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Sequim Eagle Attacked the Olympic Gull!

Sequim Bald Eagle Snatches Olympic Gull in Mid-Air!

It was a slightly overcast day at the Sequim waterfront.  A friend and I hiked down to the Dungeness Spit and headed West.  As we chatted while taking in the beauty of the diverse rocks strewn about the beach, I caught a glimpse of a Bald Eagle circling high above me.  Anticipating a good shot, I quickly readied my camera.  What happened next was completely unexpected!

The Bald Eagle swooped down and collided with a gull, flying horizontally.  At first, I thought it was a simple collision, but this Sequim Bald Eagle attacked the Olympic Gull, grasping his talons around the surprised victim.  The gull struggled frantically, trying to escape the raptor’s grasp!

Eagle snatches Olympic Gull in mid-air!

Olympic Gull begins struggling for his life!

Eagle strengthens his grasp!

The Eagle barely keeps hold!

Sequim Eagle Attacked the Olympic Gull!

Olympic Gull is breaking free!

Suddenly, the gull broke free, but not without sustaining serious injury.  He fluttered to the sand.  With one mangled wing, the gull stood helpless and dazed.  I was again surprised to see the Bald Eagle again swoop down and snatch up the poor gull, flying off into the distance with his prey.  I didn’t have the heart to photograph the demise of the Olympic Gull.

Disoriented and dazed, the Olympic Gull stood near the surf!

The Eagle triumphed in snatching up the Olympic Gull and flying off with his prey!

Perched and watching with great interest, a second Eagle was perched high above upon a precipice.  He joined soon flew off, joining the other one.

Majestic Bald Eagle!

Bald Eagle soaring away!

 

 

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Roosevelt Elk in Sequim!

As you drive through Sequim, on Hwy 101, it is common to see the “elk lights” flashing. This signifies the presence of Roosevelt Elk in Sequim, specifically within the vicinity and activates a few of their tracking devices. Elk can be elusive, often obscured by trees, happily grazing, or sipping water from a pond. When you do see the main herd in East Sequim, it is usually less than twenty, made up of a few bulls, cows, and calves. There is another elk herd, made up of bachelors, as I call them. Presently, there are seven in the West Sequim herd. It is estimated there are 5,000 Roosevelt Elk in the Olympic Mountains. Only the Sequim herds are protected from hunting. For more information about these magnificent animals, see link below:

 http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/elk.html

I have seen the elk in various locations while driving on Hwy 101, off of Palo Alto Road (East Sequim), and also on Happy Valley (West Sequim). They are often seen in the same fields and locations in the Spring and Summer months. This changes in Fall and Winter coinciding with their mating season.

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This herd was seen just North off of Palo Alto Road, in Sequim.

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More of the herd, this time South off of Palo Alto Road, in Sequim.

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This bull has been seen regularly with the East Sequim herd.

While they are magnificent creatures, it is wise to keep your distance. At times this may not be possible. It is then advised to remain calm and move slowly away from them. I found myself in this position very recently.

On the afternoon of July 4th , 2015, I headed out of my driveway to go grocery shopping. I was stopped almost immediately by the greeting of a neighbor in his passing SUV. He stopped, so I parked and got out to speak with him. We chatted for a few minutes and he pulled away. I turned in great surprise to see seven majestic Roosevelt Elk staring at me, not 50 feet away! They had been obscured by that SUV. I slowly backed up to my car, retrieved my camera, and took a few photos. I was very cautious about my movements, so I wouldn’t startle them. They crossed the road and entered my field, where they grazed for a few hours.

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Seven Roosevelt Elk crossing a side street off of West Happy Valley Rd

Later that night, amidst the noise of explosive fireworks, I heard a loud rustling sound. Peering out my kitchen window, I could see the elk ravenously eating branches off one of my largest trees. One was up on his hind legs accomplishing this feat! They were illuminated by the flashes of light from the distant fireworks. The loud explosions and noise obviously disturbed them, so they bedded down behind that tree. I imagined them feeling safe and cozy there.

There are plenty of people who claim they must be legends or ghosts, having never caught a glimpse of them, I assure you they are real and can be seen in person. It helps to know a local Sequimite… On that, you are invited to come see our Roosevelt Elk in Sequim!

