Hey! Bikers? Looking for a bicycle group near Sequim?

Are you looking for a group to join for your bicycling adventures? We know of a few in the Sequim neighborhood. And since we have the Olympic Discovery Trail, what are you waiting for?

There are several groups holding regular rides in the Sequim area. All rides are approximately 20-25 miles, and all ages and abilities are welcome.

    • The Easy Riders promise leisurely weekly rides. They meet at 9:30 at Railroad Bridge Park on Mondays and Fridays and at the elk monument, east of Sequim, on Wednesdays. Contact Durk Bryant, 683-2666, for more details.
    • Sunday Morning Riders meet at 9:00am at the entrance to the Dungeness Recreation Area. For more information contact Randy, 360-477-4156. For info and map, CLICK HERE.
    • The Monday, Wednesday, Friday Spoke Folk meet at 9:30am at the Sequim Community Church, 950 N. 5th Ave. Contact Tom for details, 360-681-7053. For pdf map of routes, CLICK HERE.
  • Women on Wheels meet on Tuesdays at 9:30am for challenging hill rides and on Fridays at 11:00am for a more social pace. Both rides begin at Railroad Bridge Park, 2151 W. Hendrickson Rd, Sequim. For more information call Darlene, 360-681-3375.

Have fun, stay safe, and check out the Olympic Discovery Trail website for more information about the Trail. You’ll find maps and details, along with with lots of photos of happy people on the site. Happy Trails!

Four Hikes Around Highway 101. Get out there!

With summer coming to an end and fall upon us, there’s still time to get in a few good hikes to enjoy the spectacular weather on the Olympic Peninsula this year. Here are four hikes with different rewards waiting for your exploration.

Hurricane Ridge Area – High above the clouds

Ridge Trail near Hurricane Ridge

Ridge Trail near Hurricane Ridge

Towering 18 miles above Port Angeles, Hurricane Ridge is one of the most popular destinations in Olympic National Park. Magnificent vistas stretch far into the interior of Olympic Mountains and north into Canada and the San Juan Islands. There are many hikes in this area that you can customize to your activity level and suit your adventurous spirit.

  • Klahane Ridge is a 3.8-mile, one-way hike that gains 250 feet in the first 2.8 miles. The first 2.8 miles of this trail is on a ridge to a junction with the Klahhane Switchback trail. An additional mile climbs 800 feet on the Switchback trail to Klahhane Ridge.
  • The Hurricane Hill hike is a 1.6 mile one-way hike on a paved trail that climbs to a panoramic view of mountains and saltwater. The trail begins at the end of the Hurricane ridge Road. The first 0.25 miles is wheelchair accessible with assistance. To make it a longer hike, continue from Hurricane Hill through meadows and steep forested switchbacks to the start of the Whiskey Bend Road.

Sol Duc Area – Commune with Nature

Sol Duc Hot Springs mineral pools

Sol Duc Hot Springs mineral pools Sol Duc Area

The Sol Duc Valley offers outstanding beauty and recreation. If you are looking for a walk through the giants of the forest to a pounding waterfall and finishing the day with a rewarding soak in some mineral pools, bring your towel. You’ve found your bliss!

Sol Duc Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful in Olympic National Park, with trail and bridge access. It is the only falls with viewing from above and it is one of the falls on the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail. The Sol Duc Road passes through old-growth forest and parallels the river on its way to the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort and trail head to start hikers headed into the Olympic Mountains.

Sol Duc Falls sign

Which way do YOU want to go?

The Lover’s Lane trail is a 6.0-mile loop through old growth forest that links the Sol Duc Resort to Sol Duc Falls.

For a shorter hike, 0.8 miles one way, to the falls begin at the trailhead. For a 2.6 mile hike one way, climb 1,500 feet through dense forest to the sparkling Mink Lake.
Further into the interior 3.8 miles one way, is Deer Lake with an elevation gain of 1,700 feet.

After any of these hikes, soak in the mineral pools or get a massage! Relax!

Dungeness Spit – Bring your binoculars!

