What happens when everything comes together perfectly? Is it luck? Are you listening? What is it that makes an experience all fall into place without pressure or force, and what do we do to deserve it? I am not trying to make claims, but I had such an experience on a roadtrip throughout Washington State. We left mid July for a ten day excursion, where my best friend Daisy would shoot nudes (of me ) and I would do recon for The Girl Gone Wild. Starting in Seattle moving to the farthest northwest point in the state (and in the country) to camp on beaches, rainforests, even a mountainous summit. With a maximum of two hours in between each destination it is a match made in road trip heaven. You cannot believe the point of difference between each location, it is as if you are in a different country, or planet. We left everything behind us upon landing and the only things acquired were some pot and an Elton John cd, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (which we actually got for free at a pawn shop, go figure ). The pot we paid for. With greenery abound we entered the rolling Highway 99 with the great spirit at our heels. We learned far more from this great spirit once on our journey whether it was in the forests, oceans or through stories we were told about the Hoh people, the native americans who inhabited this land and formed a symbiosis with it. So maybe thats it, symbiosis. You respect me, I respect you and we walk that path together effortlessly, while everything else falls into place alongside us. Are you listening?
DO. CLIMATE CHANGE
Upon arrival in Seattle Tacoma Airport, better known as SEA-TAC, we deplaned and picked up our monstrous GMC. We stopped into Seattle for the afternoon before embarking on our ten day road-trip riding the summer blue skies of Washington State. The blue skies were rare occurrence as there are typically 222 days of rain per year. July/August is the best time to go. Here is our itinerary:
Arrive in Seattle
Get permits in Neah Bay
Pit stop at Cape Flattery
Camp on Shi Shi Beach
Head to Hoh Rainforest and hike the trails
Spend the night on a Weed Farm outside of Mount Rainier
Camp in Mount Rainier Cougar Campground
Head back to Seattle
DO. PIKEYS IN PIKE STREET MARKET
Pike street market is an absolute trip where you can find everything from morel mushrooms to tie-dye onesies.
One of my favorite places was 8th Generation, a store by “inspired natives, not native inspired”. Founded by Louie Gong (Nooksak) after he tagged a pair of Vans sneakers with native symbolic art. Now the shop produces streetwear meets native product such as wool blankets, t-shirts and even phone accessories. Each product is by a different artist and features a bio is so there is no ambiguous ideas of where these products are coming from and what artisan is making them.
Next stop was in the Pawn Shop, Palace Jewelry & Loan where my friend Dais tried on three gold chains aided by the hilarious and lovely male characters who worked there. Dais bought all three in the end, so I had leverage to ask the staff if they would throw in The Eagles cd for free. It was blank but I wanted it anyway.
The owner of the shop gave me the empty eagles case and the rest of their cd collection to browse and ending up picking Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John. This became our soundtrack for the trip.
Last stop in town was the Herban Legends cannabis shop, where I picked up an electric weed pen and some gummies. No harm, no fowl and no inflammation.
DO. 90’s MUSIC VIDEOs FROM EDMONDS TO KINGSTON
Took the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston which was incredible. You need to take this ferry in order to get to the north western tip of the country. The ferry connects you to Port Angeles (where we spent the night) and then onto Neah Bay where you can obtain your park permit in order to camp at beaches along the coast.
What to do while on the ferry? Re-mix some of your favorite 90’s hits from Shania to Eminem and practice your runway walk. While enjoying ourselves we caught others filming us and shared a lol or two or three.
WE GOT BACK INTO OUR CAR AND HEADED TO KARI’S HOUSE AN AIRBNB IN PORT ANGELES
We left Kari’s the next morning and stopped on side of the road to respond to a distress signal. Sadly, we moved on. I was not QUITE ready to get hitched so… yeah.
You can obtain info at the Port Angeles Visitor Center, however, in order to camp on Shi Shi Beach and visit places within the Makah Reservation you need to stop into the Neah Bay Washburn General Store located on the Makah Reservation. Pick up your camping permits for Shi Shi Beach, while you are there visit the Makah Cultural & Research Center and learn more about the native people.
More info on camping in Shi Shi Beach can be found here. You’re first stop should be to Cape Flattery, hike this prior to landing at Shi Shi. A short hike with purple cliffs and gusts of grey winds. The picture was wired, tired, strained, an introduction to the hauntingly beautiful forestry of this region.
