Come explore with me!

Do you recognize this view of Realto Beach from a recent post?  This is another of the many moods of one of my very favorite places in Olympic National Park.

As promised, I am sharing a few images from our trip. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, and are planning "stay-cations" for the summer, perhaps these images will entice you to consider a trip to the San Juan Islands or to Olympic Park.

The San Juan Islands are served by a fleet of ferries that thread their way among four inhabited islands delivering passengers traveling by foot, bike or car.

Our island destination - Orcas!  As we approached the landing, the ferry had to stop and wait for this huge 300 foot long raft of logs being pulled by a tiny, tiny, tiny tug boat.

Orcas Island is inhabited by a great many lovely, creative people like the owner of this property who marked the driveway entrance with this boulder decorated with Raggedy Ann dolls and Pooh bear characters!  After a few inquiries, I learned that something different appears on the boulder every month.

This beautiful cabinet belongs to my very artistic MIL who lives on the island.  Those amazing embossed tin (real tin) panels are from Mexico.  And believe it or not, that rustic cabinet, that I have always thought came from Mexico, was actually assembled from a furniture kit from Sears a million years ago!

I am definitely going to duplicate those birds for my Christmas tree!

Artists abound, but none is more visible than the creator of these huge pieces displayed in the Howe Art Sculpture Garden.  This is one of several pieces right along side the main road into Eastsound, the largest community on the island. I am estimating it measures about 5' x 6'.

Every one of these spheres spins furiously in the breeze and I can tell you from personal experience - they are mesmerizing.  Maybe not so good when you are driving a narrow, curving road with a steep drop-off on the side opposite the sculptures!

And look at this one!  It's several feet across and yet almost invisible hanging in the trees.

Sail boats are seen from every shore!  These were anchored in the harbor  near the ferry landing at Port Townsend, WA, our portal to the Olympic Peninsula.

Our destination for the night was Forks, WA, the only town to be found on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula and blessed with the most rainfall annually of any city in the USA - over 100" annually. It's foggy, rainy weather was considered to be the perfect setting for the hugely popular Twilight tales. Tourism in Forks has skyrocketed, and as you can see, the people of Forks have welcomed the windfall!

Rialto Beach is one of several stunning beaches in the park and probably the most accessible. Unusually severe winter storms left behind huge piles of driftwood and if it hadn't been for the fact that we were in a National Park, I would have brought several pieces home with me! 

Every visitor with a camera seemed to find what he thought to be the perfect piece of drift wood to frame one of the off shore islands.

The peninsula is famous for it's rain forests, and none is more beautiful and accessible than the Hoh Rain Forest.  The Hoh is one of three temperate rain forests on the peninsula, each receiving over 150" of rain in a year.  It was quite unusual that we weren't huddled under umbrellas trying to keep our equipment dry while photographing!

If you can only visit one place in the park, visit the Hoh. The Park Service has built two loop trails through this magical world of magnificent 600 year old moss draped giants.

Can't you just imagine a group of gnomes, fairies or trolls using this mysterious looking remnant of a once towering giant as a council chamber?

Ruby Beach!  You could spend a whole day in this one spot walking miles of beach, building driftwood forts, soaking up rays....

Quinault Rain Forest.  Not quite as lush as the Hoh, but nonetheless breathtaking. If you want to "escape from it all" take the North Shore Road.  The South Shore offers lodges, camping and trails.

"My hero" climbed up onto the rocks to get this close view of Merriman Falls on South Shore Road. The link will also give you directions for visiting many of the other water falls to be found on the peninsula.

It is my hope that every single one of you will one day have the opportunity to visit Olympic Park.  It is a unique and very special treasure, and within it's borders are almost unlimited possibilities for experiencing Mother Nature at her best and for nurturing your soul.

Come visit soon!


What amazing photos, I just

What amazing photos, I just want to be there! There's nothing like the Pacific Northwest for breathtaking beauty and your photos are exquisite. And who'd have thought the cabinet could come from Sears?!

Amazing photos. Absolutely

Amazing photos. Absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your trip. That was fun!

I missed this when I was out

I missed this when I was out of town. The images are just GORGEOUS!!! I feel like I was walking with you. WOWZERS! Thanks for the travel log.

Neat stuff indeed! Thanks to

Neat stuff indeed! Thanks to you and your camera, I feel like I just visited Olympic Park. Can't wait to see your tin birds inspired by the beautiful Mexican/Sears cabinet.

Pam, I admit I saw that you

Pam, I admit I saw that you had posted this entry a couple of days ago, but at the tme I was rushing off to keep appointments and only came back to it today.

Your photography is stunning!! I visited the Olympic mountains years ago and I have fond memories of that time. It was an outing with our class from university. I didn't have a camera in those days but I clearly remember seeing sights similar to this.

I love the photos from Rialto Beach and that waterfall made my jaw drop!!!! Gorgeous!!!

Thanks for sharing such beautiful moments wth us :)

Gorgeous! I hope that I get

Gorgeous! I hope that I get to visit there someday. Lovely nature shots aside though, I do have to say that I'm *smitten* with that bird cabinet. What lovely tin panels!!!

I have been to Port Angeles

I have been to Port Angeles several years ago, and didn't get any further into Olympic than the visitor's center, but man, would I have loved to have seen MORE! We are lucky to have your gorgeous photography. That waterfall!!

Don't you love those big metal sculptures? I would not be able to drive by them.

Wow! Gorgeous! I live in

Wow! Gorgeous! I live in Portland, so we're not far from this. Sometimes it's fun to see our area through someone else's eyes -- it helps to appreciate what we have.

We just spent the last two weekends at different spots on the Oregon coast... stunning!


GORGEOUS! The Pacific

GORGEOUS! The Pacific Northwest is my favorite place in the whole country.