Dungeness Spit

Dungeness Spit

At 5.5 miles in length, the Dungeness Spit is the world’s longest naturally occurring sandspit and home to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. Its trails and picnic areas offer breathtaking views of the beaches, Dungeness Harbor and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. If you’re up for the hike to the end of the spit, you’ll find the old New Dungeness Lighthouse, built in 1857 and now on the National Register of Historic Places. Access to the Light Station is limited to hikers at low tide and small boats in calm seas. The Dungeness NWR provides habitat for many different species. More than 250 species of birds, 41 species of land mammals, and eight species of marine mammals have been recorded in the refuge. It provides critical habitat for a number of species, some of them threatened or endangered, and is an important stop for many birds during migration.

 

Jupiter Ridge Trail – Ready for adventure?

Mt Jupiter Hiker

Mt Jupiter Trail and Vista

Trailhead is 22 miles north of Hoodsport. Enter off Highway 101 at Black Point (west Mt. Jupiter Rd –FS rd#2610-10).  Follow for 2.5 mi. to #2610-11-left fork.

From the trailhead, you rise 500 ft. over 47 switchbacks!  Don’t let that discourage you.  You crest the top of the Jupiter Ridge and hike along its back through Olympic National Forest and The Brothers Wilderness area immediately.  Along the way, several spots give breathtaking views on both sides of the trail into the Dosewallips and Duckabush River valleys. The full hike takes you around one of the two false peaks back to the main Jupiter Peak. The trail is very narrow in spots so the 360° view No. & So. is of the valleys, E. to Seattle area, and W. into the Olympics and Mt. Anderson. Roundtrip is 15 miles. 3-5hrs. (with lunch time on top) Moderate climb most of the way. Wild flowers are spectacular. BRING WATER A MUST! We stash ½ gals. along the ridge after we crest the switchbacks. Great to have on the way down and a small amount for the summit. Refresh yourselves at Rocky Brook Falls on the Dosewallips Rd (3mi.) after the hike. It’s one of the falls on the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail.

It’s All Up in the Air!

Need to Check a Hot Air Balloon Ride off YOUR Bucket List?

Air Affaire in Sequim Washington. Balloon on the ground.

Air Affaire in Sequim Washington

Whether you’ve ever wanted to go for a balloon ride or not, you’ll find all things aeronautic August 30 – 31 in Sequim. Did UP! inspire you to take to the skies? Fascinated with what the ground looks like from above? Here’s a chance for a truly up-lifting experience. Take to the skies above Sequim in a hot air balloon during the Olympic Peninsula Air Affaire!  Pre-sales for hot air balloon flights during Air Affaire are available now by contacting Captain Crystal Stout at (360) 601-2433 or airboss@nwplace.com.

Three Smoke Planes

Three Smoke Planes

If you and the family are looking for some excitement this Labor Day Weekend, the Sequim Valley Airport is the place to be.  The 2nd Annual Olympic Peninsula Air Affaire is taking place with all things aerial on Saturday, August 30 and Sunday, August 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The hot air balloon rides begin at 7:30 a.m. both mornings.

 

 

Biplane closeup

Get up close and personal with the planes on the ground. Here’s a red biplane on display at the 2013 Air Affaire.

In the sky and on the ground, if you like planes and flying machines, you are going to love this event.  There will be an impressive static plane display (think car show with wings and rudders and propellers) for an up close view of a wide range of aircraft, including experimental kit planes from the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 430.  You can watch radio control model planes in action and try out the RC computer simulator.

 

 

Sky Diver!

Sky Diver!

And, don’t forget to look up.  You won’t want to miss the Diamond Point Swift Formation Team in flight, the skydivers making their leap, and the thrill of watching a real life wing walker. Be sure to meet some of the pilots, who will be on hand to answer questions.

 

 

Air Affaire Car Show 2013

Oldies, but goodies. Air Affaire Car Show 2013

A car show, live music and good food will round out the weekend experience. The Sequim Valley Airport is located at 468 Dorothy Hunt Lane, Sequim, WA 98382.   Parking fee is $5 per car. There is no admission fee for the Air Affaire.

 

 

 

For a complete schedule of the weekend events, visit http://olympicpeninsulaairaffaire.com

Race Ewe to the Fair!

2014 Fair LogoHave you been to a real, local county fair recently? Clallam County Fair, August 14 – 17, 2014, is the real deal.  Stomach-dropping rides, baby farm animals, cotton candy, scones, and live entertainment are all hallmarks of a true county fair and you’ll find them all.  www.clallam.net/countyfair
I know it’s not throw-back Thursday, but here’s a blast from the 1960s! 4-H girls modeling their aprons they made as projects for the fair. 4-H is still an integral part of the fair activities. What are the 4 Hs you ask? Head, Heart, Hands and Health. Yes, I’m in this photo.

