This, Our Valley
“Blessed are those whose hearts are set on the pilgrim’s way…“ Psalm 84
My wife and I had the pleasure of getting away for a week to enjoy a bit of vacation. As everyone knows, vacations are ever so restful and relaxing, so I suspect we might have done it wrong. We came home all tired and tuckered out and I am hoping we don’t have to do that again for a while.
As our readers may recall, we decided to head west and spend some time on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. We left home with our little RV (making our maiden voyage with it). We drove to Coupeville on Whidbey Island and caught the ferry to Port Townsend. The ferry didn’t hit an iceberg and sink, so one maiden voyage will miss the history books. That’s a good thing.
As soon as we got to Port Townsend we made our way past Port Angeles along the Strait of Juan de Fuca to our destination – a little RV park near Snug Harbor. They only had back-in spots for trailers, so Barb and I got to practice our communication skills. The maneuver was less than routine as I had virtually no experience backing trailers, and our little road had a small cliff running alongside it, making wrong turns quite hazardous. We actually got settled quite nicely, and neither of us checked search engines for divorce lawyers, so by the end of day one, all was good. We were happy campers (literally).
The next morning we took an excursion to Neah Bay and, after enjoying a fine lunch at the Warmhouse Restaurant, ventured off to find Cape Flattery and the northwestern most corner of the “Lower 48” (states). We managed to find a parking space and hiked the mile or so downhill to an overlook. The view was magnificent, in theory. In reality, the coast was quite foggy and the sky so cloudy that I wasn’t able to capture any memorable photographs.
But the hike was invigorating, the forest was lush, and we did manage to see some wildlife along the trail. True, our wildlife encounter was with a couple of slugs (each ranging about a half-foot in length). As tempted as I was to capture their image for posterity, the aforementioned temptation was overpowered by the one-two punch of sloth and indifference, so we satisfied ourselves with watching creatures slower than us for a few minutes before moving on with our trek back up the hill to our vehicle.
The next day we drove up to Hurricane Ridge to see the magnificent Olympic Mountains. Sadly, the air was so smoky from all the fires up and down the west coast there was nothing to actually see. I tried a number of different filters on my camera to see if any of them would clear away the haze so that I could get some decent photographs but, again, I was thwarted in my efforts. It was enough to make the trip and enjoy our time away however, and we did manage to see a young deer or elk on the slopes just below the visitor center. It was close enough we knew it wasn’t a slug, but far enough away we couldn’t positively identify its make or model. Never-the-less, it was a more pleasant sight than the terrestrial gastropods we had seen the day before, so the day was not lost.
All in all, although the smoke and weather were less than ideal, I found myself enjoying the outing anyway. I took a fair number of photographs while we perambulated some of the peninsula’s many trails. None of the photos was of prize-winning caliber. Although I know the camera was set to take color pictures, they mostly came out in various shades of gray, whether due to the smoke or the fog, it didn’t seem to matter. Even colored clothing came out in shades of gray, so that was an interesting observation.
I could go on and on about our holiday, but suffice it to say we did more than what is reported here. I don’t want this column to become a home-movie-in-print (as exciting as that prospect might sound), so I will close it out with one last observation:
We had fun, and that’s what vacations are for in this, God’s valley.
Keith Axberg writes on matters concerning life and faith. He can be reached at email@example.com.