When Mark and I were “done” with Vancouver Island in Canada, the beginning of October, we faced a dilemma: taking the ferry through the San Juan Islands and visit Seattle, or hop on the older alternative and discover the Olympic Peninsula. Since you read the title of this blog post, you know what we decided.
The Olympic Peninsula is a relatively large, remote and “forgotten” appendix in the Northwest of the state Washington. It’s well-known for its rain, rainforest, lush surroundings, and more rain. So, we knew what to expect, when we took Zesty for a spin through this fertile and moss-covered region. The highlight of the area is Olympic National Park, for which our annual national park pass came in handy again. There is a big circular route around this huge wilderness playground, but since we were heading south, we had to choose between the east or the west side. The western road offered more access roads into the park, but the eastern route offered a detour to Port Townsend, a town we’d heard nice things about. We doubted ever coming back this way, so found a solution.
Marina – this town is very boat-oriented
“Skyline” of Port Townsend
Lots of historic buildings in town
Stroll through town…
Buildings from a bygone era
Old tobacco advertisement on the wall
… and along the waterfront. Whidbey Island lies across the channel.
Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) engages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement, or anything really, about their writing. A different question is posed each month, as a writing prompt for IWSG members. Answering it is optional. For November, the question is: “How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?”
This amazing, supportive group of writers was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Today, the co-hosts are Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor JQ Rose Ann V. Friend and Elizabeth Seckman. Feel free to swing by their sites and see what they’re up to.
My answer to the question (How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?)
Mark and I have been exploring and living in our camper van Zesty full-time since the end of July 2018. Last week, I wrote a blog (with tons of photos) about arriving in Canada, early September, and our first ten or so days on Vancouver Island. The rain was omnipresent, but we managed to have a wonderful time. When the sky cleared, Mark and I left Campbell River to explore a more remote and cooler part of the island – the north – before tracing the East Coast all the way to its southern point.
Few travelers venture north of Campbell River, where island communities are smaller and hardier. It’s colder and wetter up there, so we tried to take advantage of the few sunny days in the forecast. We stopped at the town of Sayward, anticipating to spend the night there at a free campground. Upon discovering that our resource, iOverlander, was wrong – there is a fee to dry camp in town – we checked out the inviting waterfront and moved on to spend the night elsewhere.
City Park in Sayward
Beautiful view across the Discovery Channel
Logging is big business on the island
The logs are sorted and organized with this tiny boat
The logging industry is huge on Vancouver Island. Continue reading
From the moment we entered Canada, it started raining. Well, not quite. Before the deluge, we managed to fit a trip to Whistler in with our friend Rachel, whom we met in the South Pacific sailing. Her sister generously offered the three of us a night in her time-share there, so we didn’t have to be in a hurry. Talk about a luxury experience for us. The room was more than adequate, comfortable and modern; Whistler itself was a fun resort town to walk through, eat and window shop. The highlight to me, as always, was nature and what it had to offer. That “last” sunny day provided us with beautiful waterfalls, enjoyable hiking trails and good company!
Picnic lunch with Rachel on the way to Whistler
Mark and I on the suspension bridge on the Train Wreck Trail
Rachel on the suspension bridge on the Train Wreck Trail
Brandywine Falls – one of my all-time favorites
A train derailed close to this spot. Some of the cars were moved deeper in the forest, where they became art exhibits.
All the cars found here now sport graffiti.
Zombies in the train wreck!
The Winter Olympics took place in Whistler in 2010.
Town center of Whistler
The Olympic rings in town
Viewpoint along the way back to Vancouver
Vancouver in the Rain
Last week, I posted a blog about our visit to a salmon hatchery, with a twist. I noticed that not every subscriber to Roaming About received the email for this post. If you did receive the email or read my post about the hatchery already (via the WordPress Reader or Facebook), please, disregard this post. If not, clicking on the link here, will bring you to my write-up about the exciting encounters Mark and I had at the Quinsam River Salmon Hatchery, and some information about the yearly salmon run.
Thanks for visiting Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary!
Salmon return to their home waters, upstream, to spawn and die. That’s about all Mark and I knew about these fish and the “salmon run” when autumn approached. Other than their meat being expensive and tasty, especially smoked.
During our stay on Vancouver Island in September, we learned that it was soon to be the height of the Pink Salmon run. There are five different wild Pacific salmon species in this part of the world: Chinook, Sockeye, Coho, Chum, and Pink.
When we hiked along rivers, we peered into the crystal-clear waters, expecting hundreds of fish leap against the stream and up waterfalls. It wasn’t quite like that, but we did see a couple of salmon attempt this amazing feat. They were immediately swept back downstream to rest up and try again. Capturing them on camera was an even more challenging feat.
Nymph Falls, where we saw a few salmon jump the rapids
We heard about a fish hatchery in Qualicum Beach and decided to check it out, mid-September. Continue reading
After our whirlwind visit to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Mark and I wished to explore Glacier National Park in Montana. My intention was to then continue our trip into Canada: Waterton Lakes NP, Banff and Jasper NPs, and saying a quick “hello” to our friends Sue and Dave in Calgary, before heading west to Vancouver and Vancouver Island. I write “my intention”, because we never plan much in advance, and this whole itinerary might have been a tad ambitious, as summer was already ending this far north. Why was that a surprise to me?
Upon doing research online about Glacier National Park, we discovered that massive forest fires raged on the western edge of the park. This was the preferred side for us to enter, because it offered spectacular views, contained free camping, the distance was doable, and it made most sense for our route north. But, the western entrance was closed. We decided to skip this park altogether and drove westwards within the United States, choosing North Cascades National Park as our new destination in Washington state.
Liberty Bell Mountain, seen from Washington Pass overlook
View into the valley we just drove through
Approaching the main part of North Cascades National Park
Diablo Lake from above
Diablo Lake viewpoint, along WA-20
Every first Wednesday of the month, the IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) engages writers to share their fears, thoughts, progress, struggles, excitement, encouragement, or anything really, about their writing. A different question is posed each month, as a writing prompt for IWSG members. Answering it is optional. For October, the question is: “How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?”
This amazing, supportive group of writers was founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Today, the co-hosts are Dolorah @ Book Lover,Christopher D. Votey,Tanya Miranda, and Chemist Ken. Feel free to swing by their sites and see what they’re up to.
My answer to the question (How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?)
This month’s question is a personal one. As long as I remember, I’ve written a diary, every day, for almost 30 years. I wouldn’t know whether this helped me through certain episodes, because of its daily occurrence, but I do know that the urge of writing has always been there, especially during major life events. What certainly has helped me through the years, are emails to my best friend Rosie. So, it might not have been with books or articles, blogs or diary entries, but communicating via the written word certainly is one of the best remedies for me during emotional times.
From the moment we arrived in Canada, it started raining. 🙂
Rainy walk in the city center
Queen Elizabeth Park
My (slow) book progress