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If you have a visit to Olympic National Park in your vacation plans. I have a notable detour for you to consider, I promise it will be worth the extra effort and drive. The Makah Museum on the Makah tribal reservation at Neah Bay is a very impressive place.

It is a something that every person should see at least once. The Makah Nation has done a wonderful job in displaying the treasures found in the excavation of the village of Ozette where five long houses were buried in a mud slide somewhere in the 18th century.

The objects found represent a way of life virtually untouched by European lifestyle, a life very different than anything we know. The Makah historians are very welcoming and friendly during my visit they answered my many questions with great thought, knowledge and, in my opinion, great patience.

Plan to spend some time there read and absorb everything, please, you will not be sorry. I beg you also to read the letters, reports from a BIA agent to his boss in Washington DC. Of all the treasures they have, it was these letters that had the greatest impact on me. When I was there they were framed and hanging blandly on the wall, easily overlooked but probably the greatest lesson I have ever learned came from those short letters. If they are not there please ask if you might read them.

It is hard to wrap my mind around this life altering experience, so I can tell you the story. I will begin with the background.

I grew up living down the hill from my great grandparents. My great grandmother Filucia was born and grew up in a place now called Skidgate in the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia, Canada. She was Haida. In her time children of the Haida people were sent to enforced boarding school, in her case, run by the Catholic church. She never spoke of that time, but there she learned to read and write in English, developed a life long love for art, and she learned how cruel and viscous people could be.

As a role model my tiny great grandmother was the best, role models like her do not come around often. She could and did hunt, dress and preserve her own deer. Each year she would take the carefully tanned hide and make beautiful moccasins complete with expert bead work lovingly sewn on. She was as capable as the most experienced captain at running and the navigation of boats. She had often accompanied my great grandfather on trips between Puget Sound and Alaska hauling freight on barges behind a tug boat. She read and understood the waters as if they were part of her and she passed this on. She sewed most of my cloths with precision and detail usually reserved for the most elegant and exclusive boutiques. It caused the other children to believe my family was rich and I was spoiled. I let them think this because in the time and place I came from people looked down on you if your cloths were hand made. She understood the nature of the salmon and their habits in ways that are lost these days. She knew the plants of the forest like old friends and which ones were able to help people in some way. She passed on this knowledge, I only wish I remembered half of it.

But she was a woman of great contradictions, fearless and knowledgeable but prone to strange terrors that could best be described by a term we know as post traumatic stress disorder. One of her most glaring fears was her stark reaction to ministers of any faith.  These men did nothing to her, they were  kind hearted souls,well meaning, often confused beyond words that this woman of incredible talent, bravery and skill was absolutely terrified of them.  It was my great grandfather who told me why this was, that during her days in boarding school the punishment for even minor infractions was very harsh. How, regardless of her desire, she had never been able to control this raging panic she felt even if she knew in her head these men offered no threat. Over time I learned of the circumstances the original nations had experienced at the hands and policies of the United States and Canadian Governments. I wondered what kind of evil minds could have perpetrated these horrible crimes against other human beings. How could men and women who believed in god ever believe what they were doing was even close to being anything but harmful?

This knowledge and these questions gave me a peculiar set of filters through which I viewed the world. I grew up questioning everything people took as fact. I quietly questioned all authority and wanted proof before I believed anything.  I spent a lot of time and effort carefully deciding what the truth was, and how I wished to live that truth. Because I had spent so much effort on forming my opinions and hacking my own trail through the forest of life, I believed with all my heart, I had it right and that anybody with a different opinion had just not thought it out or was somehow mentally deficient, I felt terribly superior. It was with this attitude, at the age of 24, that I found myself on the door step of the Makah museum an impromptu trip of fossil hunting had ended in with a giant rainstorm. The owner of a small store suggested it was a wonderful way to pass a rainy afternoon.

It was amazing, for me, I gained new respect not only for the Makah Nation but my own ancestors and the profound knowledge and skill they had for creating the tools of their lives from the very same natural world I now lived in.  I wondered again at the evil minds that had conspired to attempt to destroy these cultures with their thousands of years of knowledge about the natural world gained from the careful observation of the world in which we live.  