Apron

4-H girls show off their sewing project aprons at the fair in the 60s!

History of the Fair. We can trace the origins of what has become a highlight of the summer to locals and visitors alike to October 2, 1895. Yes, that’s 1895!

After the Depression, several civic leaders in Clallam County invited the US Navy Pacific Fleet to be the city’s guest to showcase the natural harbor in Port Angeles. They accepted and sailed into the harbor on October 2, 1895, saluting the townfolk with cannon fire and music. The naval crews slept on the shore in tents. During the day, they provided exhibitions on military drills and held band concerts in the evenings. Of course, ball games were played between the Navy crews and local teams. I couldn’t find a record of who won and lost, but clearly the citizens of Clallam County were the long-run, big-time winners!

Pacific Fleet in Port Angeles harbor ca. 1900 -  photo courtesy of Clallam County Historical Society

Pacific Fleet in Port Angeles harbor ca. 1900 – photo courtesy of Clallam County Historical Society

Pacific Fleet in Harbor in the 20s or 30s

Pacific Fleet in Harbor in the 20s or 30s - photo courtesy of Clallam County Historical Society

The Clallam County Horticultural Society held an agricultural fair in the Opera House. Just look at this display of produce! What an abundance! The quilt in the foreground is a crazy quilt, the second quilt hanging is call a Double Irish Chain. If anyone has good enough eyes to identify the pattern on the quilt hanging at the back, please let us know. Looks like an American flag draped under the “Get Together” sign at the back. On October 4th, almost everyone in town attended the Harvest Home Ball. The Pacific Fleet continued to visit the area every summer until the 1930s and the fair continued to be held in the Opera House until 1920.

Opera House Agricultural Exhibit

Opera House Agricultural Exhibit – courtesy of Clallam County Parks

In 1904, a bill passed through US Congress transferring land to the City of Port Angeles and the property became known as Lincoln Park and our fairgrounds are there today.

Animals of all sizes and coats!

Animals are always a highlight of the fair. Take time in the Cat Barn and Dog Arena to view special household friends. Could your four-legged family member win a blue ribbon? And, be sure to catch the 4-H Horse Showmanship at 10:00 am, Thursday August 14, in the Horse Arena. On Friday, August 15 at 3:00 pm in the Sheep/Swine Arena, catch the Fleece Show! There’s usually a pen with piglets and their mom entertaining a crowd. Horses, cows and rabbits and chickens all have representation at the fair. Who can’t you wait to see?

Here’s a calendar of all the animal shows over four days. Capture YOUR favorite animals photos for those funny animal posts on facebook and Pinterest!

Non-stop Entertainment for Four Days

 Carnival Ride

Look! No hands! – courtesy of Clallam County Parks

Between wandering through all the demonstrations and exhibits, rides and animals, grab a seat in the grandstand, or at two other venues for music, dance and a rest or to indulge in some county fair fare. There’s a couple rodeos, a demolition derby and a logging show. Music is always part of the fair and there is local talent (and I mean good talent) for your enjoyment!

Pirate comedian

Get ‘yur pirate on with Cap’n Arrr! – courtesy of Clallam County Parks

Don’t forget to stop by the KidZone to get some basic instruction on how to act like a pirate. Bring a kid, or not. If your pirate skills need polishing, now’s your chance! Cap’n Arr will  have you rolling in the grass with his comedic take on piratism. He is only appearing Thursday – Saturday. His parrot doesn’t work on Sunday.

There’s something for everyone! Quilting, baking, stained glass, floral and agricultural exhibits and the old machinery exhibit. Over 150 food and commercial vendors.

Race Ewe to the Fair!

http://www.clallam.net/Fair/index.html

Stars! Stars! Get Close to Famous Stars!

John Goar

John Goar with two of his telescopes

If you’re around the Olympic Peninsula and can get to Hurricane Ridge for the telescope viewing and full moon hikes, don’t miss it! This is an advantage of high elevation (5,242′) with little ambient light.

2014 is the fifth consecutive summer of public telescope viewing at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. You may get to see Saturn and her moons, globular cluster M13, planetary nebula M57 (a.k.a. The Ring Nebula and galaxy M31 (a.k.a. The Andromeda Galaxy). Did you think Andromeda was only in science fiction? Plus, you can take your imagination other mysterious, far-away places through the scope eyepiece.

