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A little roadtrip to paradise


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I took advantage of some (rare) cloudless January weather to drive Route 101 around the Olympic Peninsula.  Given the heavy rain in December, the mountains were covered in heavy snow, so many of the higher-elevation sites were inaccessible, so I limited myself to some sightseeing along the lakes, beaches, and rainforests.

What a place.

I guess I found the relative isolation of the Peninsula (one has to drive a circuitous route or take a ferry to get there from Seattle) a true gift.  The land is beautiful and it has a distinct feel that I have not seen anywhere else.  It has a been of Vermont crunchiness (especially in Port Angeles), a strong American Indian character, and an otherworldly feel from the fog, rain, and mountains. There is such an air of mystery and remoteness to the place, which I hope it never loses.

I have always been fascinated by places “at the end of the Earth.”  Key West in Florida, The Upper Peninsula in Michigan, Sedona, and even New Orleans.  These are places where historic (if not current) remoteness kept them belessedly out of sync with their surrounding areas and preserved a kind of quirkiness and charm that can only come from not being too integrated with the mainstream.  The Olympic Peninsula, in addition to being naturally one of the most beautiful places in the world, also feels like the end of the Earth.

Yet another reason I am so glad I am exploring this corner of the country.

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© Steve Ritchie 2018