Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Work Travel Diaries--Quilcene

Even though I know that I will never return to the rain forest to live, there is something magical about it that feels like home. There's the dense vegetation, more shades of green than you can possibly name, slowly covering everything. There's the houses tucked away down winding dirt lanes, places you think people could not possibly live in, but somehow do. There's the salty smell of ocean and the unshed weight of rain. I kind of love it, all of it.

This van is growing a forest.

Being in Quilcene, on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, felt like a vacation, sort of. The first thing I did was ask the innkeeper where I could run. "When I used to run, I ran down the Linger Longer road to the marina," she said, and of course with a name like that, how could I not go?

Tidal flats!

It's always the same when I run near the ocean. Sea level! This is so easy! Hills are nothing! Look how fast I'm running! Then: Gah! Humidity! Despite the air's clammy touch, I loved running here, the trees in flowery bloom, seeing strangeness like a woman in a lycra dress and fishnets mowing a lawn. After all these years in the outdoors I have a trail sense, and one road just looked like it would contain a trail. And it did:

Please don't let there be poison oak in here.
All sorts of tiny paths led away from this trail, mysteries I did not have time to solve. Alas, work beckoned, because I was here for work. I didn't have time to stay, and part of me didn't want to. I wanted to keep its magic. I'm sure living in such a tiny place, smaller even than where I live, would be difficult. The few people I saw didn't look too enthused. I never saw another runner, or a walker. What's up with that, Quilcene?

I'm sure small salty towns will always draw me in, even if I love alpine meadows and mountains more. Just standing and looking at the water made me want to get in a kayak and paddle away.


  1. Loved your work trip adventure. Poison oak is the worst souvenir. Hopefully you didn't get any.

    I still don't understand the attraction people here have to the ocean. Give me the mountains any day. :)

    1. I love the waves and the coastline. If I could, I would figure out how to have both (without a ton of rain and fog). But mountains are my first choice too.


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