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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Good things await visitors to the Olympic Peninsula

Feasting on Dungeness crab was at the top of our to-do list during a quick trip to the Olympic Peninsula shortly after the opening of the commercial season.

Cut to the chase, we got skunked on that score. The fresh beauties were in the seafood departments in the Seattle area, we were told. Ha!

Still, instead of feeling completely bummed out, the spectacular scenery along the Strait of Juan de Fuca lifted our spirits as we checked out three beautiful park locations. Here are a few of the highlights:

Fort Warden State Park

This was our first time visiting this popular park and we could certainly see the attraction for the RV crowd. The busy park has large, nicely spread-out spaces. Unlike forested parks, this one was wide open to the elements, though a few well-placed shrubs cut down on sometimes-breezy winds.

On our overnight visit, we enjoyed a long walk on the beach at low tide, a stunning sunset from the historic bunkers near the campground and had a birthday celebration for John. That meant grilled fresh sockeye salmon and a bunch of candles stuck into a big bowl of ice cream. Oh, and an outstanding 2013 Merlot from Northstar Winery in Walla Walla.

We rode bikes around the expansive park and checked out the locations from the 1982 film, An Officer and A Gentleman, and pedaled into Port Townsend to admire the impressive assortment of Victorian buildings in the seaside tourist town. It was fairly quiet on a weekday, but still nice to see some folks wandering and window shopping.

Sequim Bay State Park

The famous rain shadow that keeps this part of the coast dry was a pale shade of gray on the day we visited. The sites were tight but the backdrop was a dense forest, a fine sightline for a roaring campfire.

The dry camping sites had slightly better views, some with vistas of the bay, but most of those seem best suited for tents.

The park offers easy access to the Olympic Discovery Trail, an outstanding paved recreation path that was once a railway. It’s an excellent bike trail and just a short ride into the town of Sequim.

Boaters and kayakers have a couple of options for launching and a dock for tying up. We walked out on one during high tide to get a better feeling for the large bay. It was nearly sunset and John said he wished we’d see a pod of whales pop up, but the water remained glassy while we stood and admired the beautiful scenery.

Dungeness Recreation Area

This spot just recently reopened and we weren’t sure we could snag a spot because we weren’t able to make a reservation online. Not a problem.

Many sites are first-come, first-served and during midweek, the park was nearly empty.

Our 23-foot Thor Gemini ended up parked at No. 47, a site where we had tent-camped years ago. It’s a snug back-in site that has a backyard area surrounded by vegetation for privacy.

From there, it's a 20-minute walk to the spit, which has wide-open beaches stretching 6.8 miles into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We made the most of our time on the beach, spending the afternoon reading and snacking on leftover salmon, watching the container ships cruise past.

That excellent park was where we enjoyed the most peaceful sleep of the trip, waking up to the soothing sound of rain hitting the roof of our tiny home on wheels. It seemed like perfect timing to head back to our home base, where we can score some sweet crab at the supermarket.

Getting there: We took the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, which is the quickest way to access that part of the Olympic Peninsula. The fare was roughly $140 roundtrip, and RV drivers are asked to turn off the propane during the crossing.

Want more? We have lots more photos posted on our blog at spokesman.com and online at instagram.com/ourgrandtour.



Leslie Kelly
Leslie Kelly is a freelance writer.