Purple Haze

Lavender Love from Laurel

Sequim is the Lavender Capital of North America. How this came to be is an interesting story.

The city of Sequim, the village of Dungeness, and the valley in between were once a major dairy region. During the 1930s and 1940s, there was a pea industry here. A mini-oil boom took place from 1955-1957. Logging, sawmills, and mining were also important to the local economy.

As the dairy industry eventually declined, Sequim and the Dungeness Valley had to reinvent itself. In early 1995, the Sequim 2000 Committee began meeting to consider ways to boost the economy and encourage tourism.

After researching various options, the group discovered that the soils and microclimate of this area were ideal for growing a purple flowering herb known for its calming scent and wide variety of uses. July 1996 saw the first harvest of lavender, planted in 1995, and the concept of “agritourism” took off.

Today more than 2 dozen lavender farms and lavender-related businesses adorn the Sequim-Dungeness Valley with their subtlety fragrant scent and purple haze. (Olympic Peninsula Summer Visitors Guide 2019)

We visit Purple Haze Lavender Farm, a 12-acre certified organic farm in the Dungeness Valley.

A landscape of gardens, orchards, ponds, wetlands, and buildings are incorporated into the beauty and design of its lavender fields.

Purple Haze grows over 15,000 plants of more than 50 varieties. In July lavender is harvested by hand. (purplehazelavender.com)

Chickens, rabbits, and peacocks live among the rows of lavender. When we arrive I talk to the owner as she pulls a round carrot out of the soil to feed the bunnies.

We walk around these beautiful gardens completely mesmerized by the flowers, plants, and setting.

Please visit the Purple Haze website to find out so much more about lavender and its uses. You won’t be disappointed. I guarantee it!

(My name is Laurel and I love lavender.)

Dungeness Spit

The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is home to one of the world’s largest natural sand spits.

A spit is a coastal landform composed of beach material that projects out to sea. It has 2 ends. The one connected to the mainland is called the proximal end and the one jutting out into the water is called the distal end. (worldatlas.com)

Waves, breaking at an angle to the shoreline, create a longshore current that moves parallel to the shore. These large angled swells sweep the shoreline with great force and push water and sediment down the length of the beach in one direction. This movement of sediment is called beach drift. (malibumakos.com)

As these crashing waves lose their energy, they can no longer carry a full load of sediment with them as backwash. What they leave behind is deposited in a long bar-like feature called a spit. (worldatlas.com)

A short trail leads through a forest to a bluff overlooking the Dungeness Spit.

Orange “chicken of the woods” shelf fungus brighten our way.

This display along the trail is my very favorite…

Come on world! Wake up! It’s time to be kind to Mother Earth or we will poison her. There’s a 4th R needed here… RE-THINK how we treat her. Change habits for our habitat!

Here’s a bird’s eye view of the spit from the bluff.

The Dungeness Spit is 5.5 miles long and is growing at a rate of about 13 feet per year. At its highest point, the Spit is only 15 feet above sea level.

A steep hill leads down to the Spit trail.

Near the tip of the Spit, a 10.2 mile out and back trek, is the New Dungeness Lighthouse. This was the first lighthouse on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and has operated continuously since its lard oil lamp was lit in December of 1857.


The New Dungeness Lighthouse Keeper Program allows families and friends a rare opportunity to be “lighthouse keepers” for a week. Keepers perform duties such as raising and lowering the flag, watering and mowing when needed, polishing the brass in the tower, and most importantly greeting visitors. (newdungenhsslighthouse.com)

Since we’re not prepared for an 11 mile hike today, we turn back after exploring and experiencing this amazing coastal land formation.

The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is a place for wildlife and people by both protecting critical habitat and providing viewing opportunities. Some recreational activities are allowed only in selected areas during certain times of the year. (pamphlet from the Refuge)

We Find the End of the Rainbow…

On Top of the Olympic Peninsula

After exploring a temperate rainforest and some Pacific Ocean beaches, we leave Forks and head to Sequim for 4 nights to view Mt. Olympus and enjoy the northern shores of the Olympic Peninsula.

We follow Highway 101 north out of Forks. At Sappho the Highway heads east.

Nestled in the northern foothills of the Olympic Mountains is Crescent Lake. We catch our first glimpse of its brilliant blue waters through the fir trees and below the shadow of the mountains.

Crescent Lake was formed during the last Ice Age when glaciers carved out deep valleys. Approximately 8,000 years ago, a giant landslide from one of the Olympic Mountains damned a creek and filled this valley with water. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

The lake’s brilliance and clarity is due to the lack of nitrogen in the water which inhibits the growth of algae. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

Port Angeles is the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula and is located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

And finally we arrive at Rainbow’s End in Sequim, our home for the next 4 nights.

Located in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains in the Dungeness Valley, Sequim is one of the driest cities in western Washington and boasts 300 days of sunshine annually. (Olympic Peninsula Summer Visitors Guide 2019)

A rain shadow is the dry area on the downwind (leeward) side of a mountain. As wind and moist air are drawn upward by the prevailing winds, the air condenses and precipitates as it moves across the top of the windward side. The air then advances over the mountain without much moisture left and creates a drier side called a rain shadow. (en.m.wikipedia.org)