on their own. So make sure that you take the time out to explore. Some of the hikes would be to hard for children to do, Our fur babies loved the trails. Except Trail 4 our girl fur baby was no okay with it. Hub's had to carry her up the hill the entire way.

The Kalaloch Lodge is amazing and so beautiful. I will be trying to do a review on week long visit to all the lodges on the Olympic Peninsula.  The Lodge is right on the beach, has rooms and cabins available for reservation. On the site they have a full restaurant & full bar, a beautiful gift shop and a store for all your needs.  I was able to get all the fixings for the bon fire at the beach

While we were there this time we went on three day trips on our week at the ocean. The first was to Forks, ahhhhhhhhhhh... I love forks for one reason.... EDWARD CULLEN! :) We went to all the twilight stores and had a Bella Burger at Sullys. It was such a fun day.  The next day we went to the Lake Quinault Lodge. The beauty and history of the lodge and the resort is so rich. It makes me feel like I am part of the in crowd in the middle of the movie dirty dancing. You have to go there and experience it for yourself to fully know what I am talking about. The third day we went to La Push. When we were there the mood was sad and somber, as we were just minutes from seeing a Coast Guard Chopper go down. We watched as they tried to re-cover the plane and the pilots. Being that my father and hub's are part of the Coast Guard made it hit that much closer to home. Our family kept all of their families as we drove back to the camp ground that night.

What you might not know is that the Olympic Peninsula provides some amazing sights of the pristine beaches and marine wildlife. North of Ruby Beach, the Hoh River creates a natural boundary. When hiking the coast, remember to check the tides. (current charts available at the Kalaloch Information Station). Certain areas may become impassable during high tides. It was so peaceful watching the sunset each night against the horizon, you truly haven't lived until you have seen the sun set at the Pacific Ocean.  
 So do yourself a wonderful favor fill that tank grab the tent and head on out to the pacific coast of Washington. If there are other places you would like me to check out and do a review please feel free to leave it in a comment and we will do what we can to get there.