Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is one of the quietest places on Earth.
You may have to go a little farther than you thought to find quite in today’s world. A tiny plot of land there on the Olympic Peninsula – a five hour drive from Seattle and two-hour hike is what one expert says is the single quietest place in the lower 48 states. See Video.
In the man-made realm, the world’s quietest room is in Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis, Minn. Completely sound-proof, decibel levels in the room can reach an incredible negative nine – compare that to an airport’s background noise of 72 decibels or 59 in a car or 57 in a quiet office.
“CBS This Morning” special correspondent Jeff Glor spent some quiet time at the Olympic Peninsula and at the Orfield Laboratories soundproof room, listening to the sound of silence in its many forms. Watch his experience in this video on the Olympic Peninsula.
On the Olympic Peninsula, the Sol Duc Hot Springs in the Olympic National Park celebrates its 100th year of operation.
The resort about 40 miles west of Port Angeles, will commemorate the milestone with promotions and a special event planned at the hot springs May 5-6. The event will be hosted by Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, the National Park Service and the Clallam County Historical Society and will include food, entertainment and a special look at the history of the hot springs.
“Sol Duc Hot Springs has been the Northwest’s premier natural hot spring destination for the past century,” said Amanda Lovelady, district manager for Aramark Parks and Destinations, Olympic Peninsula. “The resort is deeply tied to the history of this area, and we hope to share that story with locals and our visitors.”
The resort features three mineral hot spring soaking pools and one freshwater pool, with temperatures ranging from 85 to 105 degrees. An original Stanley Steamer Mountain Wagon on which early visitors rode the last part of their two-day journey from Seattle to visit the hot springs will be featured during the celebration.
For special 100th anniversary rates and more information, visit http://www.olympicnationalparks.com/plan/specials–packages/sol-duc-hot-springs.aspx
Congratulations to the Belfair “Taste of the Hood Canal” who is now a Seattle Seafair Community Event.
The North Mason Rotary who sponsors this Hood Canal summer celebration to support the community was notified today this free annual event held on August 11 is now part of Seafair.
For those outside the Puget Sound, Seafair is Seattle’s traditional summer festival. A month-long, region-wide barbecue, that brings an entire community together in celebration. For over 60 years Seafair has been about community events, parades, Miss Seafair, the Navy and Coast Guard, amateur athletics, airplanes and of course, hydroplane boat racing.
The Hood Canal “Taste” features a larger and expanded custom and classic car show as well as beer and wine tasting by Riverhill Winery. On Saturday, August 11, come and experience specialties from local restaurants, family entertainment & live music throughout the day, food including seafood and a variety of wonderful treats, informational displays, art and craft booths, fire engines, local artists and lots of fun for all!
There is a reason why Seattle chose to include the Hood Canal “Taste of the Canal” as Mason Counties only contribution to Seafair. Bring the family to Hood Canal this August 11 so you don’t miss this free fun.
The ever-popular 2012 Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby, sponsored by the Gardiner Salmon Derby Association, will attract from 800 to 1,000 anglers this President’s Day weekend.
Luckily, there is a lot of room to fish for the out-of-towners and all the area anglers. Like last year, the derby includes 500 square miles of fishing and five weigh stations. And besides the fun of fishing, this giant derby also has a grand prize of $10,000 for the biggest fish.
The winter blackmouth classic is part of the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s “Northwest Salmon Derby Series.”
Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said this weekend’s derby could very well attract 1,000 anglers. “The derby gets a lot of people,” Menkal said. “Especially a lot of local people. It is a huge area for the derby.
“Last year they added the Port Angeles and Freshwater Bay area to the derby and they picked up a huge amount of people. “People in Port Angeles could fish at their favorite spots.
For more information, go to Salmon Derby details
“It will be business as usual” says the new executives at Black Ball Ferry Line who acquired the link between Victoria BC, Canada and the Olympic Peninsula. The 52-year-old company, which operates the MV Coho between Victoria and Port Angeles, has been purchased from the Oregon State University Foundation by the company’s executive management team.
Black Ball had been bequeathed to the foundation by former owner Lois Acheson in 2004 as part of a $21-million gift of her estate to establish an endowment in OSU’s college of veterinary medicine.
“The goal right now is to keep the course we have, the culture of the company intact and not try to change in too many respects,” said president and COO Ryan Burles, one of the five new owners. “The trustees at Oregon State did a great thing to keep it within the employees and maintain the legacy. It was Mrs. Acheson’s wish that the employees were taken care of.”