My answer soon came as I walked into a small side room that spoke of the beginning days of assimilation and boarding schools. The evil mind in this case held an attitude much like my own. The BIA agent in charge of this nation genially cared about the people he had been sent to "help". It was a culture and a way of life, a belief system, a way of being so alien to anything he knew he did not, in anyway understand it. The nature of the existence of the Makah nation was so outside of anything he believed were the facts of life he could not accept anything about it. He was a progressive of his day, conservatives of that time tended to openly promote total extermination. He subscribed to the belief that "retraining" was better. Teaching them, what he believed, were the superior ways of his own European based culture. The Nation for it's part was equally mystified by his ways and why it was in their interests to pay attention to anything they had to show them or take under advisement any of his ideas.

The BIA agent decided these highly intelligent people were mentally deficient and must be treated like children, told them what to do, and enforced his beliefs in an unyielding and sometimes vicous way. He sought out and attempted to crush every tiny bit of their culture and way of life, because he wholeheartedly believed it was in their best interest. That they disagreed just proved to him they were not capable of thinking for them selves. I will not go into the gory details here, I will just say that it was a great struggle that left the Makah way of life wounded but not fatally so, like their friends the plants and animals of this wild western edge of the continent they are tough and resilient. Finding the Ozette long houses just made it easier to make their way back to their own culture, their ancestors had blazed a trail for them to follow.

There are very few in this day and age that will disagree that it was a struggle that never should have happened. If only we could step into the future and view the consequences of our own actions we might, even in this supposedly enlightened age, do things much differently.

As I read these letters I began to see my own mind set, my belief in the superiority of my views and way of life play out in a most horrible way. That anybody who did not agree with me just wasn't very smart. It occurred to me that maybe everybody gave just as much thought to things but the view through their eyes, their experiences and thoughts led them to another perspective.  I left much changed from when I had arrived. For the first time I became a student willing to learn from every experience and every person I met. Willing to share and receive information and experiences with others even if it the way they viewed it and used it or discarded it was not the way I would have. Life became a great and fascinating lifelong learning experience that never ceases to amaze me. For that I am most  grateful.

I have the Makah tribe and their willingness to share the great treasure, a gift from their ancestors  given by a winter storm to thank for that.

Here is the Makah History Museum website so that you may find the hours of operation and costs of admission as well as directions to their location.

Makah Museum

Originally posted to PSWaterspirit on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 06:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, PacNW Kossacks, Native American Netroots, Team DFH, History for Kossacks, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

    •  2,300 years of history there? (7+ / 0-)

      according to the wiki article on Ozette noted below.

      2,000 years as of 1,700 AD.  

      As per Ruth Kirk:

      Kirk, Ruth (1986). Tradition and Change on the Northwest Coast, University of Washington Press

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      We come well armed with... miso: miso youso we all so for miso.

      by VeganMilitia on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 09:26:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A wonderful museum (4+ / 0-)

      A Tlingit friend of mine recommended a visit to the Makah Museum when I told him I would be visiting the Olympic Peninsula.  

      I immediately noticed that the reason for the museum was to teach the children of the tribe how their ancestors had lived, so that they would know where they came from.  Most ethnological museum exhibits refer to the tribes in the third person;  those in this museum announce "Our ancestors...."

      A real eye opener.  The artifacts found at Ozette help stopped the racist Washington Attorney General (later US Senator) Slade Gorton from extinguishing the treaty fishing rights of Washington and Oregon tribes, because they included nets woven of nettle fiber, and the state's lawsuit was attempting to block net fishing by the tribes.

      A quick note that you need to change "viscous" to "vicious" --- using the wrong word really interrupts the flow of reading your excellent diary.

      "Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die" --- Albert King

      by HarpboyAK on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 11:35:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I helps us all learn (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ninkasi23, trashablanca

        about our past.

        Over the years I have attempted to pass down my great grandmothers stories to the younger generation of my family.

        I have often seen in thier eyes a kind of disbelief that I remember  feeling when I first heard these stories. Unlike places such as the Southwest, or Mexico where their ancestors used stone and clay to create the tools they needed for life our ancestors used wood. Very little remains of any of the northwest cultures. While each nation probably had different ways of doing things the Makah and their wonderful artifacts of the past still provide something we can all point to as a visual example. It makes a has made a huge difference that is hard to convey.

        Slade Gordon was a jerk. But sometimes in this world things go right I believe the first nettle net was found just in time to save the day. Sometimes the good guys win. Sometimes that happens in the most unlikely ways. It is a good thing for us all to remember.

        Thank you for the correction, it appears both my spelling and my spell checker leave much to be deisred.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:12:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Heh (3+ / 0-)

      The author of the "Ozette" article you linked to was my Freshman composition instructor. Great guy, he helped me get a couple stories published.

