The Historic Sou’wester Lodge
Last night we arrived at the Historic Souâ€™wester Lodge just after dark. Lauren and I were quite excited for this particular accommodation, as weâ€™d hand-picked it from our Lonely Planet guide. How could we resist with a description like this?:
â€œBuilt in 1892 by an Oregon senator, this 3-story lodge â€“ now owned by a well-traveled couple from South Africa who arrived here via Israel â€“ has a self-amused air of funkiness, eclecticism, and nonchalance. Itâ€™s heavy on irreverence: the proprietors insist that the establishment is B&(MYOD)B, or â€˜bed and make your own damn breakfastâ€™ â€¦ Worth investigating are the â€˜Tch Tchâ€™ units, or Trailer Classics Hodgepodge – a collection of 1950â€™s Spartan house trailers, each one renovated and individually decorated a la Souâ€™wester.â€
Obviously weâ€™d booked one of those trailers.
Upon arriving, we checked in at the main lodge. We were greeted by a sweet, quirky woman at the desk, who took her sweet time in chatting with us and checking us in. We knew we were in for a treat when we noticed a massive collection of cabbage patch dolls on display in the office, as well as a filing cabinet covered in post-it notes with some variation of â€œnot here now, back soonâ€ written on them. LOVE IT!!
The lady showed us to our trailer, which more than lived up to its description. It was littered with 1950â€™s memorabilia, e.g. old issues of National Geographic, old books and newsletters, and other knick-knacks. The first thing we did was photograph the hell out of our new home before cluttering it with our luggage. We then discovered that there was wallpaper on the shower walls! And! â€“ the trailer had pull-out dividers that section the bathroom off from the bedroom and kitchen, essentially enclosing the connecting hallway and making it a part of the bathroom. BRILLIANT!
So today we woke up and went into town to caffeinate and pick up groceries. We then made ourselves eggs and blueberry pancakes for brunch and had it with our instant Mexican coffee and orange juice. The trailer was kitted out with plenty of utensils and cooking supplies, and had a sink, stove, and counter for us to utilize.
After brunch, the most logical thing to do would probably be to sit around and digest our filling meal. But no, I had other plans in mind: a photoshoot in the trailer park! I made Lauren dress up in her vintage plaid dress and she fit right in with the 1950′s decor. Then I had her sit up on the counter and do a few different poses with various props. We also did some silly shots of her on the bed with old magazines and a deck of cards. I didn’t have my flash, so we were playing with the natural light streaming through the windows. It wasn’t quite hitting where we wanted it to hit, but we made do. The shoot was an exhausting experience, but really useful for expanding my photo capabilities, if nothing else.
By the time the shoot had progressed outside, I’d decided I’d had enough. It was drizzling out; plus, my throat was starting to bother me and I felt too tired to be bothered with doing anything else. So we took a few photos of ourselves outside the trailer, which ended up as a sort of mockery of the Simple Life. The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging around our trailer, resting and web surfing, which was EXACTLY what we needed after 10 straight days of travel. How perfect is it that the one day of rain this entire trip happened to be the one day we wanted to bum around indoors? And yes, despite being a 1950′s-style trailer park, it was equipped with wifi (thank god!).
By late afternoon, we checked out at the main lodge. The owners were rather chatty, and wanted to know about where we’d come from and where we were going, so we ended up leaving a bit later than expected. Aw but that old couple was so cute that we didn’t really mind the delay.
At last, we began our evening drive up the Washington coast. The road wound through scenic marshland dotted with trees and rivers and cows, and sporadically cut through small conservative fishing towns. Lauren literally cringed whenever we passed by lumberyards, which were marked by patches of bare land in the middle of the forest. It was a whole different feeling being on the WA coast than it was when we were down in OR. OR felt more laidback and open and had such a positive spirit associated with it; WA somehow felt more desolate and disconnected. Basically, all I can think about when I picture the WA coast is fish and lumber and Jesus!
We didn’t have much to choose from in the way of restaurants on our drive, and ended up stopping at the Sea View Diner in South Bend. It was run by some unfriendly Jesus folk who took pride in their oyster dishes. Right outside the entrance was a a grill(?) and a massive pile of oyster shells all over the ground. It was pretty ridiculous. So was our food, actually: my fish sandwich ended up resembling a fish fillet from McDonald’s, and the garlic bread was made from hot dog buns. Seriously?! At least Lauren’s french fries were pretty decent. Unfortunately for her, they were fried in the same oil as the fish was and, being vegetarian, the fish oil upset her stomach. I felt really bad for her as she suffered on our drive to Lake Quinault, insisting that she was ok to drive us.
We were absolutely exhausted when we arrived at the Lake Quinault Rainforest Resort. There was still a bit of light in the sky at 9:15pm, so we got to enjoy the lake at dusk. Lauren pretty much collapsed in bed trying to avoid getting sick, and I did the usual web surfing and next day planning. Now, I should note that despite calling itself a ‘resort’, it wasn’t quite that. Nevertheless, it may have been our best value accommodation for the entire trip. Our motel room had 2 connecting bedrooms, each with a TV and queen-sized bed. The bathroom was nice and spacious and located in-between the two rooms. My room had a floor-to-ceiling window facing the lake. Not too shabby. It’s a shame that we didn’t have more time to enjoy the location, though this could be said about almost everywhere we stopped on the roadtrip.