Forks Hwy 101

We drove through Forks last week. You’ve heard of Forks, right? If not, you’re forgiven. It’s the epicenter of the “Twilight” books and movie series and was a tourist hot spot for a while. There were tours of key places from the books, a souvenir shop. We had breakfast there once and an Edward Cullen look alike hung out at a nearby table, waiting to be recognized. It’s still a destination for fans of romantic vampires.

Forks arts ctr

Lest you decide there’s not much there there, here’s a view of the new Rainforest Arts Center.


The world has seemed particularly full of grief and pain lately. Over the next few days I’d like to share some thoughts that have seemed relevant and hopeful.

When I despair,
I remember that all through history
the ways of truth and love have always won.
There have been tyrants, and murderers,
and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fail.
Think of it — always.

Mahatma Ghandi

Fort Flagler clouds

We camped at Fort Flagler State Park last week. These are the clouds that greeted us when we arrived. But luck was with us. It didn’t rain until our last night there.

Fort Flagler is great place to explore. It is one of a triad of Puget Sound forts built in the late 1800s to early 1900s to protect the region. In addition to interesting gun emplacements and buildings that were part of the fort the campgrounds are surrounded by beaches. There are hiking trails through forested areas and along high bluffs overlooking Puget Sound. All this is at Marrowstone Island, an hour’s drive from Sequim.

Butchart trees

Over the course of its 100 plus years The Butchart Gardens have been pruned, shaped and groomed to an incomparable visual panorama.

Butchart lawn and trees

There are lawns, of course, framed with flowers and trees.

Butchart pink tree

Everywhere there are swaths of color. It’s an inspiration to take in such a vibrant springtime tribute to the beauty of living plants.

Butchart Ross fountain 1

At one end of the Sunken Garden at The Butchart Gardens is a fine excuse to sit on a bench and be entertained. The Ross fountain is a mesmerizing water feature.

Butchart Ross fountain 2

The fountain cycles through an amazing display of patterns. It was created and installed in 1964 for the Gardens’ 60th anniversary by the grandson of the Butcharts, Ian Ross. The family still owns and operates the Gardens.

Butchart Ross fountain 3

The water flows through so many different movements it’s hard to know when a cycle has completed. Even with so much more of the beautiful gardens to take in it’s hard to pull away from this hypnotic view.

Butchart path

The Sunken Garden at The Butchart Gardens is probably one of the larger areas in terms of space. Like most areas in the gardens, anywhere a visitor looks from a pathway exposes a new area of panorama, either near or at a distance. Gardeners were out in force when we arrived in the morning, raking, pruning, and primping the grounds. Nearly a million visitors a year come to Butchart.

Butchart four tulips

It rained the day before we visited.