Years ago, when Brian grew tired of the usual “We’re going to move to a Caribbean island!” conversation, he’d bring up Seattle.
“I could live in Seattle,” he’d say.
“No way,” I’d say. “I could never live without sun.”
We lived in Colorado and although it was far from the Caribbean, it was blessed with at least 300 days of sunshine a year.
Life works in funny ways. Because here we are, living in Seattle.
But it’s okay because it wasn’t until after we settled in that I learned Seattle’s main attribute isn’t actually gray skies. Nor is it coffee, grunge bands, Microsoft, Boeing or Amazon.
Seattle’s main attribute is it’s geography.
A trip to the Pacific Ocean can be easily done in a day, so can skiing in the Cascade mountains, journeying to the islands of Puget Sound, temperate rain forest of Mt. Rainier, the cool city of Portland, or even the dry sunny climate of Eastern Washington. Seattlites are only 140 miles from an international border. We can spend the day exploring Vancouver, British Columbia and make it home to sleep in our own bed at night, if we feel like it.
It was when I first saw Washington’s Pacific coastline on the Olympic Penninsula I knew I might be willing to stay for the long term.
I had programmed myself to think “tropical” when imagining the most beautiful places on Earth, until I saw the Pacific Northwest coastline.
Shi Shi Beach may be one of the most beautiful spots on Earth.
Wild and raw, standing on the beach, you realize you’re completely at the mercy of Mother Nature. The Tsunami Evacuation Route signs lining the roads are a stark reminder that everything beautiful about the sea can change in an instant.
The only way to reach Shi Shi (pronounced “shy-shy”) Beach is to hike in. It rains a lot there. When we went, the trail in was deep mud. As we neared the sea, the only way to the beach was to climb down the cliffside. Thankfully ropes hang from the hillside for assistance.
Massive driftwood pushed up against the top edge of the beach were once Douglas Firs or Sitka Spruces, towering high above the water. Who knows how or when they fell, but they rode the sea for a while before one day, a rogue wave threw them hard up the sandy beach to where they now rest.
The ice-cold water is clean and clear and abundant with life. This is where sea stars and anemones dream of living.
Spend some time on the Olympic coastline and you’ll find backpackers, hiking the the length, ascending and descending the bluffs, consulting a tide table to ensure they won’t become precariously stranded.
I wonder if I could talk my family into backpacking the coast this year…
Because it’s much too spectacular to visit for only one day.
Receive new posts by email!
- Help me make decisions about my book
- The Innkeeper is open!
- Then and now
- Finding my way
- Across the cafe table: at the beach
- My 7 links
- Salmonberry pancakes
- At the sea under the moon
- Lunar eclipse
- Carrying water
- Edison, Washington: the perfect tiny town
- This moment part 2
- Golden Glen Creamery
- This moment
- Big white ball
Facebook Like Box
Tagsadventure alternative energy aviation bathrooms beach Black Bottle blogging book Brian Durbin camping caribbean Caribbean food coffee connecting cooking cooking schools costa rica diana mccaulay dinghy experiential travel flying food Grantourismo hawaii HomeAway Holiday Rentals island japan Japanese food kauai kids Nicaragua off the grid Petit Byahaut photography restaurants road trip san juan islands Seattle seattle restaurants St. Vincent & the Grenadines sustainable travel travel travel memoirs Washington State writing
- Still a few seats left for tonight's Coyote Central Guest Chef Tuesday: BLACK BOTTLE http://t.co/tHZaYuwg Come support youth in the kitchen! 2012-10-09
- @racheljmac Thanks for the follow! I SO want to go to Zanzibar. And Ethiopia. Looking forward to following your stories. :) 2012-10-09
- @jonclinch Congrats on deciding to self-publish The Thief of Auschwitz. And thank you for leading the way! 2012-10-09
- Books, authors, Seattle! RT @RonCharles Amazon isn't the whole story: Feeling bookish in #Seattle http://t.co/Yt6kyXsQ 2012-10-09
- Just followed. RT @gatespoverty A 13 Year Old Mother in Tanzania Shares Her Story on Pinterest: http://t.co/8PyIbICP #DayoftheGirl 2012-10-09
- More updates...