  • July 22 and 23 – 10:45pm
  • July 24 – July 30 beginning at 10:30pm
  • Aug. 14 – Aug. 20 beginning at 9:45pm
  • Aug. 21 – Aug. 29 beginning at 9:30pm

John Goar, your host through space, is the Astro-VIP at Olympic National Park — a volunteer who leads free public telescope viewing. John is a member of the Olympic Astronomical Society, an astronomy club that meets monthly in Bremerton, Washington.  John is also a certified Master Observer by the Astronomical League. In the offseason, John teaches math and science at Kingston Middle School in Kingston, Washington.

The Olympic Astronomical Society will have their 17th Annual OAS Hurricane Ridge Star Party on July 26th and on August 23rd, weather permitting.  Most OAS members will be happy to have the public look through their telescopes!

Full Moon Hike to Hurricane Hill

  • Saturday August 9, Sunday August 10 - DEPART 8:30pm

A three-mile, round-trip hike.  Meet at Hurricane Hill Trailhead.
It is a 1.5 miles drive beyond the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.
Please wear sturdy shoes.  A constellation tour will occur at the top of Hurricane Hill.

Both the Telescope Program and the Full Moon Hikes will cancel if there is cloud cover. For cancellation due to clouds, visitors can call the Hurricane Ridge Road Hotline on the day of the program after 3 pm.  (360) 565-3131.

Sequim Lavender Weekend – Coming Up

Sequim Lavender Field! Courtesy of Sequim Lavender Growers Association

LAVENDER! Photo Courtesy of Sequim Lavender Farmers Association

You step out of your car, take in the beauty of your surroundings, inhale the fresh, sweet aroma and you know you’ve arrived in Sequim for the largest lavender celebration in the country. Sequim Lavender Weekend July 18 – 20, 2014 is home to the Sequim Lavender Festival® and the Sequim Lavender Farm Tour and Fair. The weekend is packed with events for all members of the family.

people dancing at street fair

Boogie your socks off! Photo courtesy of Sequim Lavender Farmers Association

The Sequim Lavender Festival Street Fair is a high-energy event in the heart of downtown featuring quality arts and crafts, hand-crafted lavender products, kid friendly activities, live music and, food galore.

street fair vendors and visitors

Crafts Fair! Fun for all! Photo courtesy of Sequim Lavender Growers Association

Across town at Sequim’s Carrie Blake Park and Water Reuse Site, is the Lavender Arts & Crafts Fair in the Park featuring lavender booths, hand-made crafts, community organizations, beautiful gardens, music and more food! All in a lovely relaxed setting.

And then there are the lavender farms! Lavender growers and farmers welcome guests encouraging them to take in the beauty, scent, and total experience of this wonderful herb.

Lavender Farm

Lavender Farm. Photo courtesy of Sequim Lavender Growers Association

The Heritage Farm Tour features five iconic lavender farms each with a festival in action.  The farms offer educational workshops and demonstrations, crafts, food and beverages, live entertainment and more.  Busses are available to Purple Haze Lavender only. Admission is required for this farm tour.

The Sequim Lavender Festival Farm Tour features six lavender farms and one commercial nursery for guests to experience.  Bring your camera and a picnic and enjoy the uniqueness of each farm.  Admission is free.

A quilt show, art shows, live theater, farmer’s market, evening concerts, and cruises are just of few of the additional events taking place throughout the Sequim-Dungeness Valley during the weekend.  You’ll want to plan plenty of time to take it all in. There is a convenient shuttle bus that runs throughout the City of Sequim to take guest to events in the City. This bus does not go to any farms.

girl in lavender field

Lavender Fields Forever! Photo courtesy of Barbara Hanna

To find out more about Sequim Lavender Weekend, visit www.visitsunnysequim.com, download a copy of the Official Event Map, and begin planning your trip to North America’s premier lavender celebration.

It’s a Doggie, Dog World!

Dog in raft

Steve always wears his personal flotation devise!

The Olympic Peninsula is a dog’s delight. From great canine accommodations to acres for romping, your whole family can enjoy an outing together. Man’s best friend is not allowed on the trails and beaches of Olympic National PARK, except for three areas where they are permitted on leash: Rialto Beach one-half mile north to Ellen Creek; all Kalaloch beaches (from Ruby Beach south to South Beach); and Peabody Creek Trail near the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles.

