31 August 2010
with all my wistfulness and forlorning, i do feel like i did most of what i wanted to do this summer. we had a big party this weekend with all of our friends in our backyard. i made desserts and lit candles in bell jars when the sun went down. i picked blackberries in my grandma's front yard yesterday and boiled up peaches with water and sugar to put over yogurt all week long. here, see my progress on my summer list. i'm pretty happy with all i was able to do.
with that, september begins tomorrow and i will be here with a september list. no more whining about the end of summer. just confidence and contentment in the next changing season.
30 August 2010
(i meant to post this friday, but got too busy. this is the last of my olympic peninsula guides)
-on our last day of vacation, we got up early, packed up camp, said one last good-bye to the spit and headed out of town. with time to kill in our day, we decided to stop at one of our favorite little towns, port townsend. breakfast at salal cafe is a must. they will serve you eggs in any way you can imagine--frittata, omelet, scrambled, poached--all with yummy and fresh goodies on top or inside. i'm not always up for a plate of eggs, so instead i went for a tofu scramble with spinach, tomatoes and parmesan. so good. we warmed up on their back deck that has a greenhouse cover.
-wandering around the strip of town doesn't take too long, pop into small locally owned stores to get the flavor of the town or to find a special treasure to take home. i found a great deal on recycled glassware so i picked up a bowl for the kitchen.
-the wooden boat center in port townsend is beautiful! so many handcrafted boats with lots of style and care. we had fun looking out onto the water and watching the boats.-we got into town too early for a beer, but i can't talk about port townsend without mentioning the port townsend brewery. on other trips, we've sat at the bar and ordered tasting samples of all their beers. they do a fine job at just about everything. go there.
26 August 2010
after a full day of drizzle, we were so happy to pack up our car and drive out sequim, the "banana belt" of the peninsula (the area is called that because it is always drier and warmer than any other parts of the northern peninsula). we stopped at my all-time favorite grocery stores, sunny farms and reserved a spot at the dungeness spit campground.
-before walking down to the official dungeness spit, walk along the bluff overlooking the strait of juan de fuca and take a look at canada. if you stand there long enough, cruise ships and barges will pass by.
-the dungeness spit is a wildlife refuge and a $3 donation is required to journey down to the beach. it is absolutely worth it. the small hike down is scattered with signs about leaving no trace, disturbing no animals, taking only pictures and leaving shells and sticks where you found them. these signs are a great reminder of our impact on our environment and they made me wish signs like this were all over.
-bring binoculars, you might spot birds you've never seen before.
i was so happy to be in a warm spot with lots of visual inspiration: the shapes and lines of the seaweed and the grass in the wind, the smooth rocks and the bright flowers.
one more day of olympic peninsula pictures and then i'm done. things are picking up around here and i'm getting a bit nervous for fall, but i'm throwing a party for jon's birthday this weekend (it's a big one) and i'm excited to celebrate the end of summer with good friends.
25 August 2010
-you can't go all the way out to heart of the hills campground without making the extra trek up to hurricane ridge. it is 12 miles from the campground and takes quite a long time, but you will never regret it. just go slow on those corners! the fog was so thick at camp that we were nervous to not see all the beauty at the top, but as soon as we rounded the bend to hurricane ridge, the sky opened and beautiful mountain tops appeared.
-get out of the car and take in the panorama view of the top of the olympics. the mountain air is so fresh and crisp, mixing with the scent of sweet smelling sage and mountain flowers.
-the visitor center is worth a trip, if not for all the history and ecology information, then to check out the old signage--black and white pictures and mid-century fonts.
-here is the place to pack a picnic. take simple sandwiches and eat them on the benches with other visitors, overlooking the view.
-finally, mosey around on the trails past short mountain trees, leftover snow, deer and wildflowers, slowly taking all the beauty in.
24 August 2010
-from heart of the hills campground, take lake dawn road out to the elwha river. the road won't be marked well and it won't be paved for part of the way. you may see clear cuts and a make-shift shooting range, but you'll also see homes nestled along the lake and forest and meadow. and no other cars.
-drive out to the elwha dam and walk around. stop by the river and watch it rush along. notice the parts of the river that go faster, that bend, that are still.
23 August 2010
a guide to enjoying the olympic peninsula
ferry-from seattle, you have two ferry options. i usually choose edmunds to kingston on the way out to the peninsula and bainbridge to seattle on the way home. if you go to the peninsula often enough, you'll start getting a feel for what routine you like best. or, better yet, try to do a different route each trip!
-get up on the deck quick to snag yourself a window seat, or spend the whole trip at the bow of the boat, feeling the wind and watching the waves.
camping in olympic national park
-we chose heart of the hills campground this time around, which is at the northern entrance of the olympic national park. from port angeles, you take a long winding road through forests, until you find the campground securely tucked away in old growth trees. it may be foggy or clear or drizzly. (one day i'll do a south, east and west edition of camping in the national park, but that will require more traveling)
-when you get there. set up your tent, breathe in deep and enjoy the quiet.
19 August 2010
next week: shots from a weekend of camping in the olympic national park.
here's to making the most of it all!
16 August 2010
happy day to you.