6 – from the olympic peninsula

Typing this on my Droid tablet, in a hotel room in Port Angeles, Washington. The Red Lion Hotel looks out over the harbor where the ferries come in from places like Whidbey Island; Vancouver, British Columbia and Seattle, among others.

Port Angeles is the largest city up here, with 22,000 people or so, large enough to have a Super Wal-Mart.  I know it’s a weird way to judge a town, but if there’s enough of a population center to have an Uber Wally World, then there are certain other minimums that are met in terms of other things that are less definable. And, since it’s a recent design of Wal-Mart, it’s either been built just in the last two or three years, or is profitable enough that it rated a redesigned front–either of which tells me this town is thriving, in their estimation.

I like the town – even in January this far north, it is bustling… of course that impression wasn’t hurt any by the fact that this hotel is full to bursting with a ton of kids here for a big MLK weekend basketball tournament. Luckily, they all settled down by about 9 pm last night.  We finally stopped feeling like we were inside a bass drum from the boom, boom, boom of not-so-tiny basketball-sized feet running down the hallway above us and outside our door.

It’s nearly 6 am, which gives me a few more minutes to finish my third cup of hotel-room coffee (I’ve had worse), take a quick shower and re-pack while Corey is waking up.  Looking forward to the day – we drove up I-5 yesterday, and then took 101 North, which was the quick way to get here.  Once the fog lifted coming out of Oregon, we saw quite a bit of Puget Sound’s offshoots that go about a hundred miles southward into the state, but still on the Eastern side of the Cascade mountains.  Port Angeles is poised on the northern tip of that range, where the mountains subside into the Strait of Juan de Fuca (try not to pronounce that in your head, k? :))

Today, we’ll head straight west, and see as much of the northern-most tip of the Olympic Peninsula as we can, then south as far as Aberdeen.  From there, we may slide back over to I-5, or we may just continue down 101 as far as Tillamook, Oregon.Much depends on whether we dawdle at the beginning of the day. We want to see the western foothills of the Cascades here in Washington–everything we hear and see on the map tells us it’s much less developed than Oregon, but we want to see it for ourselves.

I was going to say “with our own eyes,” but that’s always sounded urky to me… who else’s eyes would you look at something with, and even more important, HOW DID YOU GET THEM? (For the new victims, er… readers of the Trials and Tribulations, this is where the “AADD” piece of the title is derived :)) Squirrel! (And if you don’t know where THAT comes from, watch the movie Up.)

So, anyway, “Why,” you ask, do we want to see this side of Washington… well, since you asked, we’re contemplating buying some land up here–there’s no state income tax in Washington, and the amount we would save by moving up here and not having to pay Oregon income tax would literally pay the monthly mortgage on a very nice piece of land.  It’s tempting… since I can work from anywhere, our address is of supreme unimportance to my employer… It’s definitely a future option for us, but it’s a few years away, if we do it at all.  Seriously, though, even on these gray January days, this land is incredibly beautiful.

Oh, and I’m healing fine from the surgery in December.  Still not supposed to lift anything heavier than ten pounds, but doing really well overall.  Started running on the elliptical last week Monday, probably a week earlier than I should have, and after two days, I decided I’d rather nap in the afternoons for a while longer. 🙂  I’ll try again this week… or maybe next week.

Have I mentioned that I love my life?  The peace and serenity of simply watching the scenery roll by and talking to my husband for hours on end of possibilities and our past lives and what’s next for us, and why…  With apologies to Jimmy Stewart, this is a wonderful life indeed.  So glad I’m here…

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