      Obama is not a brown-skinned anti-war socialist who gives away free health care. You're thinking of Jesus.

      by frankzappatista on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 03:57:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  While I was writing (3+ / 0-)

        this I searched long and hard for an article that would convey just what an amazing event this was.

        The Makah had always known of the long houses. Archeologists had even dug a few test holes there but not in anybodys wildest dreams did they think they would find anything but a few rotten boards.

        When I came across the article by your former teacher I found what I was looking for. I thought he got the point across beautifully.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:20:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What a wonderful story (16+ / 0-)

    A lesson to us all, and beautifully written.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 06:24:37 PM PDT

  •  I went there once. (17+ / 0-)

    My then husband, my mother-in-law (lovely woman) and I were vacationing together.

    I have wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up since somebody told me what they did when I was 8.  It's almost 50 years later, and getting paid for playing in the dirt is as much a part of it now as it ever was.

    Anyway, I forget where I ran across mention of the museum, but I talked them into going to see it.  We got there an hour before it closed for the day.  I have GOT to go back - it holds its own against most of the major museums I have ever been to, and beats the rest hands down.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 06:32:47 PM PDT

  •  I have been there (17+ / 0-)

    and need to go again. My sister S. and her family, including our nieces, are coming to Washington later this month, and we are all going to be on the Olympic Peninsula near Neah Bay. I hope I can talk everyone into going over to Neah Bay to go to the museum. It is truly a learning experience for everyone of every age.

    The artifacts from Ozette are stored and labeled first in Makah, secondarily in English.

    Organ donors save multiple lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me and in others. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate and sign up to give others the gift of life.

    by Kitsap River on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 06:42:53 PM PDT

  •  Early 70's visit to Ozette when the dig was active (15+ / 0-)

    I was young, it was my first experience with archeology and First Nations' culture.  Longhouses were being exposed by sluicing and they were finding still-green leaves in the mud, explaining to us that they quickly deteriorated when exposed to the oxygen in the air.  Wikipedia has a nice primer on Ozette.

    One of my favorite possessions is a hand grown, hand dyed, hand spun, and hand woven wool hat acquired from an old Makah woman in conjunction with a hike I did from Ozette to Rialto, about 1988.  It was so strong I would wear it as my bushwhacking helmet when pushing through the undergrowth of the Cascades and Olympics.  It can't be worn anymore, after all that wonderful use.

    I have just recently stumbled upon the Makah Ozette potato, picked up by the Spaniards in Peru around 1791 and left behind in Neah Bay when their brief fort and colony failed.  It's gained quite a reputation in gourmet circles and is now being commercially grown, but genetics show it to be pure and direct from the Andes, unlike almost all other of our north american varieties which came to us via europe.  Slow Foods

    ps Beautiful Diary

    We come well armed with... miso: miso youso we all so for miso.

    by VeganMilitia on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 06:46:48 PM PDT

  •  Kwih-dich-chuh-ahtx (17+ / 0-)

    "The people who live by the rocks and the seagulls."

    Makah_Indian_Whalers_1910
        Makah whalers, 1910

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 06:53:41 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for sharing. (8+ / 0-)

    I will definitely visit when we finally go further out on the OP (haven't been past Crescent Lake yet).

  •  Thanks for the write-up (6+ / 0-)

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 07:37:46 PM PDT

  •  I had no idea. (7+ / 0-)

    I go out to Cape Alava / Lake Ozette once or twice a year and never knew the Makah had a museum. Very exciting -- something new to do once the rains let up. Thanks for this.

    •  It is not well publicized (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, TX Scotia, roadbear

      which in my opinion is a shame. That is part of why I wrote this.  In my opinion, it is really to wonderful to miss.

      Thank you for reading.

      It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

      by PSWaterspirit on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 08:32:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dog wool and nettle nets. (6+ / 0-)

        Two of many topics this museum shows in great artifact displays.

        The Makah raised a breed of domestic dog for its wooly fur, which was made into warm clothing.  There is no remnant of the dogs themselves, that I know of, but some of the clothing survived the mudslide.  Wonder what the origin of these dogs was?  

        The discovery at Ozette of fishing nets made of nettles was of enormous importance in the ongoing negotiation of treaty rights.   Northwest tribes had long argued that they had a tradition of net fishing which should be allowed to continue.  Until the Ozette find, they had no proof of any ancient nets and were on the way to losing the right to fish in this manner.  The economic benefit to the present day tribes of those little scraps of nettle net has been tremendous and has contributed to their survival.

