The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

The Long Journey North – Part One – San Rafael, Ca to Seattle, WA


Works’s starting in a few days.  Yahoo!  Now I can focus on sharing my trip up to AK from CA.


The stats:

  • 2670+ miles total
  • 1700 by car
  • 970 by boat
  • Completely new and unfamiliar landscapes seen:  ALL of it!
  • 9 days travel time (I thought I had a deadline to make. I lament not having more time.)
  • 3 days on the Malaspina, a Ferry in the Alaska Marine Highway system
  • One cabled hat and the ribbing of a sweater knitted
  • Lowest temp on the truck’s thermometer -22.  It turned over that AM but sounded really upset.
  • Eagles spotted: 6
  • Moose spotted: 4
  • Glaciers:  Oodles and my first
  • Audio entertainment: Half of The Girl Who Played With Fire, 4 Suze Orman shows, a couple hours of The Moth and 3 Fiber Beat podcasts

The Big Picture:

I left the North Bay on a Tuesday with plans to stay at my friend Amy’s parents, in a Seattle suburb, for a couple of days.  (Thanks again, Lynn and Les!)  Snow at the CA/OR border slowed me down and prepped me a bit for the driving to come.  Exhausted, I stumbled across Wolf Creek Inn, a  former stagecoach stop and the oldest continuously used hotel in OR.  It is one of those places the luckiest of travelers stumble upon.

Built in 1883 it functioned as a tavern for stagecoach passengers. Sold to OR State Parks in 1985, 4 years were spent lovingly restoring the Inn to it’s 1920’s appearance.  The craftmanship shows. There are 9 guest rooms, most tiny, but comfortably adorned with quilts, antiques and are spotless.  Clark Gable and  Carole Lombard frequented the Inn.  The area being rich in fishing opportunity, he apparently had a taste for that.   The room I stayed in was named after them.

Below, photos of the couple and the room back then.

Most all is the same.  I had a tough time taking pics that included it all.  It was lovely!

The included breakfast the next AM was delish.  Wandering around the Inn offers up not only original furnishings but oodles of photos, most originals.  I love this sort of thing.

A peek into the “Ladies Parlor:”

Had to dash through the rest of OR. Breaks my heart.  Made it to Lynn and Les’s who took me on a tour of Seattle.

We packed a lot into that day.  I really want to come back and see more.  It’s an easy flight from Anchorage.

I could’ve sat and watched boat traffic for hours.

We hit the Public Market.  Certainly a tourist attraction, it still seemed a useful place for locals to fill their kitchens with fresh produce and meat. Stores sold everything from spices to imported pantry staples. Local artisans display their crafts.  Was glad to take it all in:

The Tallboys, an old-time string band, played outside the original Starbucks. I thought they were really good so I bought a CD.

Have a listen!  There was a video of them at the Market but it was so shaky I couldn’t watch.  This one’s better:

The stall of the famed fish-throwers:

It’s so cool seeing a  place with the help of a local.  Lynn and Les took me across the bridge to the West where the pics of the city above were snapped.  We also went to a to-die-for chocolate shop (the name escapes me.)

In that neighborhood lives the Freemont Troll:

Built as part of a neighborhood arts program, volunteers helped prepare the site under a busy bridge.  He is made of cement.  A real VW bug sits under his left hand, its hubcap the left eye.  What a clever design!

Finished off the night with a supper of seafood and oysters on the wharf.  It was a grand tour of Seattle.  I saw numerous neighborhoods. Can’t wait to return and dig deeper.  Part two of the trip started the next day.  More on that later.

2 thoughts on “The Long Journey North – Part One – San Rafael, Ca to Seattle, WA

  1. Heather,

    You are always welcome at Lynn and Les’ bed and breakfast!

    The chocolate factory was Theo Chocolate.

    Glad you found a job. Keep me posted. I may need to join you up there!

  2. Pingback: The Long Journey North Part Three – Haines, AK to Tok, AK – The Ice Road « The Knitting Nurse

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