The Ends of the Earth


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The time on my trip seemed to be flying by. I felt a bit of twinge as I crossed into the United States knowing that I was on the southbound leg of my journey. I felt like I was going home. I wasn’t, however, ready to fully commit that I was over the hill on my adventure. I wanted to continue traveling rather than make my way home.

I set my sights on Cape Flattery – the most northwesterly point in the continental United States. Why there? Much like Point Roberts, it’s there. Simply put, it was the most northwesterly point. In many ways, it was the end of the earth and required me to turn around and head back home. At that point in the journey, it was time to start putting the pieces back together for what life might look like when I returned home. It was a physical paralell to to my own healing journey.

Most of this trip was adventuring – experiencing new things, allowing my mind to decompress, and moving forward after a difficult season in life. Today would begin the chapter of that third item – moving forward. I needed to let go of several hangups so that I begin to enjoy future things in life. That’s my mission on this trip: to decompress, reset, and make space for new things in my life going forward. I’d been pushed to grow in 2022 from too many sides and now was a season to let go and move forward with the fruits from a hard season of labor.

Cape Flattery is in the Makah Indian Reservation. The name Makah was attributed to the Tribe by the neighboring tribes, meaning “people generous with food” in the Salish language. As I learned in Canada, tribal lands are sovereign to the indigenous people that inhabit them. That means I am a guest upon their lands. Much like paying an entrance fee to a national or state park, many indigenous lands require recreation permits – including the Makah.

The Makah recreation permit was only $20. It’s a good investment and thank you for permission to experience their land. The road out to Cape Flattery was beautiful and winding. I lucked out with outstanding weather across the Olympic Peninsula. I learned a simple, but painful truth this trip with my electric vehicle. Just because you can get there, doesn’t mean that you can get back. On the western side of the Olympic Peninsula, there are very few high-speed electric chargers. Any charging out here would be limited to a level 2 charger at 16 miles per hour.

The mapping software kept pulling multiple locations for Cape Flattery – often miles apart. I’d have to double that distance for an out and back on this return trip. I’m learning to cope with vagueness in traveling lands I do not know but still don’t have a great sense for how this truck actually performs when power becomes in short supply. In other words, I didn’t want to commit to multiple hours at a level 2 charger.

ProTip: Whenever planning a journey with an electric vehicle, always plan the full route – to your destination and back home.

Upon arriving in the parking lot, I did see another Rivian! Win! While frustrating at times, I appreciate the opportunity to be an early adopter and supporter of Rivian. In some ways, it’s like riding a motorcycle. We wave at each other, love to talk about experiences with the truck and share what we’d like to see the factory do next.

The hike out to the tip of Cape Flattery was an easy mile. The forest was thick and coniferous. The foliage was radically different than Northern California. Tall pine and spruce trees dominated the landscape, but not a redwood could be found.

Some of it was on the dirt, but a good portion of it was on small raised platforms above the soil. It was hardly a bridge but designed to keep hikers off of the soil. The view from the point was amazing. The lighthouse out in the ocean was clear and sharp smugly looking back on an island all to its own. The view was broad out of the vast ocean. The sun dominated the sky with strong rays, and few clouds, and fog no were to be seen.

In addition, I had a lovely chat with an older gentleman. He must’ve been in his early 80s from the Bay Area. Graduated from UC Berkeley in the ’60s with a degree in physics. He was wandering around the Pacific Northwest much like I was taking photographs for his granddaughter. He stopped and asked if I would take a photo and I replied, “Of course!” Finding people and hearing their stories is a serendipitous part of the sorts of road trips I deeply enjoy.

My luck with the weather was soon ending. I could see clouds coming up on the horizon and knew that rain was coming in the forecast. Given how cold I was the night before and the big hole in my rain fly – I just didn’t have it in me to camp tonight. Port Angeles was my destination to catch an early trip up to Olympic National Park. However, I would be roughing it at the Super 8, LOL.

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