Some of the best adventures are those that aren’t planned. I hadn’t expected to be going to a music festival in hoodsport, but when one door closes, others open, and when opportunities present themselves: one must always seize the day!
It was through a family member that I’d heard about Hoodstock, I had originally planned on camping at Hama Hama River but there was a fire raging out of control just across the river from the camp ground.
It seems like the entire country is on fire right now. The sun rises and sets in blood red through the eerie smoke that limits visibility. Still the day was beautiful and a camping trip was going to happen!
No matter where you are, as long you have a good time, that is all that matters!
It was Saturday, finally a weekend to explore! I woke up with the intent of finding a new path to adventure, I browsed google maps in 3D Satellite mode, looking for rivers and lakes, searched for nearby campgrounds, local events and restaurants and decided to make a day of heading up to Port Angeles. There is a restaurant there that has the most amazing bloody mary, it comes with a slider on the top….
You know what? It’s just easier to show you:
(Full Disclosure: I did not take this photo, I lazily snagged it from this great article: http://nwtravelmag.com/uncovering-the-secrets-of-port-angeles-washington/ )
Sadly, I did not make it to PA this time, but at least I have something to look forward to on the next journey. As much as I wish I had taken that photo above, and had… ummm… consumed? them… devoured them? reveled in them? savored every last…
So anyway, as I was planning my trip I remembered the Hoodstock post on facebook and I figured I would give that a shot on my way up to PA. I packed and loaded my transit van. I’ve got a light removable trundle bed in there with a memory foam mattress, I store an Oktoberfest folding beer table (what makes it a beer table? not sure, but amazon had me at the word beer) and matching folding benches under the bed along with a camp stove, folding chairs, 4 wood crates with food, clothing, other supplies and a cooler. I was excited to take my van on its inaugural camping trip.
After a quick supply stop at the local grocery store I was on my way! After a short 2 hour drive I found myself at an old schoolhouse in the middle of farm land, I was impressed at the setup, it was well thought out, it had a beer garden, even though it was 21+ only and most people had brought their own alcohol, it was great for those of us who didn’t bring any.
I spotted my parents in the beer garden sipping on their drinks and after paying for access, I joined them for a cold frosty beverage and some live music.
Shortly after we decided that we all should get some food, we love the Squaxion Island seafood bar at the Little Creek Casino, a short 15 mile drive away. We loaded into our vehicles and part way into the drive we were treated to the sight of people parachuting down, coming in for a landing at the local airstrip! That is an adventure that’s been on my list for a while!
At the restaurant, I ended up ordering a cup of the Crab Bisque, which is absolutely amazing tasting, even knowing my lactose intolerance punishes me for days after, it was still worth it! For the main course I chose a half pound of shrimp in a curry saute. Between that and the drinks I was ready for a food coma!
After the delicious meal I decided that I wanted to sit by some water and chill out for a bit, so I pulled open google maps on my phone and quickly found the closest lake with a state park a short 5 minute drive from where I was. Isabella Lake State Park. I decided to just grab my camera and go check out the park / lake real quick. I was stunned at the massive swath of land that opened up in front of me as I walked out of the parking area. Impressive to say the least! I had to admire the view a bit before I noticed pathways leading downward toward a small forest with glimpses of shimmering blue water just beyond.
I followed the shortest path to the water, a decent distance even while going down hill. walking through the tunnel of trees into the cover of their foliage was almost magical. The shafts of sunlight cutting through the trees, making leaves glow and giving a nice contrast of light and dark. The sparkling blue waters just ahead, the sound of its waves splashing upon the shore, stirred up by various motorized watercraft humming in the distance. As I climbed down to the lakeside shore I was treated to an amazing view framed by trees overhanging the water. This was it, this was the spot to chill!
While enjoying the spot that I had the great luck to discover, a large variety of sea craft passed by, I took photos of this or that to warm up for some good shots. All the sudden I hear the roaring approach of a speed boat as it cruised past my secluded little beach. Catching the captains look, I waved hello and the 3 on board waved back. On their way out, they ended up making a sharp turn and coming back to the shore and as they pulled into the little cove, they asked if I wanted a tour of the lake on the boat. They said that they saw me with my camera and thought that I might like to get some shots from the water. I was happy to take them up on the offer, and I couldn’t have happened into a group of nicer people! They offered me some drinks, showed me all the cool spots of the lake and the connecting water ways. They explained the geography of the area and we exchanged stories, talked about life, and ended up cruising around the lake until they ran out of gas. We hung out at the beach for a while and swam and joked and laughed. It was a great experience and I hope to stay in touch with them.
The locals called these “Isabellas Plunge”, the boards going up the large post on the right are for souls brave enough to climb up and dive off
The trail back to the parking area seemed a lot further away, mostly since it was all uphill. I had a pretty decent sweat worked up by the time I reached my van. I loaded up, picked up some booze at the local grocery store and made my way back to Hoodstock. The sun was starting to set and it looked like another planet, glowing red through the smokey haze, as it got lower and lower in the sky. The crowd had grown quite a bit since I had left and the music had become much livelier. I decided that since it was late and with PA being another of couple hours drive away, that I would just camp for the night at Hoodstock.
First thing I did was crack a beer, you know, to help me setup camp… After getting it all done and I got my cooler and everything situated, I enjoyed the music that was just 1000 yards away from my camp site.
I grabbed my party pack, camera, folding backpack chair and headed towards the music! I ended up walking next to the event coordinator along the way and she was kind enough to tell me about the event and the planning of it, It was a great turn out for being it’s first year!
Right away as I got to the main festival area I met the nicest and most enthusiastic person, whom as it turns out, is a fellow videographer! He was willing to show my some of his work and I was impressed. He’s passionate about his work and puts a lot of effort and energy into it. I love meeting people with that kind of energy, that sort of love of life. He introduced me to his girlfriend and his boss, who happened to be my step mothers friend growing up, they had known each other since they were babies. She owned the shaved ice cart I had walked by and the videographer and his girlfriend were employees of hers.
I spent most the evening hanging out with them and later met the owners husband who I immediately hit it off with. We had drinks, talked about anything and everything, listened to the music and after the sun went down, everybody started dancing and really enjoying themselves. I had to go around and get some night shots and a bit of video.
It was an amazing adventure, I got up just before sunrise and drove home. enjoying the scenery and the empty roads at the start of another beautiful day. As soon as I got home I cut together a short video from all the footage I had collected on my phone, I was excited to share my unexpected adventure with others.