Roommates and the Olympic Peninsula

First of all, thank you for all the excitement and well-wishes on the last blog!  We are still on cloud nine, and I am still sick…par for the course I suppose.

I realized this week how behind I am on blogging, considering the fact that my sister, Taylor, and brother-in-law, John David, have been living with us for a MONTH, and I still haven’t even mentioned it on here.  I’ve been talking about too many books and too little life, apparently.

John David is in medical school and is doing a rotation out here and two months of research…which totals three months of sharing life together.  They will be here until we leave, and it has been such a tremendous blessing to have the added helping hands around the house/with the girls while I’ve been feeling so bad.

This past weekend we all headed out to the Olympic Peninsula.

As I sit here writing, I have a peek of the Olympic Mountain range/peninsula, and it has become something of a writing inspiration for me.  I realize this is going to sound strange, but when I get in a writerly way, I look out at those mountains and feel sure that they’re the last great wilderness on earth.  I’ve been warring inside all year, dying to set my feet in that wilderness…and hesitant to go and discover that it’s just another National Park.

Well, this weekend we unveiled the mystery at last.  Taylor and I found this quaint little cabin, just outside of the park, where we could have much nicer accommodations for the same price as the very (ahem) rustic cabins within the park.  I don’t mind roughing it, but I don’t want to pay a high price for it.

The Compass Rose cabin suited us perfectly, right down to the warm cookies and note from the proprietor that were waiting on the counter when we arrived.



Not a bad place to have breakfast.


I’ve talked with y’all before about Jeremiah and my struggle with living in town versus the country.  This weekend felt like a peaceful wash of affirmation that we–all four–were made for wide open living.


Seeing my girls run free, while I washed dishes at the window, did something wonderful for my heart.

The first day we arrived, we went on a short hike near Lake Crescent to a lovely waterfall.




We drove to Lake Crescent for some shots of the sun going down over the lake.



I like this shot of Taylor taking a picture.

Then we went back to the cabin to grill pork tenderloin and crash hard for the night.


Country come to the Peninsula.


Great to wind down in the hot tub before putting the chicken wings to bed...too bad preggers here didn't get to partake.

The next morning we drove to Hurricane Ridge.


Finally standing on the mountains I'd been staring at across Puget Sound

DSC_0116It’s the highest point you can drive to in the National Park, and we’d heard that they clear away snow so that you can hike. We had a hard time imagining there would be much snow in the summertime…

DSC_0117But, it was still pretty significant 🙂


Does anybody know how to Photoshop Jeremiah's sunglasses straight on his head? Every picture, he's lopsided.

The snow was removed for about a mile of the trail, but we wanted to go a little farther. So, despite our lack of proper gear (Mary Aplin was actually wearing slingback, breathable Keens), we decided to see how long we could take it.


We were rewarded, without too much effort, with a spectacular view and a table carved out of the snow where we had a private picnic.


And a lovely view of Mary Aplin's crack. Can you see the table on the right?

We had some little visitors that were pretty excited to see free food. We shared our Jalepeno Sun Chips, and they seemed ok with the spice.


So this is not technically at the top of the mountain, but there was no other good place for a wildlife shot. I don't think she would have enjoyed the Sunchips like the chipmunk did.

About the time our lunch was ending, a cloud rolled in.

I was thankful we hadn’t ventured too far off the trail! We made it back safely to civilization.


The sweetness of their relationship is amazing to me. Taylor will attest to the fact that I was never nearly this kind to my little sisters 🙂 They are truly the best of friends.

After Hurricane Ridge we drove two hours in order to reach Ruby Beach.  On the drive we meandered through Port Angeles and Forks…Does anybody else read/watch the hormonal teenage rage Twilight, like I do?  They were certainly proud of it in Forks.

Ruby Beach with it’s sea stacks rising from turbulent waters, harsh drift wood, and desolate cloud cover, produced that deep writerly longing that I had been waiting to find on the Peninsula.



I told Jeremiah that I was pretty sure that if he left me here in a little cabin, I could write a whole lot of books….However, they may be sad books, and he would probably have to come and retrieve me bodily from the cabin before I dashed myself on the rocks. Why is melancholy and creativity so closely linked in my heart?



