Heller – Morrison Trail II: Washington State Odyssey

Location: Pacific Coast, first sight of ocean driving on Rt. 101 South.


From May 14 – 22, 2015, my friend Patty Morrison and I toured western and central Oregon. I documented this travel experience in eight web pages that are located on www.arnoldheller.org. For information, please access Oregon Odyssey introduction, the six legs of the trip, and a tribute to Portland’s roses.


Location: Northern Olympic Peninsula where the Puget Sound meets the Straights of Juan de Fuca.


The rationale for the journey was hatched in 1972 when my late wife Sue and I toured the U.S. shortly after moving to Atlanta. Our motive was to visit other major cities to compare Atlanta to before settling in. That goal limited time in national parks and the country side so we saw only Portland and Seattle and missed the two state’s coastlines, mountain ranges and other wonderful attractions.


In bucket-list manner, Patty and I so enjoyed our Oregon explorations that we decided to replicate the trip in Washington State July 4 – July 12, 2016 and once again succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. As one can see, we originally planned to stay in Beaver and Roslyn but changed our minds.



Leg #1: Explore Olympia, the eastern edge of the Olympic Peninsula, and the western rim of Puget Sound leading to Port Angeles and the Straights of Juan de Fuca.


Location: Port Angeles waterfront and pier.


Leg #2: Drive from Port Angeles on Rt. 101 along northern Olympic Peninsula rim and along Pacific Coast to Westport, a sleepy beach town near Aberdeen.


Location: Westport Marina and waterfront.


Leg #3: Take inland Rt. 6 to scenic Rt. 12; visit Mt. St. Helen’s on way to Packwood at the foot of Mt. Ranier National Park.


Location: Stevens Canyon Pass Entrance, southeastern part of the park.


Leg #4: Explore Ranier National Park and drive Rt. 410, the Scenic White Pass across the crest of the Cascades to the High Desert at Yakima, then take I-90 to exit 31 and the Snoqualmie Pass and Waterfall.


Location: Snoqualmie Falls from Salish Lodge viewing platform.


Leg #5: Take I-90 North to Rt. 536 to Fidalgo Island in the San Juan’s to explore Anacortes, Whidbey Island and Deception Pass.


Location: Deception Pass facing east, Whidbey Island, San Juan Islands.


Leg #6: Drive to Seattle, stay downtown, and for two days discover the charms of an urban gem in a boutique hotel.


Location: Public Market aka Pikes Market, Seattle, that draws New York density crowds.


We recommend an SUV with four wheel drive capability to maximize access to spectacular but often challenging physical attractions. Enterprise upgraded us from a Jeep Renegade to a Chevrolet Tahoe.



We flew into Seattle and drove right to Olympia, the State Capitol, to spend the night at the Red Lion Inn and begin our discovery trail similar to Lewis and Clark. Given our aim of following a route of near continuous water features that only Oregon and Washington can provide, we found the pretty Capitol Lake right behind our hotel.


Location: Red Lion Olympia front entrance.


Location: Backyard of Red Lion Inn and Capitol Lake that meanders through the city.


Leg #1: Discover the attractions and charms of Olympia; drive Rt. 101 north along the western rim of Puget Sound to Port Angeles and the Straights of Juan de Fuca.


Location: State Capital Building, Olympia, Washington


I have visited all 50 states and their capitols and believe Olympia’s government district the grandest of all and reminds me of a reduced scale model of the other Washington and its federal district.


Location: View from state capitol steps of Capitol Lake and far southern reach of Puget Sound.


Location: East corner of state capitol building. Patty admired the bed of flowers.


Location: Olympia’s downtown waterfront and marina for dining and walking.


Location: Far southern rim of Puget Sound.


Location: Hood Canal south of Port Angeles and Sequim.


We spent the night at the comfortable Red Lion Inn Port Angeles located where Puget Sound ends and the Straights of Juan de Fuca begin.


Location: View from our Red Lion Inn Port Angeles patio.