        I agree that this is one of the world's greatest museums of any size.

        •  There are many mysteries (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Drama Queen, roadbear

          Like the dogs. When I was there they were still in the process of gathering information and finding more questions.

          Since that time a number the people have pursued education and study to try to learn more about understanding their history.

          The rich oral history of most first nations is a valuable tool as well. They have the ability to pass dowm stories for generations and keep them accurate.

          There have been several occasions where these stories have been written off as fiction only to have evidence turn up that proved them to be fact.

          It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

          by PSWaterspirit on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:05:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder if the 18th-century mudslide (6+ / 0-)

    was a result of the big 1700 Cascadia earthquake (Wikipedia link), magnitude 8.7 to 9.2. It was the source of what the Japanese called an "orphan tsunami" -- they knew that tsunamis were associated with earthquakes, but this one came out of nowhere (from a Japanese point of view), so it was an orphan.

    There are also trees at the bottom of Lake Washington, the result of an ancient earthquake (probably earlier than the 1700 one).

    "One man's Mede is another man's Persian." - George S. Kaufman

    by Dbug on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 08:50:02 PM PDT

    •  The Olympic Peninsula (7+ / 0-)

      is the remnant of an older continent that collided with the larger continent that holds the rest of the USA.

      The Olympic Mountians were formed by this collision.

      I do not know the answer to your question but the historians at the museum just may.

      The Makah have stories passed down that told of the disaster, in my experience, these stories often give great and accurate detail about events.

      It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

      by PSWaterspirit on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 08:58:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Intriguing question, but I'd guess no...maybe (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, TX Scotia, Dbug, ninkasi23

      That 1700 quake ranks as the most important defining event in PNW seismology.  The well-researched three-foot subsidence at Willapa Bay and other places are hugely important sites from the standpoint of PNW seismic research, but I've never heard anything linking Ozette to that event.  Considering how much it rains, massive mudslides are pretty dang common.

      That said.... what if it were a secondary effect that happened months or a year later?  The land having been weakened during the quake, only to have collapsed later after a huge storm event.

      Disclaimer:  I'm not a geologist and I'm making this up as I type.

      We come well armed with... miso: miso youso we all so for miso.

      by VeganMilitia on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 09:39:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When you drive into Neah Bay, (9+ / 0-)

    you will see some intimidating signs about "No Entry Without Permission", or something like that.  In fine print on the sign it explains that you go to the museum front desk, pay a reservation entrance fee, then put the pass on your vehicle's dash.  That pass enables you to drive around town and in the public areas of the reservation.  The tribe has very few ways to raise funds, so pay with respect.

    The Makah do operate a nice little waterfront cafe, a great spot for a meal.  

    Allow time to go out to the trail to Cape Flattery - the parking lot is just west of town.  It's a planked trail through the rainforest out to the glorious cliffs overlooking the intersection of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean.  It's a breathtaking place and a great thing to see after you have learned a bit about Makah whaling technology at the museum.  Just imaging working down in those swirling waters!  

    •  Thank you for this (6+ / 0-)

      When I was there I was treated very well. It was a complete accident that I ended up there yet the kindness of many of the people made it a most memorable experience.

      I remember them as being very welcoming.

      It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

      by PSWaterspirit on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 09:05:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Had a great if too-short visit there (4+ / 0-)

      I wish I had had more time to wander around the museum - my memories of it are pretty vague, as we'd originally driven there to go to the excellent Cape Flattery trail.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:24:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I decided write this (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Drama Queen, kurt, roadbear, skwimmer

        because I have known many people who went there to hike or were touring the Olympic Peninsula without ever knowing this museum was there.

        By knowing it is there in advance and the scope of the exibits it makes it possible for people to plan time in their trip for it.

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:32:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  An Open Apology to the Makah (4+ / 0-)

          Almost 10 years ago, my wife and I had an objective: to reach Cape Flattery and reach the NW corner of the USA.  We stopped at the Museum for one reason: to purchase the pass.  The reception couldn't have been nicer and the museum looked intriguing.  We were however racing the sun and losing badly.  Determination to reach a physical location I saw on a map led me to blow off, ungracefully, a cultural landmark that would have been much more illuminating.  (It was getting quite dark.)  I came away with grainy images of a off-shore USCG-controlled island, but I failed to show appreciation to the people and the museum of the Makah at the end of the road.  

