Well…it’s official. We, here in the Seattle area, have broken our all time record of longest dry spell in recorded history…over 76 days…and still counting! Amazing! One of the local newspapers did a poll and asked its readers if they miss the rain. A narrow majority of responders voted “No.” I have to admit that I have been loving the sunshine and warmer than normal temperatures myself, but I also realize that we desperately need our rain to return. The state is a tinderbox, and the governor of Washington State recently announced an unprecedented, emergency burn ban for every county in the state. What’s causing this? Who knows! Could be global warming, the current solar sunspot cycle, El Nino, La Nina…the list goes on. Whatever the cause, this past weekend was just too lovely to sit home and idle away time.
First of all, I took a free train ride on our local Seattle “Sounder” commuter train that just extended its rail line through Tacoma and south into Lakewood. It’s been a long time coming, and the stations were overflowing with passengers wanting to partake in the maiden voyage. So, Saturday was a freebie ride day for those in Tacoma and Lakewood. Each new train station had live music and special activities for the family. Lots of fun!
Sunday, I went for a drive on the Olympic Peninsula to check out a few new things I learned about recently from the locals there. One of them is the Salt Creek Recreation Area and Tongue Point, located just off the Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway – SR 112. This is just one of many scenic points along the byway. The one that I visited has a protected marine life beach and look-out (Tongue Point). Take a walk down some steps to a platform to watch the crashing waves upon the rocks. It’s also an excellent spot to view tide pool marine life during low tides. Or just take in a breath taking view of the strait and surf below from the high bluffs.
On the return trip home, I stopped in Sequim to visit the John Wayne Marina, a really lovely spot to have a picnic or have a premium seafood meal at the marina’s restaurant. And, yes, the late, great John Wayne loved this area and used to enjoy the bay with the family yacht. He had a vision to establish a marina in this bay. His surviving family did just that and donated land to create the marina in his name. And, what a beautiful and peaceful little park this marina is!
And last of all, if you want to see something a little bit more esoteric, just east of the city of Sequim is a purple castle surrounded by trolls and dragons in the small town of Gardiner. The estate even has its own name: Trollhaven. If you are lucky enough to find this troll haven, be aware that it is strictly private property. Trespassers may be in for a big shock…literally! If you can’t locate this troll realm, here are a few photos.
After visiting the mythical, fantasy realm of trolls and dragons, be sure to stop by the nature gift shop in Gardiner along Highway 101 for a Mocha Lavender latte and be greeted by more friendly type, fantasy beings such as gnomes! Happy traveling!