Well. What a nice, neat, snow week we just had! Fluffy and deep, a time to hunker down and stay at home, then voila! 45 degrees and a little (hehe) rain and all that white stuff is reduced to points of brightness against the winter pallette. You would think a foot of snow followed by inches of rain would cause flooding... but not on our glacial plain... we are built to drain! Our short rivers rise and fall quickly, leaving us scrubbed clean but not washed out. One of our many gifts!
So, while we enjoy a temperate winter, the alpine areas of the Olympic Mountains beckon with deep snow, where snow shoes ply above and alpine mice burrow underneath. The road is open daily, weather permitting, so you can enjoy this unique area in the 'quiet' season. Rangers lead interpretive snowshoe walks Friday through Sunday and on Monday holidays, where you can learn about Olympic National Park in the winter, get a little exercise and be amazed that what looks like a serene scene is really bustling with activity that we just don't see beneath the snow.
Our NEW 2012 TRAVEL PLANNERS are here! Bright and beautiful, the 2012 Planner is ready for you. To request a copy, just let Gloria know your address with an email.
I hope this finds you anticipating a fine spring and dreaming of your adventure on the Olympic Peninsula this year! Let us know if we can help you plan.... we love that part of our jobs!
Diane Schostak, Executive Director, Olympic Peninsula on behalf of
Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission
February Culinary Corner!
We wait all year for Red Wine & Chocolate Tour! Thank goodness they stretch it out over two weekends! Here are some of the highlights. For more detailed information see the
Olympic Peninsula Wineries Association or individual wineries websites.
- New releases from Eaglemount Wine & Cider include a red wine, a mead and a cider. Meet Jim Queen from Chocolate Serenade!
- Black Diamond Winery will be pouring Syrah, Raspberry, Loganberry and Strawberry wines paired with chocolate truffles. Can we all say YUM together?
- Finnriver Farm & Cidery will feature sweet brandy dessert wines, including newly-released Raspberry Wine, paired with chocolate-covered berries; chocolate brownie paired with black current and pear cider cocktail! For an extra treat, purchase a token to enter the Chocolate Chamber for a cup of "BLISS" Chocolate Elixir, crafted by Jennifer Michele Chocolat in Port Townsend. All visitors are invited to "put their love on the line" by tying a valentine ribbon on a cooperative art project.
- You can even go to Paris this year on the tour, and there's no passport or plane ticket required! Through the cellar doors at Olympic Cellars you'll be immediately transported to a quaint Parisian street - somewhere near Canal Saint-Martin, perhaps? Two new releases, the 2008 Merlot and 2008 Syrah, will be featured. Local Chocolatier, Yvonne Yakota, will serve a variety of custom chocolates specifically paired with different wines, including a special Ganache style chocolate infused with Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Wind Rose Cellars, new to the tour this year, will pair their wines with chocolate from Cocoa d'Amici, a local Sequim chocolate source of goodness. Linda Moates will be on hand to talk about her chocolates and techniques. Just can't wait to try the Pistachio Fig, Ginger Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Crunch!
- FairWinds Winery will be releasing their next gewurstrzminer, Port O'Call and Cabernet Sauv./Merlot blend. Plus, they will have the tallest chocolate fountain on the Peninsula and a variety of muchies to dip in the rich, dark chocolate.
- At Camaraderie Cellars, get ready for an encore combination from last year: great syrah paired with pulled pork with cocoa spice rub cooked in the wood-fired oven! YUM, again! Plus, tried and true chocolate favorites-Molly Baby chocolate shortbread cookies, Equal Exchange Fair Trade chocolate bars, and a savory chocolate bruschetta.
- Harbinger Winery and Wicked Little Sweets have created seductive pairings that would impress St. Valentine himself. Mount Olympus Black Truffles infused with Dynamo Red, or "Dark Side of the Moon Pies" with Raspberry bliss filling? OK! Harbinger will host a limited tasting of Aphrodisiac Chocolate tastings in the Kitty Kat Lounge. Reservations recommended. Theo's seasonal confections and caramels will be matched with a reserve panel of exceptional wines. What happens when you mix a Theo's Big Daddy Marshmallow delight with some Raspberry Bliss? You'll find out at the Kitty Kat Lounge! Theo's Chocolate Ambassador will be at Harbinger on February 11th to talk about the chocolate-making process, hand out samples and answer questions. For questions please call 360-452-4262.
- Bar Hop Brewing has whipped up a batch of their seasonal specialty; Venezuelan Chocolate Porter. This is a limited beer that will only be available throughout the weeks of the festival at the Harbinger and Bar Hop tasting rooms.
Red Wine & Chocolate Tour, February 11-12 and 18-20 from
11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Come and take a sensory journey!
Tickets can be purchased online at www.olympicpeninsulawineries.org, or at any of the participating wineries. The $30 ticket entitles the holder to a commemorative wine glass, wine tasting and chocolate samples at each winery. Non ticket holders will be charged a $5.00 tasting fee at each winery. For further information call 800-785-5495.
Olympic National Park Update
|If you want to see the changes to the Elwha River Valley from the air, start here. You'll be able to see the new, winding river at what used to be the delta of Lake Mills. If you want to chart the flight path, go to googlemaps.com and paste the following web address into the search bar. It will show the flight path taken with a gps on board!
To check out some incredible photos of the dam removal, Elwha river Restoration on Facebook has some doozies. Especially the one in the snow with the workers being lowered in a "man basket". And, here's the link to ONP's Dam Removable Blog for even more up-to-date coverage. We just can't get enough of how quickly the area is changing.
Hurricane Ridge finally has snow in abundance. Road is open seven days a week, weather permitting. The shuttle is running, and snow play is in full swing. Follow HRWinterAccess on Twitter for up-to-date information. Hurricane Ridge ski information. One of the coolest things to do at the 'Ridge (as locals call it!) is take a snowshoe walk with one of the park rangers. If you can walk, you can take this easy tour, but be sure to make reservations.
February Things To Do on the Peninsula
Februray 3 - 19
Spitfire Grill, Musical
One of the most often-produced new American musicals.
Olympic Theatre Arts, Sequim
February 11-12, 18-20
Red Wine & Chocolate
This year will feature a host of never-imagined sweet and savory combinations!
Olympic Peninsula Wineries
11am - 5pm
KONP Home Show
Port Angeles High School
Sat. 9am - 5pm and Sun 10am - 4pm
Coming in March?
International Women's Day
The FIRST International Women's Day was celebrated in 2011!
Olympic Cellars Winery
6pm - 8pm, 360-452-0160
Area Webcams - See for Yourself!
|Links to local area webcams were so popular last month, we decided to include them again. The City of Forks Chamber of Commerce website has a great list of several webcams. Click here to see if it's snowing at Hurricane Ridge, sunny in Port Townsend or a good day to storm watch at LaPush. These can help you plan your trip before you come AND give you some ideas while you are here.