  •  Thanks PSW! (6+ / 0-)

    My family won't go to museums with me, I have to read EVERY placard on every display.  Takes hours just to go a few feet. 8^)

  •  I've been to Neah Bay several times (12+ / 0-)

    ... for the annual Makah Days, in August IIRC.  Camped out on the little tribal beach camping area, out near where Tatoosh is - that little island where the straits meet the sea.

    People stay up all night gambling in traditional bone games.  They race boats out in the village bay, and have big alderwood bonfires to cook salmon fillets on cedar stands.  There's a powwow, and a parade, too.

    And back in I think 1989, there started being these big canoe gatherings.  First one was called "Paddle to Seattle."  People came around from Quinault, and it was a pretty big deal because they'd quit hunting whales - quit oceangoing canoes - way back in the early 1900s.  So there wasn't that continuous flow of knowledge and experience.  They had to teach themselves, right down to finding the right trees to carve the canoes from.  I contributed to help sponsor one of the young men involved.

    There was a story told about when, that first year (meaning 1989), the canoes from Quinault came around from the open ocean to Neah Bay.  There was an old woman who remembered the excitement of the big canoes coming in from when she was barely more than a toddler.  And she cried to see it happen again after so many decades.

    Thanks for posting this.  It's such evocative writing.  I'm hoping for a chance to get out that way this summer.  (With a little luck!!)

    exmearden: Grab every minute of joy you can. 8/30/09

    by Land of Enchantment on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 09:12:30 PM PDT

    •  I would like to see this (6+ / 0-)

      I saw one on the water once in Canada and it gave me chills like somhow a memory had been passed down. It was a wonder to behold.

      My own ancestors told stories of going to place that is Now Fort Warden, Port Townsend for large gatherings.
      They were also ocean going whalers.

      I believe the Makah stopped hunting whale origionally in the 1920s.

      There is documentation for the Hiada that they also stopped around this time because they believed the numbers were getting to small for them to continue without destroying species.

      It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

      by PSWaterspirit on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 09:28:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this year it's Paddle to Swinomish (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PSWaterspirit, ninkasi23

        The Tribal Canoe Journey this year will be hosted by the Swinomish tribe.  Their website is Paddle to Swinomish 2011.  It will take place from July 25 to July 31.  At some point, they will post a map showing the stops each night for the various groups converging on the host site.

        We were privileged to watch the arrivals of those spending the night here in Port Townsend a couple of years ago.  

        Well-behaved women rarely make history - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

        by Milly Watt on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 03:10:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have some beautiful postcards (7+ / 0-)

    that are photos of Makah people that I bought on my one brief visit to Neah Bay.  I was on a solo whirlwind, one-day trip around the Olympic Peninsula while visiting Seattle, and I wanted to make it to the northwesternmost point in the continental U.S.  I had no idea what the community was like, only trying to find that geographic spot. It was a gray,cloudy Sunday and driving into "town" was a bit eerie.  I soon recognized that I was in a tribal town and was struck by the poverty, similar to the reservation villages where I live on the east Coast. I was glad to find the museum and learn more about the history & culture.  I never did walk out to the point of land by myself, but that day, and the people of Neah Bay, have stayed in my memory.

  •  Thank you, for your memories and this diary. We (4+ / 0-)

    have been out that way several times, but this summer, want to go to the museum.
    What a wonderful history! Sometimes it's just the writing that really tells the tale.

    She who knows she has enough is rich My recipes @ Politicook

    by TX Scotia on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:10:00 PM PDT

  •  I love the Olympic Peninsula (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSWaterspirit, roadbear

    haven't been there in a few years. You've made me think about a weekend this summer. :)

    You can twist perceptions... reality won't budge

    by Purple Priestess on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 11:00:56 PM PDT

  •  Wonderful museum (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, PSWaterspirit, roadbear

    We enjoyed it very much November of 2006. And Cape Flattery was like the edge of the world. The walk out to the lookout point blew me away. We also went out to the absolutely magical (and deserted) Shi Shi beach. The tide pools, the eagles. And the Olympic beaches were sunny every day no matter how much rain and show were falling inland.

    Everywhere we went we were the only people. Like our own little paradise. I only wish we didn't have a motel all paid for in Forks so we didn't spend the night in Neah Bay. I wanted to go back to the museum on our way out but it was already closed. We'll have to go back for sure.

    •  missed the museum... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, PSWaterspirit, Tonga 23, roadbear

      ... on my one trip to the Olympic Peninsula. I would love to go back to explore the area, including the rainforest of the Hoh, and the Makah Museum. Thanks for writing about it!