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Sequim Surprises at Dungeness

Every Wednesday, I go hiking at the same place.  I am looking for Sequim surprises at Dungeness!  Specifically, I am referring to the Dungeness Rec Area.  This includes a series of trails which lead along the bluff, overlooking the Strait of Juan De Fuca, as well as throughout the entire upper Dungeness Rec Area.  Additionally, there are also deer trails traversing.

My hike began near the main trailhead for the Dungeness Spit.  From there, I hiked along the bluff, stopping briefly to take pictures.  This led through a short forest section onto a meadow.

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I was in complete revelry, basking in the warmth, and almost passed by this bench.  What a spot to behold the stormy clouds in the distance.  Here, you can sit for a spell.

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After I crossed the meadow, I stopped and snapped a picture of this bird, who was obviously in agreement with its perch (the sign)

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Spying a deer trail, I opted to just take it.  This narrow trail meandered through forest, and opened up by a hill.

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As I turned around, I heard the fluttering of a bird.  There he was at the perfect moment.

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I continued on, but had to duck under the trees.  Once through this section of forest, the trail opened to another meadow, which adjoined the hiking trail.  There I was met by a scene of such serenity.

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I headed uphill a short ways and gazed out over the meadow.  In the distance, faithful cheery trees were profusely blooming.  Drawn to enjoy the aroma, I carefully made the trek across the marshy meadow.

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Breathing in the sweet scent of cherry blossoms, I heard bumble bees.

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From there, I hiked back through the forest trail.  Like many times before, there was no shortage of Sequim surprises at Dungeness!

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Sequim Near and Far

A beautiful sunny day compelled me to go hiking at the beautiful Dungeness Rec Area.  During my scenic drive, I came upon deer standing in a field with cattle in the background.  The deer were glowing in the light which created a serene setting.  This was indeed Sequim near and far.  Sequim has made progress, can offer all the modern shopping conveniences, services, and activities.  Yet the roots are evident throughout Sequim, where farms remain.

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Near and Far…

This image, so easily appreciated through my minds eye, was recently posted on a homesteading site.  One of the members of this site wrote this poetic tribute:

I have never been at this ranch. I know it like the back of my leather glove nonetheless–from the hills and shadows, the aged leaning fence posts, the mud ruts through the gateway, the brown from the where the hay bails were rolled out, distant defining and contrasting fence rows, the stretched improvised gate system , white tipped t-posts trailing off in there straight lines, soil building cow pies, cattle and calves going about their business, a deer checking it’s side trail. I could lean over one of the post and keep busy for a day contemplating it all.

This pleased me to know he appreciated it that much.  To think, I almost didn’t post this picture at all.  Why?  In photography, so commonly the goal is to achieve perfect composition, so much so, that the meaning can be lost in the end.  This picture tells a story, perhaps not as evident to the majority, however it is being published for those it touches.  Here in Sequim near and far.

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A Few Hours in Sequim

Spending a few hours in Sequim raises a myriad of options. On this particular day, February 28th, 2015, I finished my breakfast, armed myself with my camera, and took a walk around our property.  It was delightful to see hundreds of Daffodils, glistening in the sunshine.

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Daffodils

There were snow white flowers surprisingly abloom in the shade.

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It was an ideal day to take pictures around Sequim!  My first stop was the John Wayne Marina.  After parking, I walked towards the Pitship Pocket Estuary.

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Pitship Pocket Estuary

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Pitship Pocket Estuary

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Pitship Pocket Estuary – find the bird!

A short time later, I headed towards Sequim Bay.  The seagulls, ducks, and blackbirds were basking in the sunshine.

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Seagulls, ducks and blackbirds hanging out on the beach 

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Ducks swimming in Sequim Bay

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Seagull admiring himself… “My aren’t I handsome!”

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Seagull rippling effect

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Sparkling effect

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The Seagull Squabble!

After concluding the seagull photo session, my next stop was the iRealty Virtual Broker office “hub,” where I dropped off my computer.  Snapping a quick shot of the blooming Azalea, I headed towards the Dungeness Recreation Area.

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Azalea

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9 Deer at Dungeness!