DO. SHI SHI BEACH
After driving from Cape Flattery ranch we arrived at Shi Shi (pronounced Shy-Shy) beach to find a gloomy furnace which shrouded the sun due to thunderous and abundant ocean mist. As you drive to the trailhead you will find two parking lots to store your vehicle overnight, go to the second one about .25 of a mile to the trail head entrance. It is flat and easy three mile hike inside, but you must bring everything with you. Take note: If you want to light fires you need to use the existing drift wood that is there. Upon arriving, a young fellow parked next to us caught my eye. He introduced himself as Jackson. Sprightly and courageous, he became our friend. He asked confidently but softly, if we wanted to share a fire. We complied, happily. Walking to the trail head Jackson asked about our lives, and we asked about his. As we entered the trail, the rangers were gathering garbage: fishing buoys by the looks of it in a large purple net. P. Mcloud was the name of what appeared to be the lead ranger. He had large eyes which spoke in a million directions. We filled out our site ticket with the two rangers and they walked alongside us for part of the three mile hike. I brought my pillow and the game Rummikub, a Ghilaga family favorite, and the rangers made fun of me for it. Claiming I would lose pieces and make waste. Well, gentleman… make haste.
We arrived to the beach after descending our way down a monstrous green path . The path was was bright like a highlighter, almost unnaturally bright and every hundred feet you find entrance paths to the beach. The entrances were guide you down small trails which lead to the grey gloomy, luminous wasteland beach.
Upon arrival in the HOH Rainforest check is out at 11am from the previous day campers. Therefore, you want to get there around 9:30 am (as people leave early - check the boards at campground A,B, & C to see which numbers are leaving, then cruise our and scope out the sites. Some people preferred Campground C due to its foliage however, we loved A because it is next to the creek and you can chill in the afternoon in the ice cold waters, or see some Elk and cool off after a hard days hike on the Hoh River Trail.
SHOP. THE HOH PEOPLE
Peak 6 Tours & Gift Shop, 4883 Upper Hoh Rd, Forks, WA 98331, USA
Had the pleasure of stopping in at the little shop next to the entrance of the park, where I met with Charlotte (seen to the right) who had much to tell us on the crafts of the native American locals, the HOH Tribe. Victor and his daughter Elvira Ward both skilled weavers, such as the baskets shown.. I purchased one as a beautiful pencil holder for my desk in New York. However, Victor’s work has been seen in much more established places, the Smithsonian museum for example, where he has a piece on display.
About 3.6 miles into the HOH River Trail, you will find the Mineral Creek Falls. A small but mighty sanctuary where you can sit and reflect, or just take a decent break on the hike.
DAY TRIP TO RUBY BEACH
Although very popular, meaning mucho tourists, Ruby beach is magnificent. It is large enough so that you can actually enjoy your time and only see the outline of figures in the distance. Seen on a grey and cloudy day I spent some time exploring the rocks and climbing the elephant graveyard of timber. If lions existed in the pacific northwest this would be Scar’s layer.
I took a moment to walk out towards the tide. As you leave the edge of trees and rocks, surrender yourself to the barren black sand and white tide. You feel as if you at the mercy of a ghostly non-entity. Your vision begins to blur and you enter some kind of void.
The white fog rolls over the ocean and your discerning awareness is gone. There is no limit, there is no boundary, no edge of sky or light, only a white fog that steals your soul. Like a dangerous, dark and mysterious nirvana, this place tempts you and questions a spatial sanity we take for granted. If I were to question my good nature, it would be here, and would happily lose my mind.. into the void.
3 WAYS TO WEAR YOUR STRIPES AND FLANNELS
The eternal style question. How does one mix french sailor style with Maine-land LL Bean. How to wear it? Well, I tried this look out in a variety of settings and had fab experiences in each place. Leaving the HOH Rainforest, we did one final hike in the Hall of Mosses at 6am (the most popular part of HOH, best view THAT early when no one is there) , then stopped at a vintage gas station and ice cream parlor, and finally to the last coastal road to view the waves and drink some coffee before heading inland to Mount Rainier.
Or known as Tacoma. This is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest.
You can find many beautiful wonders like wild flowers and pine trees which line the trails that lead to summit the Mount.
Pick a trail and take your pick on the many daily outings in this absolute climatic wonder.
STAY. GETTING A CAMPSITE IN MOUNT RAINIER IN THE SUMMERTIME IS LIKE THE HUNGER GAMES. LEFT TO OUR LAST MINUTE DEVICES, WE SPENT THE NIGHT ON A Weed Farm outside of Mount Rainier VIA AIRBNB
We arrived at Big Hat Farm mid afternoon upon the realization that we would not be camping in Mount Rainier. We joined our Airbnb hosts, Alida and her brother, who grow the cannabis in their home which was like something out of a 70’s cult classic film. Highly recommended.
OR YOU CAN STAY AT THE
Where I try my best to be one with nature and disconnect..
But seriously, Cougar Rock is wonderful, there are 3 sites within it as well as a camp common area with live music and social activities.
AS WELL AS WHITAKER’S BUNKHOUSE IF YOU ARE NOT INTO CAMPING.
THEY ALSO HAVE A GREAT ICE CREAM AND COFFEE STORE FOR EARLY MORNING ADDICTIONS
After Rainier, we got back on the road and headed back to Seattle for an evening before the flight back to New York. One week on the road like this will do great things for your soul and mindset. We were cleansed of any urban rituals we were used to, ready to reset with a more natural outlook and organic way to grow things.
Are you listening?
You should be.