Despite my trancelike state, some fun was had on the beach.


It was VERY cold, and the water was even colder. There was a stream separating where we entered the beach from the ocean. We made the boys take their shoes off and brave the cold to carry us across. JD and Taylor made it across easily, but I was too heavy/the rocks were too painful for Jeremiah's feet. I don't think I have ever laughed so hard as he struggled to make it across the water with me on this back. I felt like an ogre trying to ride on a pony's back.



Mary Aplin told Jeremiah she wanted to go swimming...and he said YES. I was yelling as I took this shot, but afraid to come and rescue her for fear the waves would roll up and get ME wet and cold.


As they did a couple of seconds later, bringing Mary Aplin to better senses than her Daddy.


He lost his swimming partner, but went out his boxer briefs...sometimes I wonder if he left the fraternity house a little too soon in life.


But then John David ran out and joined him, and I decided that perhaps men are just strange.

After a long, bone chilling day we ordered pizza and put the little ladies to bed early at the Compass Rose. We spent our last night on the Olympic Peninsula like this.

The mystery uncovered but leaving me wishing for more.

12 Responses to “Roommates and the Olympic Peninsula”

  1. Abbie says:

    Oh my goodness–beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! All gorgeous, but the Lake Crescent shots are my favorite.

    I relate to what you’re saying about certain settings bringing a dose of creativity laced with melancholy. That rocky shoreline made me think of Rebecca by D. Du Maurier. (…Although it’s been years since I’ve read it. Not sure if there is even a rocky shoreline in the book. But that’s the melancholy story that came to mind for whatever reason.)

    Glad you’ve had a great time with your sister & that you all got to enjoy a fun trip together.

    • Abby says:

      Oh my goodness, I said the EXACT same thing to Jeremiah when we were on the beach! Isn’t it amazing how a good author can create such a vivid picture in your mind that you can’t recall the details of the book but you can recall an image/feeling that the book conjured? Rebecca is one of my most favorite books, and there is a rocky beach just below Manderley 🙂

  2. Lindsay says:

    It warms my heart that you were able to experience Hurricane Ridge! Such wonderful memories of going there with my grandparents. The deer would just walk right up to you! And thanks to your post about Leavenworth, my husband and I paid a visit there a few weeks ago for our anniversary! Loved it! Congrats on baby #3!

  3. Heather says:

    Lovely pictures Abby. It looks like a wonderful weekend. Now I want to visit Ruby Beach. Absolutely beautiful.

  4. Nancy says:

    You always go to the neatest places, and take the most beautiful pictures!!

  5. molly says:

    So very beautiful, Abby! And what memories for your sweet family. Perhaps you could have that cabin for writing with access to family & friends at your beckoning… lest you throw yourself upon a rock!

  6. Melissa says:

    Just wondeing if you could email the name of the city/cabin where you stayed? We live in the Seattle area and were just talking about visiting here and going to see Lake Crescent so I’d love to know where it was you stayed. The link you posted just pulls up the general VRBO website, not the actual cabin. Thanks in advance!!

  7. Tegan says:

    First of all, congratulations! So happy for you guys! Loved this post…what a beautiful place God has given you to live during the journey. Miss y’all!

  8. pam says:

    beautiful photos abby. i’ve been out that way (we live in snoqualmie). lake crescent is beautiful as well as the entire olympic peninsula. i had never seen a west coast beach until we drove to rialto beach (not far from forks). our b&b owner told us the story of a couple who got stranded on one of those sea stacks OVERNIGHT as they ventured out right before high tide came in… so i’m glad you made it back to shore!. pam

  9. Melanie says:

    I haven’t stopped by in tooooo long! Love the pictures of all of your great North West adventures. I am happy to see there is a real Forks…I thought it was a made up town!

  10. jenica says:

    abby!!! these are the best fotos!! what a great time it looks like y’all had. i love the sister shots of dapples and pace – reminds me a lot of my childhood. also, the cowboy boots shot is my new fave. can i have permission to share this one?
    looking forward to hearing more stories/seeing more pictures 🙂

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