These deer were all happily eating grass on a property across from Voice of America Road, the entrance for the Dungeness Rec Area.  After presenting the Annual Pass for the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, I completed the envelope, and tucked the Permit portion in my camera bag.  This pass entitled unlimited visits to this refuge only, at a cost of only $12.00. Otherwise, all the following passes are accepted:  Interagency Annual Pass, Refuge Annual Pass, Golden Age/Senior Pass, Federal Duck Stamp, and Gold Access/Access Pass.  A Pass entitles entry for up to (4) people total (16+).  The Daily permit, without a pass, is $3 for up to (4) people total (16+).  Children under 16, enter at no expense.  I hiked down to the Dungeness Spit and allowed the beauty to take me away.

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Serenity 

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View from a driftwood perch

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Simple Cairn

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Past the driftwood

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Epic Sunny Day on the Dungeness Spit

After hiking back up to the Dungeness Rec Area, this shot was taken from a pullout.  This trail is currently along the bluff.  Erosion issues may cause this to be moved soon.

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Perfect picnic spot, overlooking the Strait of Juan De Fuca

A vision not unlike that of a soaring bird…

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Bluff view

Majestic eagles top their perch.

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Eagle duo

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Sequim is a rich agricultural area.

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Happy cattle roaming their large field

The Olympics are illuminated in the distance…

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Olympics in the distance off of Saddleback Road

This is truly an adventure you can experience in just a few hours.  Stay tuned for more!

 

 

 

 

 

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Dungeness Spit Lighthouse Hike – How it Began!

Lori Christie had hiked to The Dungeness Spit Lighthouse three times, two within the last year. The significance had never occurred to her, besides the obvious conclusion – that of reaching the destination.  For many years, she was very active physically, and hiking was something she just did.  It wasn’t something she thought much about.  In fact, it was mainly preparation that crossed her mind.  That perspective changed!

Over the course of the past few weeks, the topic of hiking came up more frequently in discussions.  Often, Lori was told others were limited in mobility, to the point of walking only short distances.  In some cases, she was told this lighthouse had been an intended destination, but one that was never reached.  Her own sister can’t make this hike.  This led to a decision.

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There are sixty four pictures posted on the new page of Lori’s blog.  This number will increase after her next hike down to The Dungeness Spit.  That will complete the collection of images as seen through Lori’s eyes.  This is just the beginning.

There will be a new page for each notable hike or experience.  This allows Lori’s sister and all other viewers to accompany Lori on her hikes through the images she posts.  Click on this link or the tab entitled, Dungeness Spit Lighthouse Hike:

http://www.sequimforlife.com/?page_id=246

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Dungeness Spit Lighthouse

 

 

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iRealty Virtual Brokers in Sequim!

iRealty Virtual Brokers
Upon choosing Sequim as her destination for a permanent dream home, Lori began researching Real Estate Companies. These searches included information on the entire area and ultimately led her each time to Chuck Marunde. The articles written by Chuck were extensive, literally though thousands and his blog was most informative. After reading his profile, she contacted him to schedule an interview. After several meetings, Chuck invited Lori to join the iRealty Virtual Broker team!  Nearly a year later, there are countless reasons she would never work for any other company.  What sets iRealty Virtual Brokers apart?  Read on.

iRealty VirtualiRealty Virtual Brokers is a real estate brokerage like no other.  Intentionally.  iRealty was created with an entirely new approach to real estate brokerage.  We designed our business model around our clients’ needs.  Everything we do is based on our clients’ best interests.  That includes everything about how we communicate and serve our clients from the first day to closing and beyond.  When clients are placed at the center of the business Universe, it changes everything about how they are served.

We bring several critical components of our business model together for our clients.   Imagine the best technology in the world, the best Internet tools and the best marketing strategies.  Imagine bringing these tools together with a total focus to provide clients everything they need and want.

Then imagine a commitment to hire only brokers with the highest standards of honesty and integrity, and who also agree with our mission to put our clients at the center of our Universe in every way.  We will walk away from a commission before compromising our clients’ best interests.  Add to that some of the most experienced and educated brokers in the country, and you have a level of competence and professionalism that is almost unheard of.

