On Sunday, June 26, 2011, I drove Washington State Route 117 from its beginning in western Port Angeles to its terminus in western Port Angeles. Let's go truckin'!
State route No. 117:
A state highway to be known as state route number 117 is established as follows:
Beginning at a junction with state route number 101 in Port Angeles, thence northerly to the port of Port Angeles at Marine Drive.
Just west of Tumwater Creek along US Highway 101 on the western outskirts of Port Angeles, there sits an unassuming half-interchange and overpass. That overpass is the southern end of SR 117. If you're headed east on 101 to get here, don't be fooled by the "US 101 Truck Route" sign. It's actually 117. WSDOT just wants to make sure trucks go this way...
SR 117 follows Tumwater Creek down its canyon, tumbling quickly toward the sea. A few businesses alongside the road, but not much else. At the halfway point on the highway, we spy a city street spanning the canyon, far above. No sign, no contact...
The canyon flattens out. A few more businesses, and suddenly a stoplight ahead. We've reached the end of SR 117, here at Marine Drive. This is at the heart of the industrial port of Port Angeles. Huge piles of lumber abound. The only possible rationale for SR 117 to be a state highway is to guide the truckers away from the quaint city center. The city surely doesn’t want the tourists to know what *really* supports the city.
Well, that was fun. Hurricane Ridge, anybody?