The Olympic National FOREST is another story. Your dog can accompany you hiking, camping, backpacking, picnicking and enjoying the outdoors on the Hood Canal or the Pacific Ocean side of the peninsula. Dogs are welcome on all Forest Service trails, but they must be on a leash in all ONF campgrounds. There are 17 campgrounds on a first-come, first-served basis and have varying overnight fees. There are five designated Wilderness Areas that do not require wilderness permits, but a Northwest Forest Pass is required for vehicles parked at many ONF trailheads.

International Travelin’ Dog!

Can my dog visit the Olympic Peninsula with me?  Yes! There are some regulations for taking your Canadian resident dog (or cat!) to visit the Olympic Peninsula. There is noquarantine for healthy pets who meet the requirements, so your buddy can easily travel with you. Your pet does need to be vaccinated for rabies and various other diseases at least one month prior to travel and your veterinarian will complete the United States Veterinary Certificate.  All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry. If the animal is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at the owner’s expense. Although United States does not require an ISO pet microchip, it is strongly recommended to microchip your pet prior to traveling.

Boat Dog!

Can we travel together on the Coho Ferry? YES! However they are restricted from the interior of the ferry. There are pet kennels, which are located in the solarium. Guide dogs and certified assistance dogs are an exception, of course.

Beach Dog!

First Beach in LaPush is as dog friendly as a place can get. With lots of room to run on the sand and breaking waves for jumping or simply to bark at, both you and your dog will have memorable days. The perfect size stick for a rousing game of Fetch should be easy to find in the driftwood on the beach. Quileute Oceanside Resort sitting right on the beach overlooking stunning First Beach has pet-friendly units available with an additional $10 per pet/per night fee. Quileute Oceanside Resort. 330 Ocean Drive, PO Box 67, La Push, WA 98350, 360-374-5267, 800-487-1267, relax@quileuteoceanside.com

Olson’s Cabins, one near Rialto Beach (Mora Cabin) and one near Ruby Beach (Hoh Olympic House) both welcome pets with a $10 per pet per night. Olson’s Cabins, Hope and Gil Olson, 2423 Mora Road, Forks, WA 98331 360.374.3142

Kalaloch Lodge Cabins permits pets in cabins, but not in the Main Lodge or Sea Crest Units. There’s a $25 fee per pet per stay. They must be leashed at all times.

Water Dog!

Sol Duc Riverside Cottages in Forks are a great base camp for seeing the area. AND, an even better place to relax. Soak in the hot tub, play with your kids and dogs on the huge grassy lawn sloping down to the river, build a fire in the fire pit and roast marshmallows under the brilliant stars. Twilight fans alert: this is only 18 miles from the City of Forks and the Sol Duc is the same river Edward lives on!! 360-327-3755 or 360-477-9932
solduccottage@gmail.com

Three Rivers Resort and Guide Service. Cabins and camping, seasonal rates, guided steelhead and salmon fishing trips, this place can really become “home” in a hurry. If you follow the Twilight series, you’ll recognize this as the self-proclaimed treaty line where werewolves and vampires can co-exist! Your dog is welcome with a $15.00 fee ($5.00 in the camping area!) Spring rates for April and May range from $69.00 for a single, to a $99 family suite. Call 360-374-5300 for more information about the guide services or email threeriversresort@gmail.com

Lake Crescent Lodge permits pets in the Roosevelt Cabins or Singer Tavern for a $25 non-refundable daily fee per pet/day. Pets must be leashed.

Dog-Park or City Dog?

Sequim. The Sequim Dog Park is a community park that is over one acre for off leash play. There are separate fenced areas for small dogs and large dogs, which are rotated to help keep muddy areas refreshed. You’ll find benches and restrooms for humans at the park. The park is off North Blake Avenue and has easy access to the Olympic Discovery Trail. Dogs must be on leash on the trail. This Rails-to-Trails project will eventually run from Port Townsend in the east to LaPush on the Pacific Ocean. Many segments are complete and the area through and around Sequim are exciting to explore. Here’s a list of dog-friendly accommodations in the area. http://www.sequimdogparks.org/lodging.php

Port Townsend and Port Angeles.  Downtown dogs can enjoy walking tours in city! Historic Port Townsend walking tours are a great way to see the town and get some exercise! We are told that not only are dogs welcome, but at times the tours are led by dogs; the walking tour guides are known to bring along their own furry friends. Visiting pet parents tend to favor the waterfront tour as it features a few pet-friendly pit stops. For a list of these walking tours, http://www.jchsmuseum.org/walkingtour.html. In Port Angeles, the Olympic Discovery Trail runs through town and along the water of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Stop here and there to sniff along the way and for the humans to check out the Art Downtown exhibits. Pick up a self-guided tour brochure at the Downtown Association office on Laurel Street.

