"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Sunny" Sequim

Well, that may be an overstatement. It's how Sequim (say "skwim") markets itself. It is among the areas just northeast of the Olympic Range that can claim that they are in the rain shadow of the mountains, which means they get less rain than the other side of the mountains, and more sunshine. So that's a relative statement. We've still been having a lot of cloudy weather here. And that's also compared to what we've become used to here in the West.

Nevertheless, we have been out and about. What they say here is "There's no such thing as bad weather - just bad clothes" and we have taken that to heart. We travel with many layers, rubber boots, rain gear, umbrellas and towels in addition to all our kayak gear, water, dog food, binoculars, cameras, snacks. We can pack a lot in Ms. Subaru.

That said, we do manage to take some pictures on days that are less gloomy. Recently we have explored in all directions on the Olympic Peninsula and nearby. (See previous posts.) We've revisited Port Angeles several times because Rick loves to see what ships are there.

I've gone exploring nearby with Kona. One evening on Dungeness Bay, at the northern end of Sequim, we got this unusual view of Mt. Baker.

Another day we took a little drive and hike into Olympic National Park along the Dungeness River. 

The trail ran along a steep bank of the river, and it was kind of a long way down below the path.

We had to climb under and over fallen trees, and Kona was a real trooper. She got to take a little swim in a quiet part of what must have been a pretty frigid river.

Careful observation along the way revealed this giant slug with leopard markings among the mushrooms, and lovely wild sedum of some sort along the steep rocky bank.

Yesterday Rick and I biked about 13 miles (round trip) to Blynn, a small town at the bottom of Sequim Bay, and the main location of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe.

This tribe has an unusual history that includes their purchase of local land in 1840 and choosing to lose their recognition by the federal government as an official Native American tribe, in order to maintain their independence and not be moved to a reservation. (More than a century later they changed that decision and applied for recognition. I think that may have also allowed them to have a casino.) They have maintained a remarkable community and governing system that is centered in Blynn. We've been impressed with the buildings, landscaping and art that is evident everywhere in Blynn. There just seems to be a sense of well-being and integrity throughout the community. Of course pictures can't really show that, but they may give a sense of the strong aesthetic that is present in everything they've created there.

We had our lunch overlooking this little park area behind the tribe's official buildings. All the tribe's governmental and community service buildings are located here, in addition to tourist oriented buildings such as a gallery, gift shop, gas station, quick-stop type grocery and unfortunately the ubiquitous casino.

This is a large sculpture of an orca (killer whale).

This is a totem pole (above and below) outside the natural resources management building.

A little landscaped but natural stream runs through the buildings and out to the bay.

The tunnel to the other side of the main road is topped by more art work and carvings. 

Even the stair railings and garbage screens are art.

This is a house pole, in contrast to a totem pole. Evidently it stays inside, as this one was covered.The largest character on it represents a sea spirit. The one on top is an eagle, and the smaller one that looks like a person is the sea spirit's grandson.

This totem pole represents a grizzly bear holding a salmon.

We have about one more week here in Sequim. We'll be visiting our friends James and Linda, and Rick's niece Sarah, nephew-in-law Michael and grand niece Caroline over on Bainbridge Island, and getting ourselves ready to move again. Our next post may come from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, if we have decent internet service. If not, there may be a pause for about a month while we're in Canada.

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