Did I grab the attention of all the grammar nazis? Good, because I made that word up on purpose! Ha :P It's a mix of magical and majestic, and that's what my recent vacation was. It required a one night stay in the town known as Forks. Yes, that Forks.
My plan was to get off early at work and drive down to Forks. I got the cheapest motel in the area, and I do mean cheap. At $60 a night, it didn't even have a phone or a clock radio. But it did have a fridge, microwave, and a TV with dish network, plus free wifi, so good enough! I wasn't planning on spending any time in there anyway! It's a 3 hour drive to Forks, and we got there just in time for dinner. We tried to eat at this place called the Smoke House Restaurant but it was closed, sadly. We needed to drive up to Neah Bay anyway because I wanted to see Cape Flattery, so we decided to try and find a place to eat up there.
For those unfamiliar with Neah Bay and the surrounding area, it is at the tip of the most northwest point in the continental U.S, and owned by the Makah tribe. I don't know much of anything about spending time in a Reservation, but I do know this: I immediately felt unwelcome. Justin and I stopped at the first restaurant in town: The Warmhouse. It was a typical homey place. I was looking forward to some clam strips. We walked in, and there were about 5 people (yes, everyone inside were Natives) standing at a desk looking like they were waiting to pay. We stood around for a couple minutes and noticed the sign saying "please seat yourself", so we scooted past them and started looking for a place to sit. Then we heard, rudely, "Excuse me, we're waiting." I turned, and politely answered "Oh. The sign said please seat yourself," but started walking back anyway. I'm one to always avoid conflict when possible. They looked at it, didn't apologize or anything, and found a place to sit, and so did we. Within a couple of minutes we got our menus. But then we waited, and waited. And as we waited, I felt the stares. We were the only white people in there that I noticed, and I was starting to feel very uncomfortable. We were ready to order by the time the waitress brought us our water, but she never asked if we were ready and walked off without a word. I was beginning to feel as if we were being purposefully ignored. I told Justin to try to get the attention of the waitress, and as he was putting his hand up, so did the table behind us. She walked over to them instead of us, and by then I'd had it. We'd waited probably 10-15 minutes to get our order taken and she just didn't care. We walked out. And I could swear that group behind Justin had laughed as we left.
Luckily, that was the worst of the whole trip, though. We stopped at the very next place, called Linda's Wood-fired Kitchen and Motel. A motel was a good spot to feel more welcomed, as there were other races besides Native Americans there. Now, I have absolutely no problem with any race, least of all the Native Americans. And I have never gone out of my way to act as if they were any different than anyone else. Being on the receiving end of this deep-rooted hatred, or malice, or whatever you want to call it, was very unpleasant and I never hope to feel that way again. Linda's was perfect. We ordered a pizza and it was absolutely delicious. I was much happier giving my money to someone who showed no ill-will towards anyone, no matter what their race or ethnicity.
After we ate, the sun was beginning to set, and we needed to get up to Cape Flattery in time to get some good pictures before and during sunset. But first we had to find out where to buy this so-called "Recreation Permit". On our drive around this tiny town, something was "happening", and we had no idea what the hub-bub was. The road down to the beaches were blocked, people parked beyond with surfing gear. We drove into the residential part of town where the road was stuffed with cars and tents littered everywhere, on everyone's lawn and beyond. It was the strangest sight. We found the town's store and paid for our permit, and headed up the road to the cape. It was a 3/4 of a mile walk, but they had made it very nice, adding a boardwalk similar to Lake Ozette.
The walk up to the Cape was littered with very interesting trees, and a couple stops along the way to view the ocean. The sights were magnificent. I wanted to stay to see the sunset, and got a couple of good shots of Tatoosh Island.
This was a very popular spot, even for the locals apparently. It was easy to access and private. And the sunset was beautiful.
Afterwards, we headed back to our car in the dark, along with everybody else. There had probably been 15 people up there with us to watch the sunset. On our way out of town back to our motel in Forks, we noticed that their Gym, which looked huge and brand new, was surrounded with people. Hundreds of them were standing right inside/outside and in the parking lot. All we could think was "oookay" and move on. We never did find out what was going on down there!
Well, that was day one! Tomorrow, we travel to the Hoh Rain Forest!