Here on the Olympic Peninsula, at 11:50 am, it is foggy/overcast and 56 degrees. That might seem like heaven to those of you anywhere east and south of us, suffering through your long hot summer – but I’m ready for some sunshine!
More than most years, this summer has made me aware of how important sunshine is to my well being. Early on, we left Eugene to head east to find sunshine (and fell in love with Joseph, Oregon). Since we’ve come back across the Cascades to western Washington, our days have been cool and most often cloudy or wet. Sunny days (especially the four glorious days in Port Townsend) have been at a premium, and have filled me with energy.
When we left Point Hudson RV Park (click here to read our review) in Port Townsend, we moved less than ten miles, to COHO Evergreen Park, the Escapee co-op park in Chimacum, Washington. Many of our traveling friends were there; it was nice to catch up over a potluck dinner and a happy hour. Two days later, we moved another 30 miles to the Elks Lodge in Sequim (click here to read our review), looking forward to revisiting a couple of our favorite hikes.
It was a sunny afternoon in Sequim when we arrived, set up camp, and took off in the Jeep for the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. We looked forward to hiking the Dungeness Spit, a long tongue of land sticking out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca between the U.S. and Canada (click here to see a great photo). Instead, we smacked into a cold, wet, bank of heavy fog. That was it for me – I knew I was ready to leave the Olympic Peninsula in search of sunshine!
We turned around and headed home, making plans to head south after one last day in Sequim - August 8th, which happened to be our 10 year wedding anniversary. Though it was cold and gloomy when we woke, the Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge webcam show glorious sunshine and snowcapped mountains above the fog bank, so off we went. What a great way to celebrate!
A few of the trails high up on Hurricane Ridge were still closed by snow, but the sunshine was abundant and we hiked a ridgeline trail in short-sleeved shirts. Wildflowers were thick and lush; glaciers sparkled on the Olympic range. We felt completely energized.
Back at the Elks – sunny! – we visited with Dave and Diane, a couple we met during our first year of travel, then went home to a crockpot full of posole, a Mexican stew we both love (click here for the recipe I use). It was a good way to end our day, and a good end (for now) to our travels in northwest Washington.
I’m writing this as we travel Hwy 101 south. It is now 12:20; we’ve left the gloomy fog behind us and the temperature soared up to 70 degrees! :) We have beautiful blue water to our left, thick green forest to our right. We’re planning to overnight in Kelso for two nights, with a hike on Mt. St. Helens on the agenda for tomorrow. Then we off to Oregon, visiting our friends in Canby where the temperature is forecast to be in the mid-80’s. I’ll try not to complain. :)