I have been in Chimacum, Washington for the past week, at an Escapee park. Chimacum is just a little south of Port Townsend. When I drove around the Olympic Peninsula on highway 101 last year, I noticed all the purple bell like flowers (top picture) growing wild along the road (foxglove?). That is about all I noticed, as the traffic on the 101 keeps you moving pretty fast. It has been nice seeing more of this part of Washington. The flowers alone are incredible. The nearby town of Sequim is one of the top growers of lavender in the country and holds a lavendar festival every year.
This area is in a “rain shadow” from the Olympic mountains. It just gets around 17 inches of rain a year, while 35 miles away the rainforest gets more than 200 inches! This amazed me. It certainly makes the area interesting as some place to live full-time.
Last year, when I was coming from northern Washington, I looked into taking the ferry to Port Townsend (above picture). When I found out it would cost around $160 though, I decided to take the long way around. Being hard to get to has benefited the area. Enough traffic gets here via the 101.
The Olympic Discovery Trail is a dedicated trail for non-motorized travel. When it is done, it will go more than 100 miles from Port Townsend to the Pacific Ocean. The segment from Sequim to Port Angeles is done. I road my new bike part of the way today. It is an easy ride, there was a large group of young kids who road to Port Angeles and back to Sequim. There are picnic tables along the way and you can take a bus if you tire out. There is no way kids could ride bikes on the 101.
Getting here: After leaving Eugene, I drove the Nestucca River National Back Country Byway. It is a county road that follows along the Nestucca River to the coast and highway 101. The BLM no hookup campground I stayed at (above picture) was nice, but my 27 foot rv was a little too big.
After getting to the coast, things went downhill. I know better than to travel on a holiday, but here I was on the Oregon coast on the 4th of July weekend! I stayed one night at a state park, then ended up driving straight through to Chimacum, because every park was either full or charging a fortune.
I had initially planned to go through central and eastern Oregon, then along the Columbia River on the Washington side. However, the weather was forecast to be in the 90′s and 100′s, so at the last minute I changed course for the cooler coast. This is why I don’t want to reserve a campsite, like many of the Oregon and Washington state parks seem to want you to do. I’m finding many state parks full, with people reserving sites up to a year in advance.