My family just returned from a fun-filled trip to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. It was mystical. I’ve decided to share my Top 10 Favorites with you (but in several posts, so this won’t be a novel).
You won’t find these reasons in a travel log, but it would be cool if you did. Therefore, I am making my own JoyintheMoments travel log. Now on to the Olympic countdown!
10. Fairy Tale Settings
The forests in the Olympic Peninsula are dark, thick, and beautifully eerie. It is easy to imagine you are in one of those fairy tale haunted forests, or that vampires or werewolves (from the Twilight books) are stalking you. I loved the Twilight books (and if you hate me for that, that’s your prerogative). I have grown up enough to like what I want without worrying about if anyone else likes it or not.
Forks is a cute town in the middle of the dark eerie Washington forest, and this town is making the most of the Twilight hype. Don’t you love that sign? Vampires 8.5.
And Bella’s old truck, and the sign heading into the Quileute reservations.
But they also cater to men. When the lady in the tourist office saw my husband’s disgusted look, she handed him a “Guy’s List” that said:
“Here are MANLY things to do in the Forks area that aren’t Twilight related. (Disclaimer—Girls have fun doing these things too.”
And then it had non-vampire related things on the list like: fishing, hiking, logging, jumping into ice cold lakes, playing chicken with a logging trucks (Just kidding) and other manly man things.
Isn’t the scenery so picturesque! I love how the thick, dense forest keeps the sunlight out (when there is sunlight, which we were lucky to experience). Now on to the next Favorite…
9. Fabulous Food
We were spoiled on this trip by my cool brother who works at Lake Crescent Lodge. We tried such things as Hazelnut duck, Cedar plank salmon, rabbit ragu, bacon wrapped filet mignon (my hungry son liked that one), squid, chicken fried steak (yum), and a bison burger. (To make up for that, we had half a Winco muffin in the mornings that we brought with us in the cooler—those were good too)
We probably ate too good. With all the driving, I snacked on licorice, French Onion Sun Chips (oh my! These were addicting), and blueberries and blackberries (to make me feel healthy despite all the other non-healthy food I ate). Now before you get hungry…let’s get onto the next favorite.
8. Rainy Rainforests
It rained in the rainforest. Surprise. I guess the Hoh Rainforest gets about 127 inches of rain a year, so chances are that it will rain when you visit. Two autumns ago when I went here, it was sunny and hot, and I felt it ruined my rainforest experience. I can get sunny and hot in Boise. But this time, we got the whole experience—rain and all. It was pouring when we first got here, but then let off into a light sprinkle.
We had 2 umbrellas to share, but were otherwise unprepared with rain jackets. Oh well. We left 90 degrees in Boise and about froze in the Olympic peninsula. But should you do the same, I assure you that you will still love it and have a good time. I did.
7. Mighty Mountains
Okay, forget how I said I wanted to twirl in my yard in an earlier post. I found the perfect twirling spot up at Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park last week.
Aren’t these mountains gorgeous…with the steep hills heading downward and over an almost sheer cliff full of 200 foot trees? Sigh. This viewpoint took my breath away. It was the perfect twirling spot (only there was a sign that said No Twirling. Actually it just said to keep off the grass because human feet would kill it; the deer feet didn’t seem to kill it. I was jealous of them)
This park is crazy big. You have to drive a long ways to get to all the different places (because of how steep the mountains are, nothing is connected. You might have to drive a couple hours to get to the rainforest, and a few hours another direction to get to another part of the park). Make sure you fill up with gas whenever you have the chance so you don’t end up stranded and attacked by habituated goats.
These are not habituated goats. They are my family (part of them, at least). But we saw signs warning us to be careful about habituated goats on the trails up near Hurricane Ridge. Don’t you love that name—Habituated Goats? Here’s a picture of a habituated goat (but I didn’t take it, darn!). I guess these guys can be a big problem if you pee along the trail. I’m dead serious.
I guess pee-loving habituated goats is as good a place to stop as any. Stay tuned later next week when I will tell you about a near-death experience with a grouse/bear.
- Olympic National Park (afteragain.wordpress.com)