Road Trip: Olympic Peninsula

Photo by Jenden Pano: Coupeville Ferry at sunrise.

My partner Dane, is born and raised in Port Angeles, and very close to his family. Every few months we take the time to road trip over from Bellingham to spend some dedicated family time. The ferry ride, and the beautiful scenic drive always make it exciting. From the ferry you can see Mt. Baker, the Olympics, and the Canadians all in a 360 degree view. Sunrise on the ferry is my favorite, absolutely stunning.

We arrived Thursday night in order to have a full day of fun on Friday--the forecast, sunny and clear skies. Friday morning we woke up before the sunrise, and were out the door as soon as the first rays peaked through the kitchen window. Our adventure of the day: touring the Hurricane Ridge backcountry. We arrived at the Olympic National Park gates by 8:30am and drove on through, the first guests of the day. As we wound our way up to the lodge, the snow banks continued to grow from barely visible to a near 10 ft, and the Olympics peaked up through the snow-covered trees. It was breath-taking.

We reached the top and quickly got ready, antsy to get out and play. The sun warmed my face, and I knew today I would get those sun kissed cheeks and rosy nose. We were ready--Dane with his split board, and I with my snowshoes, lets go!!

Everything glistened and sparkled, and looked as though we had arrived in a fairy tale land. Snow covered bushes and trees turned into rounded towers, snow drifts formed soft pillowy balls. It was magical.

We snowshoed 6 1/2 miles and summited a peak. Dane rode a line he had been day-dreaming about for quite some time. It was perfect. The adventure of the day--successfully accomplished.

Saturday morning we had a slow start. Gluten free teff and blueberry pancakes wafted through the kitchen and fresh coffee was brewing in the pot. cozy.

It was cloudy, with a potential for clearing. The sun shone bright over the Vancouver Island, but we were still in the dark. We decided to drive out to Cresent Beach so Dane could check out the surf and that I could go on my favorite peninsula run. Its beautiful there. A long sand beach with amazing breaks, and a small haystack in the distance. Yet today, there was no surf, and a very low tide. I went for my run, while Dane went on a walk. By the time I returned to the truck, the sun had made its way to us. The beach was lit with the warm glow. I walked out to the haystack on the tidal flats where I knew I could find Dane.

He had discovered a large batch of mussels at the bottom of the haystack. Some as large as my hand, others as small as an almond, they were begging to be harvested. My eyes grew big, and I began to pick the "perfect size" mussels, medium-small. After only 5 minutes the two of us had about 2 lbs of mussels, enough for an appetizer to share. YUM!!

Once we arrived back at Pamela and Mike's home,(Dane's Parents) Pamela and I went   to the Port Angeles Farmers Market. Small but sweet, it was bustling with food vendors, farmers, artists, and visitors all enjoying the warm spring sun. There was everything from raab lacinato kale, to pasture-raised eggs and meats, to organic fair trade coffee. Spring is here and the foods are beginning to flourish!

The Olympic Peninsula is the only place I know where the ocean and the mountains are so close to one another. Not only does this make the peninsula a natural beauty but a place with plenty of awaiting adventures. If you love to hike, ski, mountain bike, etc., its all here.

I will miss you Pamela, Mike, Betty, and the adventures of the Olympic Peninsula!! See you in 6 months!

Popular Posts