Scott and Tami at the end of the road.

The End of the Road

We made it to the end of the road. Starting in Key West in January our goal was to cross the country from corner to corner. We made it all the way. Perhaps in a couple of years, we will repeat the adventure of crossing from San Diego to the far northeast corner of Maine. That sounds like a good complementary route to this one.

This map shows our starting point on January 1 in Key West Florida and our route across the United States. If you want to go in a straight line, you better fly... and you won't have a place to land when you get to the end of the road.
This map shows our starting point in January in Key West Florida and our route across the United States. If you want to go in a straight line, you better fly… and you won’t have a place to land when you get to the end of the road.

Key West

Our 2021 journey ended in Key West on January 1st. We made it there with time to spare. I find it fitting that our stay in Key West started our 2022 journey. Of course, I have several photos of sunsets in Key West (and in the post titled Key West Sunsets), but I think that my best picture of a sunset in Key West is this one.

Key West Sunsets
Picture from our post titled Key West Sunsets.

If you haven’t visited the post about Key West Sunset there is a surprise at the end with links to multiple posts containing wonderful sunset pictures that we have taken over the years. This includes the sunset picture of our RV, in San Diego, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I am pretty proud of that one, as it was chosen for the cover photo of the Family RVing magazine. I guess the thing I remember most about our stay in Key West is the sunsets. Here is a link (again). Key West Sunsets

At the other End of the Road

At the other end of the road, all the way across the country, we stayed on the Olympic Penisula and in Olympic National Park. This end of the road is home to the Makah Indian Tribe. Their reservation covers most of the northwest corner of the Olympic Penisula. Both Callam Bay and Neah Bay are traditional Makah fishing villages. Neah Bay is the last town on Highway 112 and has a very good museum documenting the Makah people.

Neah Bay is the last town near the end of the road in Washington.
Neah Bay is the last town near the end of the road in Washington.

Cape Flattery

To the northwest of Neah Bay is Cape Flattery. The parking lot for the Cape Flattery trail is at the end of the road. From there it is a footpath. This leads to the Cape Flattery Lighthouse overlook platform. Cape Flattery is a rock outcropping a little further north of the lighthouse overlook platform. A little southwest of the overlook platform is Kessiso Rocks. The problem with going to either of these two other locations is the lack of trails.

Cape Flattery northwest Washington is at the end of the road.
Cape Flattery northwest Washington is at the end of the road.

The purpose of this trail is to see the island and the lighthouse. The top picture in this post has our smiling faces and you can see the island in the background, but fog shrouds the lighthouse. Moisture is typical at this location, and this was the reason the lighthouse was put here in the first place. Still, the trail was good and the walk through the forest was very nice.

Much of the Cape Flattery trail is a board walk due to the ample rain at this location.
Much of the Cape Flattery trail is a boardwalk due to the ample rain at this location.

The forest here was very interesting, almost a rainforest but really its biggest influence was the abundant coastal moisture. They get plenty of rain, but even in the summer, it is moist. What they don’t have is abundant sunshine.

Tami stopped for this picture on the Cape Flattery Lighthouse trail.
Tami stopped for this picture on the Cape Flattery Lighthouse trail.

Rocky Cliffs

Near the end of the Cape Flattery Trail, you start getting glimpses of the Pacific Ocean. They get huge waves here and these granite islands are often sprayed with seawater as the waves crash against their foundations. You can see the erosion at the bottom. On the day we visited, the ocean was very calm and very pretty but still, the waves were a couple of feet high. A couple of years back we took pictures of some truly awesome waves pounding the Washington coast. I even included a seven-second-long video of Cape Disappointment in that post. Here is a link to that post. Stormy…

Cape Flattery is at the furthest northwest point along the coast of Washinton. The Cape Flattery Lighthouse trail is the final mile leading out to these cliffs on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
Cape Flattery is at the furthest northwest point along the coast of Washinton. The Cape Flattery Lighthouse trail is the final mile leading out to these cliffs on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
This picture looks to the northeast at the end of the Cape Flattery Lighthouse Trail.
This picture looks to the northeast towards the rocks at Cape Flattery at the end of the Cape Flattery Lighthouse Trail.
This picture looks to the southwest at the end of the Cape Flattery Lighthouse Trail.
This picture looks to the southwest towards Kessiso Rocks at the end of the Cape Flattery Lighthouse Trail. Some brave people kayak into these caves. Helmets are recommended.

Between Key West and Cape Flattery

Besides seeing our family both in Boise and Bellingham Washington, and complaining about the weather (our only spring was in the middle of May in Boise), the thing that impressed me most was following the Lewis and Clark Trail. We were following the Lewis and Clark Trail, starting in Lolo, Montana all the way across Idaho. Here is a link to our travel along the Lochsa River. The Lochsa River

Cape Flattery Lighthouse

Eventually, we got to see the Camp Flattery Lighthouse peeking out of the fog as the day warmed. It was fun to watch the fog gradually lift and the lighthouse being revealed very slowly. Unlike most of our pictures that are taken on a hike or from our travels in the car, this one took some time.

Cape Flattery Lighthouse
Cape Flattery Lighthouse

What is next

It is time to turn south but there is so much to see here on the Olympic Penisula. Weather, especially winter weather, has a lot to do with our travels. So, starting at Cape Flattery, our goal is to head south and keep heading south until we are in San Diego. We will cover three different corners of the United States all in one year. Of course, the goal is contrived of our own ambition but just the same, without a goal and without heading south, winter is going to catch us, and when it does we want to be someplace mild. Like Key West or San Diego.

Our visit to Olympic National Park

We visited Cape Flattery while visiting Olympic National Park. Going to the end of the road was optional but not for us. Here are links to our stories about the other things we explored while in the area.

Hurricane Ridge

Lake Crescent

Hoh Rain Forest

Kalaloch Beach

Olympic Rain Shadow

Other Links

Makah Nation

Cape Flattery Lighthouse Trail

7 thoughts on “The End of the Road”

  1. Jersey & Joan Lyle

    Thanks for sharing your adventures. Your e-mails were very informative & enjoyable reading.
    Thanks Again,
    Enjoy,
    Wonderful in Retirement in Morrisville,
    Jersey & Joan

  2. I’ve always liked the idea of “themed” travel or people who have some sort of goal in mind as they go from place to place. We know other RVers who extensively explored the Lewis and Clark trail, and I love your idea of going from one corner of the country to the other in a single year. But yeah, now is the time to head for San Diego! Have a taco for me when you get there!

  3. End of the Road is my favorite post of yours! Thank you for sharing some amazing corners of this great and vast country of ours!
    Idea: reach out to a publisher/software for American students to see, learn about and appreciate the finer qualities of our homeland!

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