Wednesday, September 23, 2009

On the Olympic Peninsula

Today I drove to LAX in the park's electric RAV 4 and then flew to Seattle. From Seattle I drove a rental car through Tacoma and up to the Olympic Peninsula. I'm only here for a day and a half to give a workshop at Olympic National Park with my compatriot Jennifer Gibson. We'll be talking with park staff about how they can change their daily practices in order to prevent spreading weeds within the park. This will be the third of these workshops that I have presented. They are fun, interesting, and exhausting!

It is strange to be on the Olympic Peninsula again when I haven't been here in over ten years. I think the last time I was out here was in 1993 when I worked for the University of Washington as a summer field tech in Forks, WA. It is a bummer to come all this way and not get to spend any real time in the park or on the beautiful beaches of the Peninsula. I probably won't even have time to have lunch with my brother in Seattle or see friends in Seattle. This is going to be a very quick trip.

It is nice to at least see the Peninsula again. It is still beautiful with all the trees and the ocean and the mountains. It does seem quite economically depressed though and random strangers in the empty Indian restaurant that we ate at and in the grocery store commented to us on how hard things are around here right now.

It is always odd to travel without Mitch and the girls. While the odd adult freedoms are nice (yay - Indian food, yay running on the beach) and it is certainly easier to fly and travel without the little people, being away from them leaves me feeling anchorless. Very strange.

Well I should get to bed. It is a big day tomorrow.

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