Pilgrimage to the Olympic Peninsula.
Dancing Trees, Magnificent Mountains, Crashing waves, Cool Air…these are a few of my favorite things!
Beginning the journey. Hubby and I took a very crowded Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Seattle, Washington last week. I like Continental, except their seats are the tiniest of any airline I have flown. Since we were in the bulkhead on October 12, the first day they were selling food items, we were the first persons who bought anything from them…tried the cheese and fruit plate. It was actually pretty good-came on a contemporary shaped white plate with some red grapes, small round of brie and slices of gouda and cheddar with a few pecans and 4 water crackers for $6.25, probably less expensive than the food in the terminal. Just be prepared, they only take credit cards for food payment.
Toyota Traveling. We arrived into cool, dry weather in Seattle, rented a noisy Toyota Yaris with a strangely arranged dashboard (don’t get me wrong we aren’t against Toyotas, we own Toyota Prius’ that we love) and took the short, view- filled ferry ride to Port Townsend.
Lots of Logging.We drove through beautiful areas to Port Angeles and stayed a couple of nights at the new Holiday Inn Express while we trapsed through the awesome ancient Olympic National Forest. We had our photos made by giant trees. I hugged some trees. Outside of the National Forest there were not many vehicles on the road, except logging truck after logging truck filled with huge evergreen logs, barreling along the two lane highways…made me very sad to see lots of bald spots where clear-cut logging had been in recent action. There were some places where new trees had been replanted, but in other areas, particularly in the southwestern section not so much.
Tweenish Twilight. Before we left for the trip, we looked up Olympic Pennisula on Youtube.com. Our first video was of a man and a woman of our vintage hiding behind tall trees, then peeping around, in a sort of grown-up hide and seek, yelling out “I’m a vampire.” We thought that was really bizarre and wondered if the clean, low ozone air had done something wacky to these people’s minds. But, upon arrival we discovered that this area is “Twilight” territory. The author of the series chose the little town of Forks and the beach area of LaPush as the place of her teen vampire tales. Lots of younger teenaged girls and their Moms were to be found in Twilight t-shirts having their photos made in front of various signage. From what we heard, it’s been howlingly grrrreat for the economy of these out-of-the-way places.
Salmon fishing. We came upon a group of fisherman who were salmon fishing near Clallam Bay. It was interesting to see them fishing and filleting those large fish. We sort of felt like we were in National Geographic.
Bullman Beach and Yummy Food.We stayed two nights at the very reasonably priced Bullman Beach Inn, near Neah Bay, a lovely older 1950′s vibe inn right on the beachfront. The place was spotless and the views were incredible. Sleeping and waking to the sound of crashing waves is heavenly. The tall lush evergreens that I lovingly call “dancing trees” and the views of mountainous Canada from our living room were healing to my soul. We had a personal butler named Mouse Mouse who checked on us often and purred and meowed. We ate delish wood stove baked pizza and homemade bread at Linda’s Bakery on the Makah Reservation.
- incredible views, sounds, and smells at Bullman Beach Inn
At the ends of the earth…or at least the continental U.S. Harvey and I trekked the falsely advertised “easy” (should I say…not handicapped accessible) hike to Dungeness Spit near Sequim. We had the beautiful beach all to ourselves, but decided not to hike the 10 mile round trip on sand dotted with cobblestones. We then hiked an easier path to the awesomely beautiful Cape Flattery, the very northwesterly end of the continental U.S. It was eye-candy for the soul.
- Ravishing Ruby Beach
Beaches and Museum.We walked alone on beautiful beaches throughout the pennisula, some of our favorites being Rialta Beach and Ruby Beach.
The Makah Tribal Museum was worth every moment. This tribe has a long history on the peninsula.
Fellow Pilgrim. At Linda’s Bakery, we met an interesting young woman who is traveling by herself across the U.S. She is couch surfing much of the way and has met some interesting people along the road. We kept running into her at various places. Pilgrimage has a way of opening you up to new experiences, to see the goodness in humanity, and allowing you to trust your soul. God bless her as she continues to find healing and wholeness. May the fullness of shalom be hers.
Travel Tip: I never stay in any hotel anywhere in the world without studying about it on TripAdvisor.com. That is where I learned about Bullman Beach Inn.
Prayer of thanks. It was a great trip to refresh, renew, and continue to heal our hearts. Several losses in one year are hard on the soul, body, and mind. Thank you God for such incredible beauty that touched my soul in deep places. Your creation is magnificent, thank you for sharing with us a glimpse of the heavenlies. It was truly an enchanting peninsula pilgrimage.