Saturday was a fine day in Mason County, Washington. While the Shellfish Festival was the big draw, my husband and I set off for a hike along Big Creek in Olympic National Forest. The 4.5 mile loop trail follows and crosses gushing and trickling Big Creek, Branch Creek, Skinwood Creek, and No Name Creek and offers many log benches and spots for enjoying the first few falling leaves and the still-warm sun.
En route to El Puerto de Angeles IV, a waterfront Mexican restaurant in Hoodsport, we saw a sign for The Hardware Distillery Co. and decided to venture in. I'm not a big fan of distilled spirits, but I cannot resist and old fashioned hardware store. Well, this artisanal distillery is in a former hardware store building (so just a few relic tools on display) and offers free tastings. And now I have a new vice. The "forty five and rainy" season is coming and I figured a few sips of locally distilled gin and aquavit wouldn't hurt. The Hardware Distillery makes several unique and flavorful spirits, including something they call "Bees Knees" because it doesn't fit the vodka or gin category. Many are flavored with Washington State honey and local fruits.
I also cannot resist a good sunset. This one required several roadside pull-offs to get the right view and eventually found us at Sanderson Field, the airport in Shelton, where we had a big sky view of a pretty normal sunset...but a great cloud set.
For details on the Big Creek hike, click here. NOTE: The campground and parking is closed for renovation/expansion, but you can park along the road. The entire loop is now hikable, thanks to the work of the Rose Trail Crew for repairing the bridges!
For details on The Hardware Distillery, click here.
Hover and click to advance photos in this gallery from Mason County, WA.