We believe the best technology, extensive knowledge and competence, the most experience, and the highest commitment to honesty is the best way to run a real estate brokerage.

iRealty Virtual BrokersConsistent with all of this is the way we structured iRealty Virtual Brokers.  We eliminated the expensive bricks-and-mortar, because it did not serve the best interests of our clients in this modern era of the Internet.  We created technologies to serve our clients and our work behind the scenes.  We use the cloud and digital transaction management.  We’ve reduced costs so dramatically, that also increases the net commissions our Brokers take home.  That redounds to our clients’ interest because each Broker can focus more time and effort on each individual client.

We do have a small and very comfortable office downtown Sequim where we can meet clients and where agents can work, but it’s more of a coffee shop environment rather than a sterile traditional office. Typically iRealty Virtual Brokers work out of their home offices most of the time, which is true of all agents anyway, and all participate in our Virtual office meetings, training, and webinars.  They must meet the highest standards.  They also tend to be well adjusted, well educated, very professional, and enjoyable to work with.  There’s a reason we have such strong client loyalty.

In addition to the many ways iRealty Virtual Brokers offers services, this is a company who believes in supporting local community.  In launching the Sequim Business Directory website, iRealty Virtual Brokers has offered all the local businesses a free listing opportunity. Lori Christie is interviewing local business owners, photographing their businesses, and writing their directory listings for them!

This is who we are.  We are iRealty Virtual Brokers.

 

 

 

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Back to Eden in Sequim

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Back to Eden in Sequim”

“Back to Eden,” is a quaint farm in Sequim, owned by Paul and Carol Gautschi.  The name truly represents the sustainable gardening style Paul utilizes with superior results while he conserves water.  Paul gives personal tours from June through October.  In August, 2011, the film, “Back to Eden,” was released.  Here is the link to the official site:

http://www.backtoedenfilm.com/

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Paul instructing and inviting his guests to partake

Everything Paul is growing, using his methods, is healthy, nutritious and mouth watering! The leafy greens and the Asparagus were delicious, succulent, and full of moisture, that is the surprising reality!  He is achieving superior results without watering! This tour was being filmed and Lori was asked to express her reaction to eating fresh greens a few times. It is likely she will show up on the film.

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Healthy lush Horseradish

The process is rather simple after the bed is prepared (newspaper first, layers of compost, wood chips, and then topped with manure).

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Beautiful healthy trees grown with the same method

Here is an excerpt from the site:

HOW TO COVER A BACK TO EDEN GARDEN:

  1. For an ideal Back to Eden garden, apply 3-4 sheets of newspaper.
  2. Then apply 3-4 inches of organic compost or composted manure.
  3. Then an additional 2-4 inches of wood chips or alternative covering on top (should be aged & composted)
  4. If you are implementing the methods in the Spring or Summer, additionally apply a dusting of composted manure for organic fertilizer.

This can be planted in, right after you have prepared it! Lori has done this, with blooming perennial bushes, and had tremendous results. For existing gardening spaces, you just “cover” with composted/aged wood chips. In the Fall, Paul recommends “covering” again. When asked, he did tell us, after a few years, a longer span between covering is fine. He goes 3 or 4 years sometimes. He adds his “aged chicken compost mix” every spring, before he plants. That is what comes out of the chicken yard, after it is sifted, to remove the larger materials. He explained, it wasn’t necessary to age it after removing/sifting, due to the ratio of manure vs compost. For those concerned about possible ecoli risk, it is recommended aging for at least 6 months (hot composting) or otherwise a year. It would be pretty easy to plan that, just make a pile of it in the Fall, cover it up, then sift & use it in the Spring. Then, do the same thing in the Spring, to age it for Fall use.

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Beautiful roses were further evidence of this growing method

Paul’s orchard initially was covered with 12″ to 16″ of wood chips, right up to the trunks of the fruit trees.  This went against all he was told at the time.  Even now, there are plenty of sources who advice against this practice.  The results speak for themselves!

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All the fruit trees bearing in abundance

Lori highly encourages you to tour Back to Eden in Sequim!

 

 

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Who is Lori Christie?

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Back from a Seattle adventure, January 14, 2015, Lori Christie met a Seattleite, who shot this picture.  More than meets the eye, here is an article by Chuck Marunde:

Who is Lori Christie? Lori has a personal story that is fascinating, and she has an impressive real estate career. First, the real estate side of Lori. She has been a licensed real estate broker for 10 years and a managing broker for 4 years. She also was licensed as a mortgage loan officer for 7 years.

Who is Lori Christie?