        We saw a bit of the mountains in Olympic Park (Hurricane Point??), then drove out to Cape Flattery, which was the most dramatic seascape I've ever encountered, surpassing even my favorite spots in northern California. Really special experience. The Makah also did a good job on the trail out to the cliffs.

      On the way to Neah Bay, we picked up a Makah hitchhiker, who seemed to be living a hard life, but was very proud of the time and effort that he had contributed to helping to build a traditional canoe. He made for interesting company, and he gave us directions to Cape Flattery when we dropped him off in Neah Bay. I believe he also recommended the museum.

      I love the desert Southwest and the redrock country of southern Utah, but I also found the lush green and the  coast and mountains of the Pacific Northwest to be magical. I would love to visit again.

      longtime reader, recent sign-up, and first post!

    •  Shi Shi beach (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      roadbear

      is exactly as you descibe. When I was there it was early morning just as the sun broke on a beautiful day. I was walking along trying to take it all in when suddenly I heard a noise. I looked around and discovered I was surrounded by horses. At that time they had the run of the reservation.

      Many years later I came upon a painting that depicted horses forming out of the waves and running unto a beach. It had been done by an artist named Conrad Blagg. I knew right away we had shared that experience.

      The painting now hangs on my wall. It reminds me of that weekend I spent with the Makah tribe.

      It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

      by PSWaterspirit on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:36:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  beautifully written, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSWaterspirit, roadbear, ninkasi23

    thank you...  this was the first thing I read this morning, and it will stay with me throughout this day.

  •  I grew up in Spokane (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSWaterspirit

    One of my most durable memories from grade school is when an elderly woman came to visit our class.  She was a full blooded Spokan.  She showed us beading, leatherwork, told of history and stories of the Spokan.  My first introduction to native culture, ever.  I have been to the Makah peninsula, to go birdwatching, and it was spectacular, on of the most dramatic places I have ever seen.  Higly reccomended.  I now follow you.  Excellent work.  

  •  I went to check your other diaries (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSWaterspirit

    and saw the one about Orkas Island.  I find the San juans one of the most beautiful places in the USA. My sister just got a job there and I hope to visit her this summer.  What should i see and do there?

    •  On Orcas Island (0+ / 0-)

      I would suggest a journey to Moran State Park. If you are a hiker there is a trail to the top of Look out Mountain where you will find some great views of Puget Sound and the Channel Islands of British Columbia. You can also drive to the top  if a long steep uphill hike is not something you enjoy. I do still recommend the you visit the lower area of the trail, there you will see some of the only low land old growth trees I know of. It is possible to walk right up to them and get a a feel for their overwhelming size. Here you will find giant trees growing next to and on top of the remnants of an ancient fire, that is said by stories passed down through the Original Nations, to have leveled the entire Olympic Peninsula.

      Other things to see is Sucia Island Marine Park where it is possible to walk the beaches and view the unique marine life that lives in the cold waters. Giant barnacles and a species of star fish the size of quarter among other interesting shore life. This will require boating as it is not accessible by ferry. Most likely there is some kind of tour boat these days if you are not nautical.  If you are there are several rental places for small boats.

      I also recommend just taking a drive or biking around the various Islands, there is much to be seen just by doing that.

      I always recommend visiting the historical museums on the Islands. We often don't realize that while these places have much shared history with other early settlers the cultures became unique even among the different Islands.

      Other than that there is the historical sight of the Pig War where you will also find a great number of birds, it is located on San Jaun Island.

      There are probably many things I am leaving out and many new things that have come about since I have been there last, but these are a few highlights

      Oh,  make sure you wave. Some of the Islands it is traditional to wave at every person you pass on the road.

      Thank you for reeading!

      It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

      by PSWaterspirit on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 11:44:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Water, water, everywhere in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PSWaterspirit

    Idaho. Good year for grass, but no farmer is in a field yet, as too muddy. As ranchers, we would have been pleased, but feel for the farmers. And,
    Speaking of weather. Joan moved here to get away from the cold, wet weather in Seattle. Ha! I need to get into my perennial beds and do some cleanup, as the only thing really growing is quack and cheat grass. As to my raised beds: some of the greens lived over the winter, so we have a bonus from last year, but my peas should have been in the ground a month ago, and other greens planted. The seeds would have rotted tho, even in raised beds. Oh for a warm sunny day.

    I think, therefore I am. I think.

    by mcmom on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 07:16:43 PM PDT

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