Olympic Peninsula Bus Trip
July 10-15, 1979
Reminiscing on the events of the last four days, 33 slightly weary but still high-spirited Obsidians and friends, one tour escort and one bus driver pulled into the South Eugene High Parking lot at 6:45 Friday, July 13, 1979. Their memories were still very clear of their arrival on Wednesday night at the mysterious Manress Castle. Without knowing quite what to expect, they had been ushered into a luxurious hotel, full of memories of the past. Every room had a different decor of early day antiques. Dinner and breakfast were served in what had been the Chapel lined with confessionals which existed during the 1920s and 30s when the Jesuit Priests owned the castle and paced its halls.
Memories of our very charming Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce guide, Mrs. Jackson, were of being shown around town the next day to see all the historic homes and Ft. Warden as well as a tour through the Rothschild House and a very old Episcopalian Church with a ship’s bell. Reluctantly, we left Port Townsend (rainfall 17 inches a year) and we were now remembering the deer and wildflowers as well as the snow covered mountains with massive vistas of the Olympics on the drive up the mountain to Hurricane Ridge. But our memories weren’t very clear of the view from the top as it was raining and we could not see the view nor of the trip down as we had lost a cotter pin from the transmission on the bus and were traveling quite slow. However, our capable bus driver, Baxter Shaw, got us safely to Storm King Visitor’s center where we hiked the trail to lovely Merrymere Falls. It was a treat to discover we could also hike on a side trail to our place of lodging at Lake Crescent. Our lively tour escort, Sue Boardman, met us on the trail with our room keys.
We were remembering the peace and tranquility of Lake Crescent (no T.V.), feeding the ducks, watching the smooth mirror-like quality of the lake (600 feet deep) and our cabins all with a view of the lake and private patios. Again, we reluctantly left but we remembered many things were in store for us on this day. First, La Push, our first look at the Pacific Ocean and an Indian Village, then the Hoh Rain Forest where some explored the Hall of Mosses and some the Spruce Loop. Our tour escort had rounded up box lunches and we were able to picnic at this lovely spot. On to Kalalock (pronounced Klaylock) Beach for a short stop and then our somewhat long ride to Long Beach. However, our assistant leader, Jane Hilt, made the time go fast with her detailed informative descriptions of many of the towns and landmarks.
Before leaving our condominiums at the Chatauqua Lodge, a short visit was made by some to the historic village of Oysterville on the bayside of the peninsula. Here we saw where the first oyster beds were discovered and the site of the booming business that started in the 1850s when they were shipped to San Francisco. Among our last memories was the remarkably clear weather we had to cross the four-mile long Astoria Bridge over the mighty Columbia River. Some were remembering sore knees from climbing the 167 steps of the Astoria Column. But most of all we remembered the good fellowship among all, the fun things Sue thought up, and the good sports with whom we traveled.
(Editor's note: We all laughed when “Buck” Carter chose the response that he would climb a tree if chased by a bear, because we thought he would look awfully funny, climbing “with a bear behind!” Also, we had a contest to see who could guess the mileage closest to the actual miles traveled on this trip. Ruth Nichols won first prize of some lovely note paper for guessing a few miles short of the total, and second closes (guessing over the amount) and “booby” prize winner of a book of Moron jokes was Lois Schreiner. Baxter safely drove and Sue excellently guided the following: Anne Aylworth, Lois Baker, Beulah Barker, Julia Barnhill, Margaret Barnard, Margaret Block, Mary Bridgeman, Grace and Melvin “Buck” Carter, Ella Carrick, Irene Flynn, Winona Harrison, Virginia Horton, Margaret Hulegaard, Miki Hutchison, Bea LeFevre, Vi McClung, Elwina Meacham, Daisy Niccolls, Ruth Nichols, Jan & Pat Pattison, Bertha Richardson, Lois Schreiner, Grace Smith, Myrtle Smith, Helen Stovall, Edna Temple, Thelma Watson, Ruth Williams, Lillian Williams, assistant leader Jane Hilt and leader Bette Hack.