Wildlife Viewing in Washington State: Quinault Rain Forest Roosevelt Elk

How to Find the Quinault Rain Forest’s Roosevelt Elk Herd I don’t know many places in the state of Washington where you can watch Roosevelt elk as easily and reliably as you can in the Lake Quinault area. Specifically, there is a little stretch along North Shore Road where they seem to congregate most often. I can’t figure out how to show the area on Google Maps, but if you go east about 10 miles from the Lochaerie Resort pinned…

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The Best Indian Restaurants in Tacoma/Olympia Area

East India Grill is the Best Buffet in Tacoma/Federal Way Area Indian food is my favorite cuisine of all the world’s offerings. I’ve tried every restaurant within 50 miles of Tacoma, and many beyond. In terms of overall food quality, Olympia’s Curry Corner and the Little India Express in Freighthouse Square are worthy competitors for the top spots, but when it comes to the buffet, the best I’ve ever found is the East India Grill. I’ve eaten the East India buffet…

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Ruby in the Mist

Walking Ruby Beach in the mist is like walking some orphaned strand stretching out between two dream seas. Great rocks, calcified husks of ancient sea giants, loom out of the water to one side. To the other, ancient trees stand tall and blind, patiently marking the moments in a world cut loose from time. Driftwood, bones of nightmares, twisted and deformed. Ocean waves climb over each other in a desperate bid to escape the sea. They grasp and claw at the…

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Family of Ducks Braves Rapids

Sit still in nature long enough and there’s a good chance you’ll be treated to something spectacular. I was reminded of this unfailing truth last spring on the shore of the Big Quilcene River, just off the Falls View Canyon Trail. I was there with my sister in July. It was a weekday, so even though the sun was shining we had the area to ourselves. We were just relaxing, dangling our feet in the water, when we saw a mother…

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Rockaway Beach, Oregon—Great Low Key Getaway (Plus A Rowdy Roddy Piper Story)

First things first: before getting into the Rockaway Beach story, allow me address the giant stuffed bear in the featured image. The short answer to Why is that giant stuffed bear there? is: I have no idea. During my last stay at Rockaway, that bear was there, under a yield sign, for three consecutive days. There’s no greater context around it, but I figured it was a more interesting picture than the typical shots of sand and sunbathers you get…

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Tacoma, Washington Day Trip Idea: Three Free Museums Every Third Thursday

The trip I’m outlining here would be entirely free, except for whatever gas you use getting to Tacoma and whatever you elect to spend on food. Every third Thursday of the month, three Tacoma museums offer free entry. Even better, all three of these museums are within 10 minutes or less walking distance of each other, and all within the University of Washington, Tacoma cultural hub, which happens to be one of the most enjoyable areas of the city. You…

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Olympia, Washington—An Endless Procession of the Species

Come as You Are: Olympia Has One of the Most Eclectic Populations You’ll Ever Find Being the capital of Washington state, Olympia’s downtown sports a lot of political and business types. Mixed into them, however, is an even larger group of oddballs, outcasts, and freaks—basically, my kind of people. When I first moved to Olympia years ago, my first thought was that it was a sort of elephant graveyard for hippies, but that isn’t really accurate. Not fully, anyway. You’ve got…

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Hospitality and Relaxation at the Quinault River Inn in Amanda Park, Washington, Just a Stone’s Throw Away from Lake Quinault

  The Uncommonly Welcoming Quinault River Inn I arrived fifteen minutes after closing time to find the hosts at the Quinault River Inn still awake and waiting for my arrival. I’d called a couple hours earlier for an impromptu weekend getaway but hadn’t actually paid for the room yet. Despite this lack of financial or legal obligation, the hosts—Georgia’s own Jim and Angela Sowards—stayed late to make sure I got into my room. The wind and rain had been heavy…

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Strange Conversation at Irely Lake, Olympic National Park

So it was I found myself on the shore of Irely Lake, talking out loud to a tree…and I’ll be damned if the tree didn’t talk back. It was one of those days of common desperation. Common for me, anyway, the man who never outgrows his existential angst. No matter how old I get, the nagging doubt remains. What am I supposed to be doing here? Why do the answers fade as fast as they arrive? Is there a reason…

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Tacoma, Washington’s Point Defiance Park Is a Great Budget Destination

Point Defiance Park is One of Tacoma, Washington’s Best Budget Trips Whether you’re in the mood for swimming, hiking, tossing a football around, taking a scenic drive, or just chilling in the sun, you’ll find plenty of room and opportunity at Point Defiance Park. There’s also the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, boat rentals, and eats, of course, but in this blog post I’ll be focusing on Point Defiance recreation activities that cost little to no money. Point Defiance makes for a…

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