Thursday, July 30, 2015

Perfect Balance of Natural and Necessary

 The Sequim/Port Angeles area has been a surprise. While I expected the waters and forests to be beautiful, I didn't realize just how awe-inspiring they are.

I also didn't realize that while not a city, Sequim is a nice size town with every necessity.  In addition to a Safeway, Sunny Farms Country Store (thank you Lisa!), and a large Walmart, there is even a Costco. Several major pharmacies, Home Depot, Petco, good size sporting goods stores, variety of restaurants, and a decent medical center make it a great place to "get things taken care of" in between all the more fun stuff we do. 

Port Angeles rounds it out with auto dealerships, a small waterfront with the ferries to British Columbia, a sweet downtown, a movie theatre, numerous service providers (get your sewing machine fixed), and a few nice city parks.

There are several small live-music and theatre venues, museums and galleries as well.

Love all the totems throughout both towns
A glimpse of Canada from the waterfront

Doing a short walk through Port Angeles while Bill "took care of things" at the fly-fishing store, I enjoyed all the art and flowers that were seemingly everywhere.

Art and flowers should be required in all towns
Several RV parks are interspersed throughout the area and all are very full. We're coming back this way next week and managed to find a couple sites to cover the days we needed. I think we'll get solar before we dry camp again (more on that later).

No mall, no factories, no large industrial complexes, no sky scrapers.

Tuesday we drove north to Lake Crescent in our continued mission to find a decent fishing spot. While the goal eluded us once again, as always the pursuit took us to stunning natural beauty.

Lake Crescent is also a glacier lake
Legs crossed wearing camo?
Peaceful shores
Dog's eye view
The glacier once filled the space from the top of these mountains
to 600 (some say 1000) feet below in the center of the lake

Another way to enjoy a day at the lake

Wednesday we moved away from water and back to the trees. I read that Hurricane Ridge was a great place to see part of the Olympic National Park, and less than 20 miles from Port Angeles.
With every space full at the Visitor's Center in town, it wasn't surprising to find others already ahead of us at our mid-morning arrival to the park. Thanks to our America the Beautiful Pass we were able to move past the entrance gate - thanks Michelle!!
Must be something pretty cool to see up there
In 17 miles we climbed from sea level to over 5300'. There were small pockets of snow and when we were done we were just below the tree line.
Port Angeles and the Strait with Mt Baker from about 3000'
See. Mt Baker, really :-)
The forests we couldn't see the other day. Yes, because of all the trees.
And there are glaciers.
Real ones.
My first.
The largest is Blue Glacier and in addition to being awesome all by itself, the tip of Mount Olympus lives in the same neighborhood. They like hang out up there. It is very, very impressive.
Real glaciers <giggle>
Our first crowds of the summer. We can share.
Blue Glacier and there on the right is
the tip of Mt Olympus 
Cue Julie Andrews

It's also high for a couple flat-landers (at least for me) so we enjoyed the views from the Visitors Center patio, and I checked out the exhibits upstairs.

On the way back we drove through Heart of the Hills campground. Tents and small campers only. Very pretty.

During our short stay here I have really enjoyed the Bluff Trail behind the campground. It is always different. And always beautiful.

Dungeness Spit with first cup

At low tide
After dinner walk
Next we head back to the Pacific Coast. Good timing as it's expected to be 80 degrees in Sequim for a whole day!


  1. Love the camo tree!

    When we were planning our fulltime lifestyle I expected us to be doing a fair amount of boondocking...turns out I despise the sound of the generator, totally defeats the purpose of being out in nature. Since we don't want to spend the money on solar on this rig we pretty much don't boondock. Someday we'll have a house again and will probably downsize our is a requirement on the next rig!

    1. Same here. Thought we'd be at state and national parks with a few private parks, but it has been the opposite and we're okay with that :-) We are hoping to boondock at Borrego this winter, but if the solar doesn't happen, there's a nice park there too! Glad you liked the tree :-)))))

  2. What a beautiful tour Jodee, I love those glacier lakes. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Maura! Hope it's not too hot and humid in your new digs :-)))))

    2. LOL...Hot, Humid and lots of Rain..getting used to it. But, I do love strolling along the coast with you.

  3. I absolutely love the Olympics and haven't enjoyed those views for far too long. PA is a fun little town. Sequim must have grown immensely to have all those shopping choices. But then it is the "banana belt" on the peninsula.

    1. It's such a beautiful area, and the weather is certainly ideal in the belt! With the removal of the dams on the Elwa River they say wildlife is returning as well which hopefully balances some of the growth :-)))))

  4. It was so long ago that we were at Hurricane Ridge, I don't remember the glaciers being so impressive, Jodee. Now I can't wait for us to be able to check them out again! More at photos!

    1. I have nothing to compare them with, but these were beautiful both far away and through the zoom of the camera.

  5. Thank you for the steps back where I was born and raised. I love that area. So much beauty in such a small area.

    1. It truly is - what a wonderful place to grow up!!

  6. Thanks to so many bloggers like yourself, we are thinking of spending the summer in Oregon and Washington along the coast. We did the city areas one year but now I need to see all this beauty. Aren't the glaciers wonderful!! Now you need to head to Alberta and check out Banff and Jasper NP and the glaciers. It's a much easier trip than going to Alaska. Your photos of the Blue Glacier are so pretty:) I love the camo legs! Very clever catch. The lake shots are super from your angles:) You are getting good with that camera! And we are enjoying the results!

    1. Thanks Pam :-))) I'm having fun with it. You definitely need to spend a summer on this route - there are lots of good hikes that we didn't do but that you would love. I'm sure that 12 mile hike to the lighthouse at Dungeness would be a sweet stroll :-)

  7. We love that area! We stayed at Salt Creek Recreation Area when we were there (good place for big rigs, too, with a front row view of the ocean). You're finding all the good places -- your photos from Hurricane Ridge are wonderful! And Lake Crescent is lovely -- the lodge has a beautiful glassed in porch with views of the lake -- it's a delightful spot for lunch or happy hour. :-)

    1. I'd still like to stay at Salt Creek but only the first comes are open and I'd not want to get up there just to turn around so we'll make it next time. We'll be back near Lake Crescent next week and will try to check out the lodge, it sounds wonderful. I'm so glad we're getting more time in the area!!

  8. So how did I miss this post? Must be my infrequent ability to use our internet here in Shenandoah National Park. Well I'm glad I found it. The "Cue Julie Andrews" made me laugh out loud. Gorgeous Glacial Lake and Glacier. Being a kayaker, I really prefer lakes without power boats BUT as a former water skier, if someone offered me a pull, I'd jump on it. Love love Olympic National park and am sooooooooooo envious of your being there. Enjoy it a TON for me please!

    1. Glad you came along with me and Julie :-) There was a "back" area of the lake, where it actually enters a creek rather than the other way around - I called it a "leak" - that would be amazing for kayaks! Calm and lots of beautiful shoreline to explore. Every day we keep saying there can't be anything more beautiful and then around the corner - there is! Am absolutely enjoying it enough for both of us :-))))