After leaving the tranquility of Raymond and the North West Carriage Museum I headed to the coast. I thought it important to see the Pacific ocean as I had looked out East over the Atlantic from the shores of Virginia weeks before at the beginning of my journey. I had travelled entirely from coast to coast, east to west across one of the most expansive countries I had ever experienced.
I took the chance to reflect over my journey and all the wonders I had seen. For a quiet country lad like myself this project has bordered on overwhelming. When I initially came up with the idea for Worldwide Wheelwright I never imagined it would go so well! Although the proof is in the pudding and now it’s down to me to make the most of my experience both in my own life and in how I will make my findings useful to others. With the evening approaching I decided it might be nice to round up my video blog as the sun set over the pacific. Something I was glad I had made the effort to do. I had to hike for a couple of miles through a rarely used track down to a deserted beach at the tip of the Long Beach peninsular, I had hoped to find a decent spot to film there and watch the sunset.
Watching the sun disappear into the Pacific was awesome and almost spiritual (I hate using that word) although the hike back to the car was a little jumpy!… It got dark in the woods very quickly!
The next day I decided to head along the Olympic peninsula, this leads to the most Northern tip of the lower states and is close to Seattle where I would be flying out from.
I had heard of a small museum in a town called Forks (famous from them there vampire films) and seeing as I had a little time on my hands before flying out I thought it would be an interesting stop. The Olympic peninsula boasts one of only a handful of temperate rain forests in the world. I couldn’t possibly miss seeing that! It was stunning, and fascinating for me being a bit of a ‘tree nut!’
The Forks timber Museum was quite interesting, there was a selection of memorabilia on the timber extraction work in the area and some fantastic old chainsaws that looked so dangerous to me. There was also a half completed dug out canoe that loggers had found out in the forest, presumably started by the indigenous people hundreds of years before then abandoned. Maybe they found a fault in the timber or decided on using a slightly better tree? who knows?
Most of the timbers harvested in this area are softwoods and not really any use for my cause but it’s still interesting to see how the process works out there.
The sheer size of the trees around there is awe inspiring, at La Push beach there was a massive tree washed ashore, at least 7feet in diameter! I managed to find a small deserted beach and decided it would be nice to sit out under the stars that night with a campfire. Surprisingly enough coming from the UK where campfires are frowned upon, there fires are welcome! There are even guidelines posted up saying how and where to have your fire. Having grown up with an appreciation for the campfire and the peace that comes with just sitting by the fire this place really appeals to me.
The peaceful evening under the stars, listening to the waves crash onto the beach was a perfect chance to yet again reflect on the fantastic sites I had seen and people I had met along the way. Only 5 weeks earlier I had stepped out of Philadelphia airport, excited yet extremely nervous about the task ahead. This was never just a holiday, this was the opportunity of a lifetime. The chance to follow my heart and my mind, to research one of the most important things of my life, Wheelwrighting. I find it hard to put this awesome experience into words, staring at the endless blanket of stars above I felt that the world of Wheelwrighting is just like the sky, endless! The day I stop learning is the day I die and I will certainly make the most of what I have learned so far.
A day later and I was on my way North, Canada was calling and my next stop sounded awesome!… Keep an eye out for my next and final blog from this journey…