I wanted to come back and say a big MAHALO to the DEs and Colleen for assisting with our Olympic Peninsula travel plans, and to offer a trip report in case it might be helpful to other travelers. The DEs on this forum are great resources! . . . and offer key information that can only be learned from someone who really knows this remarkable area.
One of my most heartfelt reactions to our 7 glorious days there was a feeling of profound gratitude to every single person who has played a role, over the years, in protecting this extraordinary place for generations of people to enjoy.
Another realization was that if visitors understand how quickly the weather can change, and how intensely the weather can affect one’s experience of the area, they would if possible build some flexibility into their itinerary so as to be able to take advantage of great weather when it comes.
We camped every night of the trip – sleeping in a rented Toyota Sienna van that we had outfitted for the trip by folding down the rear seats, removing the middle seats and putting a double air mattress in the back. Our cooler and box of kitchen stuff went at the back, easily accessible from the rear door, and our suitcases went just behind the front seats, easily accessible from the side doors. The van was a champ throughout the trip!
Every campsite we stayed in was outstanding, and the campgrounds were very lightly populated at this time of year (late September/early October). In one campground, we were the only campers there.
Sorry for the length of this report! But there may be a few folks who want to read it all the way through in planning their own trip.