This weekend we took two short day trips, to Tillicum Village and Olympic National Park. I was lazy and didn't take my camera but the pictures from my phone turned out better than expected.
Saturday we took an Argosy Cruise to Tillicum Village on Blake Island. It was about a 45 minute boat ride accompanied with narrative of native folklore and a little about the history of Seattle and Tillicum Village. The narrator and a few of the crew were Haida, not the local First Nations. However the entire style of Tillicum Village was sort of a mixing of different nations and cultures.
Our tour guide (to Olympic National Park, the day after) explained to us that totem poles were brought down by European travellers/merchants from the north and the local peoples decided they really liked the art and adopted the style.
When we got to the island we were given some clams to eat and encouraged to crush the shells underfoot to add to the pathway. The rest of the trip included a buffet with fire roasted salmon and some dance performances along with narration of mythologies and some history. It was a fun experience and I really enjoyed the storytelling and cultural performance. We had some time to walk around the island before the boat departed back for Seattle.
The next day we woke up bright and early for a small group tour to Olympic National Park. We took a tour with Evergreen Escapes that included the full day tour, breakfast, and lunch. Our tour guide, Natasha, was super awesome. (Totally not creepy secretly taken photo below.) She has a degree in biology so she was able to speak very knowledgably on a lot of the flora and fauna of the area. It was quite a small tour, two Austrian women and an older American women were the only other people.
We got breakfast on the ferry, a short 30 minute ride. There was zucchini bread! And some very delicious pretzel bites filled with peanut butter. Lunch was really good as well, 'real food' with plates and cutlery and wine, as opposed to the expected sandwiches.
We stopped off at various locations in the park, including Hurricane Point. Natasha made a point of having us walk through a trail in the higher atmosphere and in the lower forests to showcase the difference in plants.
We managed to see quite a few animals on this trip. At least 3 or 4 deers and elks. A rabbit, a hummingbird and its nest, a banana slug, and a juvenile bald eagle. This is where my iPhone camera failed me.
We ended the trip by the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, where we sat by the beach and enjoyed some sea birds, the waves, and a lovely sunny afternoon.
The ferry was full up when we tried to return so we were encouraged to walk on instead of waiting with the tour van for an hour. We wanted to eat some seafood, but waterfront on a Sunday evening around dinner time was super busy. We did end up finding a nice place to sit and eat after walking a little further from the docks. Some warm and hearty food to end a pleasant day of walking through nature.