Western Washington Loop Explorations

What do you call it when you want to get out of your house—your neighborhood—your town? When you want to see something different? Cabin-fever? Join the club!

When we can’t take a long trip; maybe we’re visiting Aunt Suzy in Seattle and want to experience Washington before going home. Here’s a solution. For a few weeks we’ll take a section of the state and describe what you will see from the freeway as you whiz by, or if you have more time, the by-roads you can explore. Comment if you’ve been there.

Today, we drive the Loop around the Olympic Peninsula. (Ala The Covered Bet.)We begin in Edmonds. north of Seattle, a charming town with a fountain, shops and a view of Puget Sound and the Olympics.







On the ferry, go upstairs to fill your lungs with salt air. Gaze at the strange cormorants on the pilings. Thirty minutes later you dock in the old town of Kingston. Its main restaurant burned and hasn’t been replaced. A nice bookstore.

Drive on to Sequim (s-quim,)–less than 16 inches of rain per year.You can drive through to Port Angeles or stay awhile to see the lavender fields and taste lavender ice-cream. Yum!

3-Lavender-FarmOr see JOHN WAYNE MARINA, named because he frequented the bay waters on his yacht the “Wild Goose.” He had envisioned a marina in the bay; bought property, and his vision became reality.

Drive through the Olympic Game Farm which filmed for Walt Disney Studios. on movies like “Chartlie The Lonesome Cougar,” ( my favorite;) “The Incredible Journey;” “Grizzley Adams.”

4-TigressIf you can take time to drive off road up to HURRICANE RIDGE, the view and feeling of being in the Olympic Mountains will be worth the time.

5-Hurricane-RidgeOut of Port Angeles, Highway 101 takes you by the brilliant blue 17 mile Crescent Lake. Admire as you drive or stop and do a bit of hiking.

Although the town of Forks gained fame as the setting for a teen vampire romance book series, it actually has none! A good place to browse shops and find lunch. Stop and stretch your back at the Bogachiel State Park. Run your fingers through the thick, draping moss on the old trees.

Lake Quinault is owned by the Quinault Indian Nation. At the S. tip, stop at the historic lodge.


On down the highway to Hoquiam and Aberdeen. Connect to Highway 12. Just before Olympia, turn off for Shelton, another former busy lumber town. Follow Hood Canal north, past Hoodsport (good ice-cream and raspberry wine.) On to Brinnon. Maybe shuck an oyster!

8-Hood-CanalGoing over Walker Pass, a treat is to drive up to Walker Mt. lookout. Surreal feeling: surrounded by thick forest and looking at Seattle! Traveling the highway, notice the big barn on the left where the Olympic Music Festival is held each summer. Listen to Wagner while petting a lamb!

You’re back on the highway that brung ya! Heading back to Kingston, the ferry and home.

Whether you make the loop in 5-6 hours or spend a day or two, the cabin-fever is gone!

Dear friend, even if you hang home, may you find fun—joy in your own backyard. Praying for you—(BTW—congratulations to Judy B who won the Crystal McVey book!)

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia

Heaven: Myth or Reality?

Constellation“Daddy, did great-grandpa go to heaven?”

“Sure, Son.”

“Can he fish there? Can we go see him? What’s it like? Do they let him have a dog?”

Dad looks at Mom—“Uh—well—no, we can’t see him—uh-he’s happy—say, why don’t we get some ice-cream?”

Have you had a conversation like that?   People have always believed there was “someplace” either good or bad where we go after death. Until recently, knowledge was gleaned only from the Bible. Now, advanced technology can, in some instances, allow resusitation. We get miraculous eye-accounts of Grandpa’s new home. Sure, there are scoffers—haven’t there always been? However, this past week at the ETERNITY CONFERENCE held at the Evergreen Church in Bothell, WA, we learned about a few who have been on the other side of the invisible wall. No way their accounts are created. As a little boy named Colton emphatically stated, “Heaven is for real and you’re going to like it!”

Here are the ones at the conference who come with good news:

Crystal-McVeaCrystal McVea, author of Waking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again, spoke about her experience in heaven and healing here on earth. She didn’t want to tell what happened. Besides, she had been a skeptic of there really being a God. She had been a self-proclaimed sinner. Shouldn’t she just keep this to herself? Then she died. This could be my story, yours or someone you know.

Next comes Don Piper, shown here on the right, with my pastor, Phil McCallum.

Don-PiperWhen Don Piper drives home from a conference he collides with a semi-truck. Pronounced dead at the scene. For the next 90 minutes, Piper is in heaven being welcomed by his friends and hearing the music of heaven. Meanwhile, someone who had also been at the conference feels he should pray for Don even though he knows he is dead. Piper miraculously comes back to life—to a painful recovery. For years he keeps his experience to himself. Finally, in 90 Minutes in Heaven, we get to peek behind the curtain..

The Colton family portrayed in Heaven is For Real was at the conference. Four-year-old Colton who at four years old was most emphatic about what he saw or didn’t see — (“No–it didn’t happen that way!) is now a typical, good-looking 15-year old.

ColtonMany of the things he saw and heard are not in the book or movie, Heaven is For Real. He played with lions! Yes! And this four-year-old saw people flying. My husband was very happy to hear that. Colton prayed for everyone—and he sang a song that was Jesus’ message back to all of us:  “He Really, Really Loves You.”

The message our great, amazing, patient God sent back with each of these people: He really, really loves us and will chase after us until we turn around and run to his arms.

Make your comments here for the new drawing—win Crystal McVey’s book, Waking Up in Heaven.
Have a wonderful week—praying for you.

EternityPhotos from The Eternity Conference and Wikipedia