Wow! Landed in Port Angeles, WA, earlier today. Talk about a phenomenal region. The Olympic Peninsula is home to mountains, forests and ocean, not to mention culture, Twilight fame and a culinary hot spot.Landed in early afternoon and not wanting to waste any time, headed for Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. It was my first time and long overdue. I have wanted to experience Olympic National Park for some time.
It was a very rainy day so Hurricane Ridge was socked in and I donned rain gear, which was a unique and exhilarating experience for this Wyoming girl, who enjoys 325 days of sunshine and only 13 inches of rain in year. (To be fair, my Wyoming hometown receives as much snow as the Olympic Peninsula does rain) : > Still, the sun peeked through every now and again, and when it did I was rewarded with stellar views. I could look down and see the ocean. I could see abundant, healthy forests. Trees upon trees, all healthy, unlike the pine beetle-killed, burgundy-colored forests that are becoming all too common out West.
And peaks. There are tall mountains here! Some even had a dusting of snow on them this afternoon. The views were dramatic. Often clouds hung low, shrouding the high points of the mountains. There was a variety of old growth broad leaf trees, as well as healthy pines. After returning from the national park, I headed to Bella Italia, a local restaurant owned by Neil Conklin. This wonderful restaurant that offers fresh and local Italian food was the setting for Edward and Bella’s first date in the first Twilight book. I enjoyed a great meal, good wine and wonderful atmosphere. It is a quaint, beautiful restaurant. A real treat. Plus, I could now tell our two oldest sons I ate where Bella and Edward ate, which gets me extra points when I get home.
After dinner, I headed to Ediz Hook to catch some more unique and different views of the region before nightfall came. The views were incredible!
My first afternoon was great. I can’t wait to explore this region and the various attractions and destinations during my next two days here. So far, I’m hooked. No doubt I am the target market for the Olympic Peninsula. It appears to have all that I love â€“ natural wonders in all directions, abundant outdoor recreation, small town atmosphere, warm and friendly people, and access to fantastic food. A great thanks to Mary Brelsford of the Olympic Peninsula Tourism Board for providing such great trip planning assistance and hospitality so far.