[Flashback] No Stress Northwest

Olympic National Park, Washington. [July 2014]

A few hours driving out of Seattle along Route 101, past the curious juxtaposition of conifers and nuclear power stations, we reach the immaculate Ruby Beach. For all the grief the Northwest gets for its rain and gloom, the Gods were kind to us today, showing us how pretty things can be beneath the blue-and-white sky cover as if straight out of a Twilight movie.

Insanely pretty skies above Ruby Beach
Giddy up!

To cool off we dodge into the canopy of the Hoh Rainforest. which takes in 12 to 14 feet of rainfall per year (beat that, Seattle). The moss-encaved trees bend and twist like a Munch caricature. The strange emotions of serenity, creepiness, and awe mix and stir as we stroll through this magical realm.

Hoh Rainforest – fuzzy, creepy and extremely cool

We cruise on in pursuit of the sunset (primed for 9:15PM on a beautiful summer night) and reach Rialto Beach, right outside of the small town of Forks. I will never tire of watching the hues of dusk: wherever you are in the world, the sun’s expressions differ but the impressions it leaves are the same. It never fails to inspire.

Colors and shadows at Rialto Beach
Driftwood benches for watching the sun’s disappearing act

Refreshed in the morning we march on to Lake Crescent. The waters are gentle against a tessellating backdrop of wooded hills. Whether you are here to meditate and reflect or paddle board with a furry friend, life is infinitely less stressful than on the bustling streets of New York City.

Reflecting atop Lake Crescent
It’s a Ruff life in the Pacific Northwest

Our Olympic odyssey concludes at Hurricane Point, after a steep 45-degree drive up a serpentine road. Glaciers in the background and reindeers in the foreground, we breathe in a lungful of fresh mountain air, feeling rejuvenated by nature. Next stop: Vancouver, back to the metropolitan pace of life.

Santa’s escaped little helpers at Hurricane Ridge

“The open road is a beckoning, a strangeness, a place where a man can lose himself.” – William Least Heat Moon

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