|The view from Echo Bay on Sucia Island|
Nature dominates, and this state has it all -- beautiful mountains, rain forests, great sandy beaches, interesting tide pools, hiking, biking. The national parks here are amazing, each worth its own vacation. Still, as beautiful as it is, I don't think I could live here, for two main reasons. First, the weather is dreary. We've been relatively lucky, and even with that we spent much of August in long pants and sweatshirts. It's the coldest summer I've ever had. Second, the parts of Washington affected by humans are... not great. The roads are not good, Seattle is a mess and should probably just be bulldozed, and the small towns in the center of the state tend to be very run down and dreary.
There are two towns we liked: Port Angeles and Long Beach. The towns themselves are nice enough, very livable, with access to the perks of modern life, yet a quick escape to remote locations that make you feel like the only person on earth. But that weather....
|Dungeness Lighthouse dwarfed by a distant Mount Baker|
|The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, looking south toward distant Oregon|
Overall, Washington has been great. Crescent Bay is an amazing place for an RV traveller, and the San Juan Island National Park is a bucket list item for sailors. Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helens, Olympic National Park -- breathtaking. I feel like we've missed so much, even after a month. Just sailing in the San Juan Islands could be a summer project by itself. I have a feeling we will be back to Washington.