Hungry Dog?

Several places in Port Townsend welcome dogs on their outside decks while you enjoy the atmosphere and some excellent local cuisine including Sweet Laurette Café & Bistro and Nifty Fiftys Soda Fountain. Olympic Bagel Company in Port Angeles allows leashed dogs at their outside dining area.

Dog Tired? Port Townsend

The Palace Hotel has a $20.00 per night charge for pets. (Please check with hotel regarding pet policy.)

The Swan Hotel has pet beds, toys and treats for your “best friend.” The dog fee is $20 per night. Dogs may not be left in suites unattended. The Bishop Victorian Hotel has bowls and treats awaiting your pet on arrival. Call 800-824-4738 to make reservations for either of these hotels. Each hotel sets aside specific studios, cabins or suites for dogs, so book early to insure that a pet friendly accommodation is available.

In Port Angeles, you and your dog will find lodging at the Days Inn, Quality Inn Uptown, and Red Lion Hotel.

Wagging Tales

The highlight of your visit might be a romping game of fetch on the beach, sniffing along a scent museum on a forest trail or strolling a city street. You and your four-legged friend won’t be able to do everything and see everything on one trip to the Peninsula, but you’ll be sure to go home with lots of bragging rights to the great time.

In the Land of “It Depends”

A friend told us an interesting story the other day that shed some light on a very important aspect of traveling – perspective.  We all know every human has his or her own perspective.  All of our visitors are unique and their homes are as unique as ours is.  The region that our friend was referring to in particular was that which she calls the “Flat Lands”.  The Flat Lands are the Midwestern heart of America where the Great Plains roll into the horizon and (from what I’ve heard) the roads remain straight and perpendicular. If you can see a flat horizon out your window, you might be in the Flat Lands.  The “Flat Landers” are the people of this land.   If you measure distance in miles and have a habit of punctuality, you might be a Flat Lander.  And as her story goes, on a flight into Seatac Airport one day she couldn’t help but overhear two Flat Landers’ plans for a “little side trip” from their Seattle business convention.  The colleagues planned on hopping from Seattle to Port Angeles, across the Strait to Victoria, British Columbia, skipping over to Vancouver, British Columbia, and jumping back down to Seattle…

…in one day.

It was about this time that our friend intervened. “Excuse me,” she said as she tapped one of them on the shoulder “I’m sorry, but I heard your plans and I must tell you that what you are wanting to do is impossible.”  Now there’s little doubt the two colleagues were probably shocked by this Washingtonian’s interruption but fortunately they let her continue.  She explained that when a visitor looks at a map of the land around the Salish Sea, it seems like one actually could drive from Seattle to Port Angeles and through Canada in one day.  But here maps are misleading, miles are measured in minutes, water gets in the way, and we start our travel plans with “It depends…”.

Hood Canal Bridge connects the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas.

Hood Canal Bridge connects the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas.

From a Flat Lander’s perspective, if point A is 60 miles from point B and the speed limit on the highway is 60 miles per hour then (if the rules we were taught to rely on in pre-algebra still hold true) it will take one hour, unless it’s snowing that is. (We Pacific Northwesterners respect the Midwest winters.) Well, that is fine for those people fortunate enough to live with those straight roads and flat horizons.  But from our perspective, the answer to the same question is much more complex and, it seems, much less satisfying to our visitors.

