THE MAGIC AND BEAUTY OF THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA
The Olympic Peninsula in Washington State continues to gift us with countless outdoor adventures. If you have been following me here on The Scenic Route, you may recall our recent trip we took through Port Townsend to Neah Bay where we experienced beautiful sandy beaches, glorious sunsets and a rugged coastline. This time around we begin our Olympic Peninsula trip with three different yet unique destinations. Our first destination is visiting the pristine Waterfront at Potlatch RV Park, which is located along the shore of Hood Canal. Hood Canal is not really a canal but rather a breathtakingly beautiful fjord that separates most of Puget Sound from the Olympic Peninsula. It is here where scuba divers come from all over the world to swim with the giant Pacific octopus. Majestic Orca whales can also be spotted putting on a show in their natural habitat by breaching out of the clear waters while happily frolicking with each other.
This is a beautiful location to camp, as there are many things to do in addition to the aforementioned scuba diving and wildlife viewing. Activities include gathering oysters and clams from the beach, hiking around nearby Lake Cushman, and enjoying a cup of coffee or an ice cream cone in the quaint town of Hoodsport just a minute or two down the road.
I make an easy breakfast in my cast iron drop biscuit pan of Black Forest ham, farm fresh eggs and a dollop of crème fraiche to get our day started. We enjoy it outside at the picnic table watching the morning come alive.
Our plans for the day will revolve around the timing of low tide. Low tide = great clamming and we wouldn’t want to miss it. We learn that low tide occurs around 2:00 pm so we decide to spend the time prior hiking and exploring nearby Lake Cushman. We all hop into the truck and get on our way.
The forest here is lush, green and thick. The mountain air is fresh and crisp. I close my eyes and breathe deep. We hike along and it is quiet. Soaring high above us I see and hear the faint cry of a Bald Eagle and in the woods many of the forest creatures are busy living their happy lives. B spies an interesting mushroom growing on the trunk of a tree and proceeds to inspect it. I watch him and smile. I am so thankful for this time with my boys. We eventually take a break and we make ourselves some tea and cocoa. It’s times like these that will remain forever in my heart.
From the mossy rocks to the towering evergreen trees above us, the forest creates a sense of pure wonder and magical delight. B and I recreate our experience in the forest with a miniature moss garden. This is a rather simple DIY craft that is not only fun to build, but beautiful to look at as well.
The clock slowly strikes 2:00 pm and it’s time to venture outside and begin our clamming adventure.
The kind camp host lends B a rake and off he goes down to the beach in seek of clams for our dinner.
The beach is blanketed with nothing but oysters and mussels of all sizes. B shows me a particularly large oyster with mussels attached.
I head into the trailer to make our favorite appetizer when we have oysters on hand. As I enter the trailer I am captivated with our view — similar views like this are enjoyed from many of the campsites here.
We have always enjoyed chilled oysters on the half shell with just a squeeze of lime. This time around I decided to switch things up a bit with a simple cucumber and pomegranate mignonette sauce. The flavors of the crisp pickled cucumbers alongside the sweet briny goodness of the oysters were very complementary to one another. I couldn’t shuck the oysters fast enough as the boys devoured them one after another.
As we spend time outside I notice B has made some new friends. Watching B play with his new friends is one of my favorite pastimes. This is just another reason (in my long list of many) why I adore the RVing lifestyle. The friendships that are made are always such fun and special ones.
For dinner I make a simple concoction of clams, garlic and butter. Simply melt three tablespoons of butter in a skillet, add chopped garlic per your taste and cook for a minute. Then, toss in about two pounds of clams, cover and as soon as the clams have opened, it’s time to serve. A nice rustic loaf of bread soaks up the juices once the clams are enjoyed. The saying, “less is more,” rings true with this recipe.
Campfires, sunset walks and chatting with neighbors comprise the rest of our evening. Children continue to run and play until it becomes too dark and we all decide to hit the sack.
The next morning greets us with beautiful blue skies and full on sun. We are the last to leave this beautiful RV park and we take the day slow. Our next campsite is less than 100 miles away so we are in no hurry.
We enjoy a breakfast frittata with some sliced oranges and toast. We soon decide to hit the road.
As we drive through the town of Hoodsport, my antique shop radar goes off and hubby is alerted. Antiquing is by far, my most favorite shopping related thing to do during our trips. While I explored the shop, hubby took B and Oliver to explore the nearby beach.
We soon decided it was time to get a move on things and head to our next campsite. As we drove off, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for this fun, adventure filled trip we were experiencing. From hiking the mountains around Lake Cushman to foraging for our dinner, we are finding our away on the Olympic Peninsula thanks to our RVing lifestyle one beautiful trip after another.
The Olympic Peninsula is full of non-stop outdoor adventures and if you haven’t had the opportunity to visit, we highly recommend a visit.
Cucumber Pomegranate Mignonette Sauce:
- 1 cup champagne vinegar
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 english cucumber, minced
- ¼ cup of pomegranate seeds
- 1 tablespoon sugar
In a small bowl, combine the champagne vinegar, shallots, cucumber, pomegranate and sugar. Mix with a fork, cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve atop raw oysters.