Yesterday Seattle experienced an historic high recorded temperature — 103 degrees!  My husband and I escaped the urban heat with a day trip to the ocean.  We got a head start by leaving Tuesday evening after work, and once we were on the ferry to the Olympic Peninsula, temperatures were at least 10 degrees cooler.  We pulled into a campground at Salt Creek Recreation Area just as the last vestiges of the red sunset were fading into nightfall.  We secured a lovely tent spot on a bluff overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and we spent a very comfortable night in the marine-cooled air.

Waking up to this view from inside our tent

Waking up to this view from inside our tent

Sun rising over the Strait of Juan de Fuca; Canada lost in the mist over the water

Sun rising over the Strait of Juan de Fuca; Canada lost in the mist over the water

Morning on the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Morning on the Strait of Juan de Fuca

We hit the road at 8 a.m. yesterday morning, driving west along the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Neah Bay.  I had never before traveled to the northwest corner of the continental United States.  To get there you take a long spur highway off U.S. 101.  You drive to the end of the road about 7 or 8 miles past Neah Bay, and then walk a lovely trail to viewpoints and platforms overlooking Cape Flattery — the end of the continent.  It was beautiful and cool, too!

Cape Flattery

Cape Flattery

Coastline at the northwest corner of the continental U.S.

Coastline at the northwest corner of the continental U.S.

Lighthouse on Tatoosh Island, off the coast at Cape Flattery

Lighthouse on Tatoosh Island, off the coast at Cape Flattery

We spent the rest of the day driving Hwy 101 around the Olympic Peninsula.  Where the highway neared the coast, we felt a discernible temperature drop of about 20 degrees, and it felt wonderful — like having air conditioning in the truck.  When the highway went inland, it felt like we were in a 100 degree oven.  The delays for highway construction were like a survival test.

We decided to spend the evening at the beach at Westport, and then drive back to Seattle after dark.  Once again, when we got to Westport, we were in a gray bank of clouds and fog.  The temperature there was 68 degrees!!  I knew we would be returning to the city’s heat wave, so I took my barefoot walk along the surf, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, and shivering at the cold water on my feet!  I am hanging on to those memories today, when temperatures are forecast to reach the high 90s and possibly 100 degrees again.