Washington State Ferry

Washington State Ferry unloading its passengers. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/

Let’s say for example, point A is Seatac Airport and point B is Victoria, B.C.  In just over 150 miles a traveler could experience a traffic jam or a ferry wait, a backup at the Hood Canal bridge if it opens for a ship, another ferry wait, a 90-minute cross over the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and finally standing in line to go through international customs and disembarking.  That’s not including any other stops.  If we used the same math equation above, the entire trip should amount to no more than 2.5 hours, but to quote our well-intentioned friend, that would be “impossible”.  If none of the hurdles above hinders the trip then the speed limit most definitely will.  Most of the highways on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas are one-lane county roads that meander through small sea-side towns and curving hills.  No zooming through at 60 mph the whole way here.  And, if you’ve been following any of our other blogs, you’ll see that our home is pretty darn interesting!  There are things to do and places to see.  We plan ahead and make extra time because, well, we might make it from point A to point B by a certain time but it depends if we stop and enjoy the trip along the way.

Seatac Victoria MapAs it turned out, the two miss-informed business colleagues were so thankful to our friend (and now theirs) that they accepted her invitation to have lunch at her home and make new plans.  After shortening their trip considerably and slowing down to enjoy themselves they returned to the city and eventually back to the Flat Lands with a new perspective of the Pacific Northwest.

Sequim Irrigation Festival – A True Reflection of Community Spirit

For 119 years, the community of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley has come together the first week of May to celebrate the opening of the irrigation ditches that changed the valley from an arid prairie into fertile farm lands.

Irrigation Festival Logging Show

Irrigation Festival Logging Show

The Sequim Irrigation Festival is the longest running continuous festival in the state of Washington. This year the event is taking place May 2 through May 11 with two action packed weekends. There is truly something for everyone with parades, a carnival, logging show, strongman competition, art shows, street fair, and so much more. You can see the complete schedule of events at www.IrrigationFestival.com

But what’s so remarkable about this festival is not only that it is a really fun and exciting week.  What’s most remarkable is the fact that the festival is organized solely by a group of dedicated volunteers and supported by local businesses that make it happen year after year.  This type of commitment is not new to the Sequim-Dungeness Valley community.  It is exactly how the irrigation ditches got built in the first place.

In 1895, D.R. Callen convinced other local visionaries that water from the bottom of the Dungeness River could run uphill and be brought to the valley.  The Sequim Prairie Ditch Company was incorporated in November of 1895 and the pioneers worked all winter to build the irrigation ditch and flume.  Everyone helped.  The men dug the ditch, women cooked for the workers, and even the children helped by carrying water, running errands, and stomping clay into gravel.

On May 1, 1896, the first impromptu festival took place when families gathered from all over the valley, and as far away as the cities of Port Angeles and Port Townsend.  Everyone brought more than enough food to feed the crowd as they anxiously awaited the flowing water.  After an opening glitch, the water flowed into the flume and made its way into the dusty ditch.  The irrigation water turned the valley into farmable land and began a sustainable industry that would support families for generations.  As you drive through Sequim and the Dungeness Valley today, you will see the irrigation systems still at work supporting farms of organic vegetables, grains, berries, and dairy cattle.

Join us for the 119th Sequim Irrigation Festival and capture the true community spirit of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley “Where Water is Wealth.”

To learn more about Sequim go to www.visitsunnysequim.com

 

Love is in the Air in Sunny Sequim

LOVE IS IN THE AIR IN SEQUIM

Port Williams Lavender web wedding

Many lavender farms are available as wedding venues

This small, friendly town is the perfect location for a destination wedding. Often referred to as “Sunny” Sequim, the City sits in the rain shadow caused by the Olympic Mountains and has an annual rainfall of approximately 16”. All that dry weather means there are a lot of options for weddings out of doors as well as indoors.

Known as the Lavender Capital of North America®, the dry, mild climate creates the perfect conditions for growing this beautiful and fragrant herb. Many of the local lavender farms are open as wedding venues, creating the perfect backdrop for that special day. Ask them about helping you put together a distinctive wedding favor or gift basket.

In addition to farms and gardens, other unique venues include an historic school house, roof top gazebo, city parks, a marina, and restored barns. There is sure to be just the right location for any wedding, whether the theme is traditional or whimsical.

Sequim offers a variety of affordable lodging options for family and friends. And there is so much to do on the Olympic Peninsula; guests should plan to stay for the weekend or a full week. To make the package complete, there are talented, local wedding planners, photographers, florists, and bakers to help support Sequim weddings.

Learn more about wedding venues and resources in Sequim and start planning your destination wedding. http://www.visitsunnysequim.com/index.aspx?NID=128

Be sure to check out the Olympic Peninsula Pinterest boardWeddings on the Olympic Peninsula‘ for more ideas for your dream wedding on the OP.