You won’t find that kind of valuable experience in very many real estate brokers. Her understanding of real estate transactions and financing brings a lot to the table for her clients, especially in this challenging real estate market where the dramatic changes in the mortgage industry have raised hurdles for so many buyers. Lori has represented clients from Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Colorado, Alaska, Hawaii, and the list goes on.

Who is Lori Christie? Education and Career

Lori also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Management, which is a major advantage when it comes to handling and coordinating transaction details and communicating with clients. When answering the question, “Who is Lori Christie?,”  her clients love the fact that Lori is articulate and so positive in all her communications.

iRealty Virtual Brokers, also known as Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate, based in Sequim, Washington, was extremely pleased to bring Lori on board. Not only does she have tremendous real estate knowledge, experience, and competence, she also holds to the same core values of the brokerage, which includes values like honesty, integrity, loyalty, and hard work. She also believes in putting each of her clients at the center of the Universe in all she does. Her clients’ best interests are her number one priority, and she would rather walk away from a commission than to close a transaction that is not in a client’s best interest.

iRealty is on the cutting edge of using technology and the Internet to reach the most qualified buyers for the Sequim, Port Angeles, and Port Townsend markets. Lori is an industry leader using this technology, which also puts her ahead of 95% of Realtors in the country. Home sellers need to know that their listing agent has a powerful marketing system that reaches highly qualified buyers, and Lori is light years ahead of her colleagues in this regard.

Lori also has a fascinating personal story.

Lori and her husband, Leonard, recently purchased 5 acres above Sequim in the Foothills of the Olympic Mountains. While it took an excavator, 11 of their fruit trees were moved to their acreage when they were in full bloom. Six of them are producing fruit already! The chickens are free ranging, while the vegetable garden is on the drawing board for next year. The big project on this property right now is building a custom log home. This entails logging the trees on the property, skidding the logs, peeling, stacking, and assembling. Lori’s husband, Leonard, is one of those men who is incredibly strong, and when he goes to work on a project, there’s no stopping him.  All this helps explain the question, “Who is Lori Christie?”

Who is Lori Christie? Her Children

Lori has two amazing children who are now grown up and changing the world with their own unique gifts. At 15, Andrea won 3rd place in a nationwide talent show in Los Angeles. That led to eight years of performing at ski resorts in Colorado and in bands in New York and Connecticutt. Andrea is now married, works as an Assistant Manager of luxury apartments, in Seattle.  Lori’s son, Robert, has blossomed with a career in leasing, as a Leasing Consultant, in California. He plays electric guitar, excels in writing, and has the perfect “broadcaster” voice. This is an amazing accomplishment for Robert considering his childhood Epilepsy and stuttering.

Lori’s life in Sequim is like awakening to a new adventure every day. She lives surrounded by a forest, but is only ten minutes from shopping. She enjoys hiking, and there is a plethora of hiking trails in Sequim (crowned by the 130 mile Olympic Discovery Trail spanning from Port Angeles to Port Townsend and running right through Sequim). As an avid mushroom enthusiast (the legal non-hallucinogenic type), she was thrilled to find she could forage multiple varieties.

Lori has found it is an easy drive into the Olympics, also to the Sequim Dungeness Lighthouse Beach, and to visit the Dungeness River Audobon Center, where there is a Train Trestle Bridge over the Dungeness River, a leg of the Olympic Discovery Trail. The John Wayne Marina is an ideal boat launch. Sometimes a ferry to Victoria from Port Angeles for a daily jaunt is fun. It is amazing that all this can be done on the same day. Lori often says that there is no place like Sequim in the world, and she feels blessed to live and work in Paradise.

Lori loves her work, because she loves her clients. You can text Lori or call her at 360-340-4891, or you can email her at SequimLiving@gmail.com. Of course, you can keep up with her at SequimForLife.com. She is virtually here, to serve you better, and working “green,” as in paperless digital business to conserve the environment. Now you can answer the question, “Who is Lori Christie.”

Written by Chuck Marunde, original article at  http://www.sequim-real-estate-blog.com/exclusive-buyers-agent/who-is-lori-christie/

 

 

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Sequim Pic of the Day

On Thanksgiving morning, the air was filled with the fragrance of a stuffed turkey baking, rain gently falling, and the scent of evergreens.  My daughter and son in law, joined me on a hike to the beach, overlooking the magnificent views of the Strait of Juan De Fuca.  We are transfixed by the subtle colors of a rainbow etched in the sky over deep blue waters.

