To several million inhabitants of the Puget Sound region, the resplendent Olympic Mountains splayed across the western horizon enchant us on sunny days. Perhaps this view is what might have lured some of you transplants here?
I'll never tire of gazing at these jagged mountains, whose serrated peaks slice the sky for over 60 miles south to north. And neither do most of us who live or pass through here. One late winter afternoon I recall sitting in a downtown Seattle highrise meeting with otherwise no-nonsense scientists and engineers who all stopped to gape at a particularly spectacular sunset behind the Olympics.
On days like today, suffused with brilliant mid-winter sunshine that sends us Mossbacks searching for our long unused sunglasses, the snow-encrusted Olympics are particularly stunning. But then, some might argue that the peak viewing time of year for these peaks is a crisp fall day after the first major snowfall of the season. Or a bright and breezy spring day. Or any day, really.
One of the best places to view the Olympics is while driving northbound on the Alaskan Way Viaduct (slated for demolition, hopefully before it crumbles in a major earthquake). Unfortunately the viaduct is a terrible place from which to snap some photos, especially if you're driving. Better to go to a beach like Golden Gardens.
One of my favorite Olympic-viewing spots is from the deck of a Washington State Ferry, preferably mid-Sound from Colman Dock. But the Fauntleroy-Vashon and Edmonds-Kingston runs are also great.
And of course I can't neglect to mention the Olympic Sculpture Park. Just last night as I was driving past the park in the early evening twilight, the Calder sculpture with the dusky orange-rimmed mountaintops in the background was glorious. I wished I'd had my camera. But the image is burned in my mind anyway.
How about you? What's your favorite place to sit and sigh at the beauty of these mountains?