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Olympic Loop 

Three Days of Scenic Pleasure

Olympic PeninsulaLooking for a break from the rain, but you want to keep cool? Well here's an option that will do a little of both. Consider a trip around the Olympic Peninsula. Grab your map and read on.

Day One 

Our suggested trip begins by catching the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston. Take 104 west crossing the Hood Canal floating bridge. Hook right to Pt. Townsend for lunch via SR 19/20.

Leaving Pt. Townsend take SR 20 to 101 West toward Sequim. In Sequim you can visit the Dungeness Sand Spit which is six miles long and growing. As for the Olympic Game Farm, there's not much you can do since they don't allow motorcycles through the park. The interesting thing about the northeast shore of the peninsula is it gets only 17 inches of rain per year due to combination of climatic conditions! Also called the banana belt this area can serve as relief from excessive rainfall found elsewhere in the state.

Onward to Pt. Angeles where we find solace and a good nights rest. Our suggested motel is the Uptown. The only thing that might be better is The Doubletree at twice the rate.

Day Two 

Leaving Port Angeles heading south on Lincoln take 101 to Lake Crescent and break at the Storm King visitor facility, then head down hill and straight on 101 through the Oleduck Valley. Make your way through Forks toward the Hoh River Valley. Hang a left and enjoy your mid-day in the Hoh River rainforest via the turnoff at Hoh-Oxbow. This rainforest is one of the few of the Pacific Coast and offers many lessons in how these areas differ from a regular forest. You'll see many moss, ferns and other tropical growth in this region and it's spectacular.

Day Three 

Make your way across Highway 12 east to 8 east. At McLeary take 108 east through some well managed reforestation and be on the lookout for deer. After a few miles you'll take 101 North to Shelton. I like to stop off at The Bronzeworks just as I enter Shelton. Here you'll learn how bronze casting is done and see some excellent work. Then it's back to 101 north.

You'll be going through the Skokomich Indian Reservation, which at most times will seem rather sleepy, but during June you'll laugh at the billboard competition that goes on with regards to fireworks sales.

Now for the best part! Take 106 east along the south side of Hood Canal. This is one of the most excellent roads in the state and you'll wonder why you never took a week of vacation here. And as you dream on eventually you'll reach highway 3, Belfair and be on your way to 305 south toward Poulsbo. There's still time for one more stop and we suggest the Marine Science Center, which you can reach by following the signs. Here you can see all the marine life that lives around the sound for less than the cost of a movie.

Finally make your way to Bainbridge south on 305, hop the ferry and relax all the while thinking about what a great three days you've had.

As always use a current map and be prepared for rain.

Patrick Thomas/Aug99

 

 


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