Saturday, August 27, 2016

Goodbye to Washington

Tonight is our last night in Washington state for this part of our trip.   We've been here for a month, much longer than I would've thought it would be interesting.   I think I have mixed feelings about Washington.   It can probably be summed up as the most beautiful place I'd never want to live.

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.

Mount Rainier

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

Anyone who wants a cheap RV should come to Washington.   We've seen more seemingly abandoned RVs here than I thought existed in the whole country.   They are everywhere.   You could probably just knock on the owner's door and take it for free.   Of course, it may be cheaper just to buy a new one by the time you fix it up, but with that many dead ones, I bet there are a few bargains in there, too.

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.

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