Summer in the Northwest, Accept No Substitutes! By, Dan Hunt

There is a reason the traffic is horrible, it takes an hour for what should be a 20-minute relaxing drive. There are more reasons than political and economic for the choking traffic.

We love it here!! We love the Northwest so much we will put up with the overcrowded roads and the extra-long commutes, the pay to drive lanes.

We love it here!! The variety of terrains and ecosystems and microclimates that are within an hour or two (at 1 AM!). From deserts to mountains to fresh and saltwater fishing and boating, to skiing (water and snow). The restaurants, the little quaint towns, like Gig Harbor, Edmonds, Port Orchard oh and Leavenworth too. Too many small towns to mention that are unique, and I apologize to those towns for not mentioning them. One of a kind views and experiences here is what makes the population willing to put up with the worse traffic in the world! At least that goes through the minds of the folks wasting gas on a freeway!

We love it here!! The Seattle area experience is second to none and with summer coming, the possibilities multiply for family activities. Try Ocean Shores in the summer. Walk the beach or even drive on the beach! Washington State is unique in this, the beach is a Washington State highway with a 25-mph speed limit! One of the few beaches in the country where it is ok to drive on. No lugging Ice chests, umbrellas, and towels for a half a mile, just drive on and park and you are there! At the right time of year harvest razor clams too! Further up the coast a real rain forest! The Ho rain forest, great hiking, and river rafting trips and camping!

We love it here!! If it is too hot, 2 mountain ranges beckon the Olympics and the Cascades. Typically, 10 degrees cooler in the mountains, and if you want a great view of Mt Rainier try taking the gondola to the summit at Crystal mountain.

We love it here!! Take a ferry ride, we have one of the largest ferry systems in the U.S. navigating the Puget Sound daily! The San Juan Islands are a part of the NW too. A unique and diverse set of islands in the northern Puget Sound, where the larger islands are serviced by the Washington State ferry system. These Islands were so desirable we even had a war (bloodless) in 1859 with Canada to establish the boundary between the U.S. and Canada called the Pig War, no really, look it up!

We love it here!! If you love the heat, “go east young man” Eastern Washington is dry and hot, it’s fantastic for those that enjoy the desert, but watch out for the rattlesnakes!

This just skims the surface of what the NW offers in the summer, but I’ll just bet I’m preaching to the choir here, you all have your favorite summer spots and hangouts, I have mine too, I just won’t tell you, fear of overcrowding!!