The Coho can accommodate 1,000 passengers and 120 vehicles on any one sailing. According to a 2006 study, it ferries more than 400,000 passengers and 120,000 vehicles and brings $123.7 million into the Victoria economy annually. The company employs more than 120 people and operates terminals in both Victoria BC and Port Angeles.
According to Rich Childers of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2011 appears to be a record year for the amount of crabs harvested by recreational crabbers in Puget Sound. An estimated 2.1 million pounds of crabs were taken in the summer season from July 1 to Labor Day, with additional harvest coming during the fall and winter.
Lots of people enjoyed a high rate of catch this year, Childers said. “We are seeing an abundance of crab, phenomenally high in some of the Puget Sound marine areas,” he said. “We’re seeing the same thing with shrimp. Something in the environment is favoring the survival of Dungeness crabs from larvae to adult.”
Crab season will close in all areas on Dec. 31, and anyone with a winter catch record card must report their catch by Feb. 1 — even if no crab were caught.
For those of us who watch the Northwest economy and how it affects Washington real estate, Mr. Matthew Gardner and Windermere Real Estate has released “The Gardner Report” for Q3.
Mr. Gardner is a land use economist and principal with Gardner Economics and is considered by many to be one of the foremost real estate analysts in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to managing his consulting practice, Mr. Gardner is a member of the Pacific Real Estate Institute; chairs the Board of Trustees for the Washington State Center for Real Estate Research; the Urban Land Institutes Technical Assistance Panel; and represents the Master Builders Association as an in-house economist. He has appeared on CNN, NBC and NPR news services to discuss real estate issues and is regularly cited in the Wall Street Journal and all local media.
The Q3 Gardner Report concludes:
- “We continue to see modest employment growth in Washington State, but improvements are certainly not equal across the counties. Continued contraction in the government sector and construction are acting as anchors by restraining any significant improvement. In as much as I still contend that Washington State does, and will continue to, fare better than the nation as a whole, uncertainty appears to have permeated all businesses. The Federal Government now appears to be understanding the importance that real estate has in our economic growth. There are numerous proposals being proposed in Congress and the Senate relative to stabilizing our housing market. Although they are not a panacea, I am glad to see that they are starting to understand how important it is.”
“The housing market continues to demonstrate modest signs of stability, but financing and appraisals are still acting as impediments. Inventory levels saw a modest increase this summer, but are starting to exhibit their traditional seasonal decline—and are still considerably down from historic averages. Pending sales remain well above figures seen a year ago and closed transactions are also trending higher.”
To download the entire report, go to http://www.thesouthsounder.com/newsletters/Gardner_Report_Q3.pdf
SHELTON — U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., are floating a proposal to add roughly 130,000 acres to wilderness areas to the Olympic National Forest. Their staffs were in Shelton Friday for public feedback before drafting a bill to accomplish that goal.
The plan would take existing federal forest land surrounding the Olympic National Park and tighten the managerial restrictions however much of these forest would be left in its current condition. Logging would be eliminated and hiking would remain.
These forests have numerous U.S. Forest Service roads already earmarked for closure, which would still take place. Some forest service roads would remain intact — the only ones that would allow mountain bikes and motorized vehicles. However, hikers might have longer walks into the wilderness from where they can park vehicles.
As part of the 130,000 acres are five segments of land totaling about 20,000 acres targeted to become “preserves.” In these areas, if the private owners were to sell to the federal government, the government would manage the land in a manner less restrictive than as an official wilderness.
About 400 Olympic Peninsula residents from various groups made the original proposal. So far, the original proposal has been trimmed after some initial feedback by the tribes and other agencies and groups, said Kristine Reeves, Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula director on Murray’s staff.
Tonight, bring your Christmas spirit and the whole family to Shelton’s annual “Christmas Town” Parade happening Saturday, December 3 at 5pm in downtown Shelton.
This time-honored tradition promises live music, marching bands and dance routines, festively-decorated cars, prancing horses, shiny fire trucks and many more entries created by local schools, businesses and organizations.
Come early and stake out your spot on Railroad Avenue as this event is popular and extremely well-attended. Bring a lawn chair and dress warmly – hot cocoa in a thermos would also be a treat. See you there! Photo credit: Cooper Studios