Tag Archives: Makah

Finding Totem Poles on the OP

A Few Totems Around the Olympic Peninsula
Sequim Totem Pole

Sequim Totem Pole

After a meeting in Sequim we stopped to look at the new totem pole installed at the site of the new City of Sequim offices. The totem is the starring highlight of the plaza outside the building. Stop to take a look (and some photos!) on your way through Sequim. The totem represents the sun always shining in Sequim. We know that's true! The legend this pole represents can be found at this link. There is also a geological reason the sun shines a lot in Sequim; and that is because of the rain shadow created by the Olympic Mountains. As weather systems come ashore along the Pacific Coast, the mountains slow the systems down where a majority of rain gets deposited on the western slopes, creating the famous, lush, mossy rainforests. For a description about the rain shadow, Wikipedia does a pretty good job:
Rain Shadow Effect

Rain Shadow Effect

The Dungeness Valley around SequimWashington lies in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. The area averages 10–15 inches of rain per year, less than half of the amount received in nearby Port Angeles and approximately 10% of that which falls in Forks on the western side of the mountains. To a lesser extent, this rain shadow extends to other parts of the eastern Olympic Peninsula, Whidbey Island, and parts of the San Juan Islands and southeastern Vancouver Island around Victoria, British Columbia.
Port Ludlow Totem Pole

Port Ludlow Totem Pole

After spending some time examining the Sequim totem, I got to thinking about other totem poles and carvings on the Olympic Peninsula.  Port Ludlow did a re-dedication last July 4th of their 40-foot refurbished totem pole that sits on Burner Point. It was originally carved from a 720-year-old western red cedar that grew near the Hoh Rain Forest and was blown down in the 1993 windstorm. If you get to stop to see this totem, you’ll find places to go kayaking, good food and beverages, and a picture-worthy marina. There are often bald eagles keeping an eye on things around the area. If you have time, Ludlow Falls is not far. OlympicPeninsulaWaterfallTrail.com  
Artists Pavilion, Neah Bay

Artists Pavilion, Neah Bay

Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Center

Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Center

PA totem poles

Port Angeles Totem Poles

Another stop on Hwy 101 is in Blyn at the Tribal Center for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the Longhouse Market and 7 Cedars Casino. There are several totems at these properties along the edge of Discovery Bay. A stop at the House of Myth (the totem carving shed) at the Tribal Center is a special treat if the doors are open. Stick your head in to watch! They are actively carving totem poles by traditional methods and tools. It smells so good with cedar essence in the air.

Port Angeles waterfront has two totem poles to stop and visit while you pick up additional information you may need from the Visitor Center on Railroad Avenue. One represents our glorious past, our great present and the future for all of us. While you are there you might want to walk out the pier for a view back across the city with the Olympic Mountains in the background.
Carved figures at the Makah Cultural & Resource Center

Carved figures at the Makah Cultural & Resource Center

Part of the Olympic Discovery Trail goes in front of the Visitor Center. This rails-to-trails project along the old railroad line traverses peninsula lowlands, bordered on the south by the Olympic Mountains and on the north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca. One end point is the Victorian seaport of Port Townsend, the other is La Push on the Pacific Ocean. When complete, the trail will be a 130-mile-long, wide, paved path designed for multiple uses: bicyclists, hikers, and disabled users, with a 4’ shoulder for equestrians where appropriate. There are several totem poles in Forks and some lovely carvings in La Push. If you’re in Neah Bay, you’ll see two figures by the Makah Cultural & Resource Center and Museum. Be sure to stop by the new Artist's Center on Hobuck Road, Neah Bay.  

The Northwest Coast

The northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula, from the beaches of Clallam Bay along Highway 112 to the culturally rich Makah Indian Reservation and down to the rugged beauty of Shi Shi Beach and Lake Ozette, offers a wide variety of unique experiences. Something for everyone isn't just a cliche here. It's the simple truth.
beaches

Shi Shi Beach

For those who love the water, an unforgettable adventure awaits at Clallam Bay and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A stay in the fishing village of Sekiu, right on the bay, is a chance to slow down while walking the docks and breathe in the sea air. For generations, anglers have launched their boats into the protected bay in search of record-breaking salmon and halibut. To the north, across the Strait are spectacular views of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Clallam Bay offers great family adventures such as hiking, camping, birding, beachcombing, diving, kayaking, wildlife watching and just about any outdoor fun that does require waiting in line or at stoplights.
Northwest Coast

Road to Sekiu by Randall Hodges

A drive up Highway 112 towards Neah Bay, home of the Makah tribe and the point of Cape Flattery, offers a chance to take in the views of the Strait. Motorcyclists especially appreciate the 249 curves of the road along the coast to Neah Bay. By the late 1700s, the Native American populations of Makahs and Ozettes numbered over 200 in villages near Neah Bay and Lake Ozette. Europeans first visited the area in the 16th century and later established settlements along the coast. Today, the outstanding exhibits at the Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay offer a look at the early life of the Makahs. The boardwalk trail to Cape Flattery offers breathtaking vistas with four observation decks where one can see Tatoosh and Vancouver Islands, sea life, and ship traffic. A two mile hike on the southern end of the Makah Reservation leads to pristine Shi Shi Beach. Only accessible by foot, Shi Shi has a special kind of natural setting that attracts those hikers looking to slow down, or perhaps even go surfing. Down the Hoko-Ozette road to the south along the Pacific Ocean lies Lake Ozette. First settled in the 1800s by Scandinavian immigrants, the area around Lake Ozette was included in the Olympic Forest Reserve. At over nine square miles, Lake Ozette is the largest natural lake in the state of Washington. The Ozette Triangle is a popular 9.4 mile loop from the recently uncovered ancient village of Ozette at the northern tip of the lake, along the cedar-planked boardwalk through wild forests and meadows to Cape Alava, down the primitive beach to Sand Point, and back another cedar-planked trail to Ozette.

12 Things to do before you’re 12 on Olympic Peninsula- Part 2

Experience a Scenic Byway and Local Wildlife on the Way to the End of the Continent, and Visit a Native American Longhouse.  Olympic Peninsula whale trail Watch for whales on the Whale Trail. One of the nation's newest National Scenic Byways, Highway 112 follows the shoreline of a glacial fjord that connects Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean, separating the Olympic Peninsula from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. This dramatic stretch of coastline with rugged cliffs and forests reaches farther into the cold waters of the North Pacific than any other mainland point in the lower 48 states. Eagles, otters and gray whales are common sights, depending on the time of year. The Whale Trail has several stops along the Byway: Cape Flattery at Neah Bay, Sekiu Overlook, and Shipwreck Point. Olympic Peninsula MakahAt the end of the highway is Neah Bay where the world famous Makah Cultural and Research Center is located.  Many of the items in the museum are from the "Ozette Dig," which yielded Makah artifacts from a village partially buried in a mudslide in the 1500s. The Part #2.  Ozette archeological collection is the largest pre-contact Northwest Coast Indian collection in the country. Whaling, sealing and fishing gear, basketry and replicas of a 60-foot cedar longhouse and oceangoing canoes are displayed. The center also houses the Makah language program, working to preserve and teach Makah language and culture. Take a walk to Cape Flattery (the most northwest tip of the continental US) for a view of Tatoosh Island and lighthouse. 3. Scenic Byway: http://www.byways.org/explore/byways/13740/ 4. Neah Bay: http://neahbaychamberofcommerce.com/ 5. Makah Nation: http://www.makah.com/ 6. Makah Museum: http://www.makah.com/exhibits.html 7. Cape Flattery: http://www.northolympic.com/capeflatterytrail/