Washington’s Northern Olympic Peninsula

One may wonder what draws a person back to a certain place, an internal gnawing at your subconsciousness to return. I have this sensation about Washington State, and I make the connection during my latest trip that the State of my birth, although I left when I was very young, still holds a beacon that calls me home to discover more of the land where I started this life.

Explorations this time around lead me out to the Northern Olympic Peninsula, a charming little town called Sequim. Upon my arrival, I settle in with a map to plan my adventures for the next few days.
I first find the Hoh rain forest, and feel like a hobbit, or maybe even a faunlike beast under the immense greenery and moss covered trees. You can almost feel otherwordly creatures watching you from the depths of the forest.

As I hike and explore, I hear what sounds like the pitter patter of feet following me. I turn first left, then right, even spinning around in a full 360, but see nothing around me. Nervousness starts to creep in, wondering what creature or beast is stalking me. Then something lands on my forearm, and I see with great relief that it is morning dew, falling in large noisy droplets to the forest floor.

There is much to see if one takes the time, mushrooms growing in the most unusual of places, tree branches twisted and tangled, growing in what would seem to be impossible angles. Spider webs fully intact, abandoned by their maker as the fall season means death for the once busy arachnid.

 

*****

The valley is full of morning fog as I finish my coffee and head along the historic highway 112. The destination is the continental United States’s most northwesternly point, Cape Flattery. I stop to watch a family of deer graze alongside the road, paying no attention to me in this pristine environment.

The last town before the Cape is the Makah Indian Reservation. From the cemetery littered with the totem poles of ancestors to old world fishing boats rocking gently in the harbor, I feel transported to a different era. Friendly locals wave their greetings to me as I pass, and I gladly return the salutation.
I as arrive to the Cape Flattery trail, there is a posted sign warning of cougar sightings in the area, and to closely watch your small children.
Cougars?
The added fear you have with this knowledge heightens all senses as you make your way down the ancient trail. I arrive safely to the Cape though, and the scenery is beyond splendor.

The hours pass slowly as sea lions and otters play, the Pacific ocean waves crash against the rocky landscape, sea kelp sways back and forth with the tide.

*****
Sunday comes, and I join the early morning risers of the area and walk along the Dungeness river. Surprisingly to me, the chinook salmon are fighting the upstream current to spawn. I perch on a railroad bridge, and watch this wonder of nature unfold before me.
I find that all of these things encapsulate me, and I piece together the land of my birth with the person I am.

3 Comments

  1. It is funny how we are drawn back to certain places, even if we have been there before. You would think we would want to go somewhere new, but no. Perhaps it is some sort of travel soul mate. That forest looks like something out of a storybook.

  2. It looks so beautiful there. I love being outside with nature. Its harder to do where I live but possible if we get in the car for a drive.

    Really enjoyed your post, as always.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?