Lessons in Stillness
November 9, 2017 12:57 PM   Subscribe


It's beautiful out there. Couldn't help noticing that it was far, far drier out there last time I visited than the times before, so I am a little worried for it.
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Olympic National Park is probably the most amazing place I've ever been.
posted by timdiggerm at 1:32 PM on November 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Get it while you can:

Related previously
posted by edeezy at 2:00 PM on November 9, 2017

This is near and dear to my heart, and it's why I'm happy to live where I do right now.

While I'm pretty sure I've experienced arguably physically quieter moments in the deep desert on a very still day, it doesn't compare to the intense, pervading calm and peace that can be found on the Olympic Peninsula.

I've been in forests up and down the entire west coast from manzanita, oak and sage chapparal scrubs to the giant redwoods of the California coast to the Dougs and pines of Gifford-Pinchot, and nothing really compares to the Olympics for sheer peace and quiet and calm. The town I live in jokes a lot about being a kind of vortex of peace and quiet, but it's based firmly in reality.

And at this point I can't imagine living anywhere else. If I'm going to go anywhere, it's just going to be deeper into the Olympics, or north into Alaska or British Columbia.
posted by loquacious at 2:06 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

I experienced that peace once, in junior high.

I was on an overnight trip that required us to cross-country ski to the campsite, and as we arrived at the trailhead, it had begun snowing. Nothing really bad, but more than a flurry. So, bundled up, we headed out into the woods, and as we moved in, the groups began to split up. As I skied into a clearing, the trail winding around the edge of it, the combination of the weather and setting created a quiet, a hush that you could feel in your soul. With all blanketed in white, the moment was still, and everything else just melted away.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:29 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

And then if you're too overwhelmed by the Transcendent Beauty of the Rain Forest, it's less than an hour's drive to Forks, WA where you can immerse yourself in the world of the Twilight novels. And interact with lots of Japanese tourists. Just sayin' in case the wonders of human behavior also make you glad to be alive.
posted by kestralwing at 2:35 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ah, home.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:58 PM on November 9, 2017

Forks is team Edward, but I'm going to go Team Jacob and suggest La Push, with the nice coastline.
posted by Artw at 3:03 PM on November 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

I lived in Seattle for four years, and I never once went to the Olympic Peninsula. It's my biggest regret! Well, one of them, anyway.
posted by zardoz at 3:44 PM on November 9, 2017

The Hoh Rainforest (and really the entire Washington & Oregon coastline) is one of my favorite places on Earth.
posted by The Great David S. Pumpkins at 4:09 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

It is my favorite place in the world, I think.
posted by scose at 5:29 PM on November 9, 2017

I am in grad school so have many friends here on visa. When they ask me where in the USA they should visit before they leave, I tell them to visit the Olympic peninsula.
posted by scose at 5:32 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by homunculus at 5:57 PM on November 9, 2017

The Sound Of Silence
posted by homunculus at 6:07 PM on November 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Olympic Peninsula is a wonderful place but if any of you get the chance you should come explore the Tongass sometime.. Like the Olympic Peninsula in many ways, only moreso.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:47 AM on November 10, 2017

Needs more anechoic chambers to get truly silent.
posted by koolkat at 1:29 AM on November 10, 2017

Olympic National Park has been on my bucket list since forever. This article has me back to looking at my savings.

For a while now, I've been struggling with the after effects of long time stress at work, and sometimes I just can't take noise. So I go to a small forest 45 minutes from here, where you only have to walk about 1/2 a mile, and then all human noise is gone, and there is no mobile coverage. (The forest is small, the quiet is because of the topography and it is off the flight lines). This week I went there and for the first time in ages I felt really, really happy and alive. My only regret was that I didn't bring something to sit on, because it would have been even better if I had been able to spend some time just doing nothing, listening to the quiet. Forests are healing organisms, and we should preserve them for our own sakes, as well as for their sakes.
posted by mumimor at 2:07 AM on November 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

The major thing I get from the silence out here is reminded just how loud my tinnitus is.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:52 AM on November 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

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