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“Rainbow over Strait of Juan De Fuca”

“Oh the turkey,” we sighed, as we tore ourselves away.

A few days later, the snow fell.  The following morning revealed a frosted forest sparkling in the sunshine.

Sequim pic of the day

Years ago, this pond was created by an impassioned man, who envisioned a shelter here. A decade ago, a group of men built this rustic shelter.  Black Bear began to drink from this pond.  In time, it was aptly named, “Bear Lake.”  To this day, it is visited by the occasional bear.

At my home, amidst the foothills of the Olympic Mountains, the forest was blanketed with 4″ of snow.  The drive descended from 1,200 feet, down to sea level at the Dungeness Spit. The snow was simply magical so close to the waterfront!

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Dungeness Spit Trail

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Bluff overlooking the Strait of Juan De Fuca, by Lori Christie

It seemed surreal to see the snow frosting the embankment to the very edge of the water.

“Sequim Pic of the Day” can now be viewed on my new page, aptly named as such (to the right of Home).

 

 

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Hiking in Sequim

Over a decade ago, I came to Sequim to hike the Dungeness Spit.  The trail splits into two directions.  The main trail is shorter, while the other meanders through the forest before ascending upon the beach below.  You are met by the sound of the waves caressing the shore accompanied by the call of the gulls.  When hiking in Sequim, it is essential to check the tide chart for this eleven mile hike.

Hiking in SequimMy trek began late morning to insure I could return before high tide.  For a moment, I am transfixed by this natural wonder.  I take a few minutes to splash in the Strait of Juan De Fuca, examine rocks and shells, then I will hike across the sand for a few hours before reaching the Dungeness Lighthouse.

Hiking in Sequim I arrived at 5pm the last time, but the Lighthouse Keeper greeted me and still offered to give me a tour.  During his narration, he spoke of being a descendant of the first Lighthouse Keeper.  At the end of the tour, I am invited into the display room.  The crowning jewel is this sparkling fresnel lens.

Hiking in SequimHiking in Sequim is unlike hiking in the rest of the Country.  It is rare to find such diversity in natural beauty, but it doesn’t end there.  There is a hiking choice for every fitness level and disability access also.  I regularly take a three mile loop hike, accompanied by my sweet dog, Sam.  This alternate Dungeness hike takes you through the forest, weaving through meadows with the Olympic Mountains rising majestically in the distance, along the bluff of the Straits of Juan De Fuca serenaded by the surf crashing on the shore below, and ends at the original trail head.

A few weeks ago, I took a short hike to the Dungeness Spit, enveloped in golden light, just before sunset.

Hiking in SequimI also enjoy hiking the Olympic Discovery Trail, which starts in Port Townsend and ends approximately 130 miles at the Pacific Ocean.  The route can be seen at this site:

The Olympic Discovery Trail

Sequim hosts numerous trailheads for the Olympic Discovery Trail, which runs all the way through town.  My favorite local trailhead entry is by the Dungeness River Audobon Center.  It is located at the Railroad Bridge Trestle, which crosses the Dungeness River.

Hiking in SequimThis trail is mostly paved and is accessible to hikers, bicyclists, and the disabled.

Over the years, I have hiked on many local and Olympic Mountain trails.  Since I live in East Sequim’s Olympic Mountain foothills, I regularly hike the closest trails.  Here you will find information on hiking in Sequim:

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/dungeness-national-wildlife-refuge

During a spectacular Fall day, Sam accompanied me for a walk down our driveway.  He looked up with his warm brown eyes, shook his tail happily, and quite literally flew past me.

Hiking in SequimThe closest hike begins on the edge of our own property!  It continues through part of our neighbor’s property, past our Slab Camp Trail sign marker, which is officially our trailhead.  This leads through our upper forest trail, passing a huge mossy boulder.

Hiking in Sequim

Hiking in SequimWhile hiking through the forested areas of our property, I have found numerous mossy rocks, but none rivaled the towering height of this one.

If you want to go hiking in Sequim, let me know.  I can recommend a great option!

SequimLiving@gmail.com