Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sequim, Washington

I first read an article about Sequim, Washington in a travel magazine about five years ago. Located 65-miles northwest of Seattle, on the northeast edge of The Olympic National Park, the proper pronunciation of Sequim is “Skwim”. The description of this small picturesque town included phrases like “nestled in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains”, and recognized as the “Lavender Capital of North America” (rivaled only in France), and were what first drew me in. I am in love with the Pacific Northwest as it is, and Sequim seemed to embody all of the best of this region. Situated close to some of the wettest temperate rain forest in the United States, it still receives less than 16 inches of rain per year – about the same as Los Angeles, California -  and the town has given itself the nickname Sunny Sequim. This climate is sometimes called the blue hole of Sequim, for the clear blue skies here that pop out of a hole in the surrounding clouds.

After practically memorizing the details about this place I’d yet to visit, I was ready to pack my bags and move here once and for all. Taking the more prudent approach, Dan agreed to visit for a couple of weeks first before giving up life on the road for good, so after we left Silverton, Oregon we drove 255 miles north to check it out. This truly did end up being a place I would happily return to again and again. I would even happily settle down here, I loved the area that much. However, this was August, with an abundance of warmth and beautiful sunny days. And “Sunny Sequim” or not, they do have very cool winters, and the rain, while maybe less than the surrounding areas, still falls every month of the year. And they get snow. This was not the forever place of Dan’s dreams, even if I thought it might be mine.

We took full advantage of our two weeks here. We rode our bikes and hiked locally in the scenic beauty that surrounds the area, and spent some time in the town proper. These things are captured in the pictures below. We also visited the Olympic National Park several times, tromped through a few of the local lavender farms, and took the short drive to Port Angeles for a day visit. (These events will be highlighted in separate posts).

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Silver Falls State Park

A trip to Silver Falls State Park is a must for anyone traveling through this part of Oregon. The RV Park in Silverton is only 16 miles from Silver Falls, so we set aside one day during our Eclipse family gathering to visit the park and hike the Trail of Ten Falls. 

This nationally recognized hiking trail is a 7-mile loop showcasing a series of breathtaking waterfalls, leading hikers through dense forest, rocky canyon, and a winding creek on the forest floor. For visitors not up to the full hike, there are several shorter options where some of the falls can be viewed, including the path to South Falls which winds through mossy caverns and behind a 177-foot shimmering curtain of water. 

The ten falls include South Falls, Lower South Falls, Lower North Falls, Double Falls, Drake Falls, Middle North Falls, Twin Falls, North Falls, Upper North Falls, and Winter Falls. and range from a mere 27 feet to 178 feet, with five of the falls dropping over 100 feet. Funny…not one of the falls is actually called Silver Falls. Although August isn’t the time of year when the falls are the most dramatic, there is never a bad time to hike at Silver Falls State Park. Here are some pictures from our outing.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Butte Creek Falls

When staying in the Silverton area, if you want to get away from the hoards of tourists that flock to Silver Falls State Park, but still want to enjoy the beauty of hiking in the woods among cascading waterfalls, you might want to check out the Butte Creek Falls hike. Situated a little off the beaten path, we drove (snaked) along Crooked Finger Road, hitting a few spots along the way that made us wonder if we were still headed in the right direction. 

We were rewarded at the end of the drive with a clearly marked parking area and trail head pointing us onto a beautifully canopied hiking trail. A short walk through impressive second-growth forest takes you the 78-foot Butte Creek Falls and the 25-foot Upper Butte Creek Falls. With few people on the trail, this was a quiet and peaceful place to spend the afternoon.

On the way home we caught a glimpse of Mt. Hood on the horizon, and drove past a flower farm in full bloom.