It’s An Elk Buffet! Dining With The Wildlife On Washington’s Remote Hood Canal!

Welcome To Hood Canal!

Ready to take a drive alongside the beautiful Hood Canal? Ready to have a bite to eat with a herd of Elk?

Well, buckle up and let’s take a trip!

Washington’s Wild West Side!

The state of Washington is quite varied: apple orchards, wineries and some desert east of the Cascade Mountains, Seattle and lots of water to the west.

As you can see from this map, Hood Canal runs parallel to Puget Sound, just west of Seattle, on the Olympic Peninsula…it’s a beautiful body of water with Dungeness Crab, Oysters, Clams and lots of fish and wildlife…

It’s easy to reach Hood Canal – the two-lane highway 101 runs right alongside it, as the canal pops in and out on the drive, and based on the time of day, you get views like this:

After driving north along the canal for awhile, you enter the metropolis known as Brinnon!

My Grandparents lived in Brinnon, and my Mom did for years as well – in fact, my younger sister Maria went to Brinnon Elementary! I’m sure they all spent time here as well:

Brinnon’s population in 2010 was 797 – as in the total number of people! West of this is all Olympic peninsula – logging roads and national parks, so the town of Brinnon is a little oasis among the wild.

I drove past it for a bit of nostalgia recently, and discovered a lot of residents who I can guarantee don’t get included in the number of official residents:

As you can see, Brinnon offers a lot of space to graze, and that’s exactly what this herd of Elk were doing – and they showed no interest in my interest in their dining habits:

While there are miles and miles of forest west of Brinnon, if you think these Elk were shy, cautiously hanging around the outskirts of town, you will see they have no shyness about going right up and dropping in for dinner:

I assume that the residents of Brinnon are used to these visitors and let them have their way…in fact, my Mom says they are considered just another interesting part of the town’s history – and as much as the residents leave them be, the elk return the favor.

I watched the Elk move through lawns, gardens and back streets, languidly grazing – quiet, serene and peaceful.

My last image was driving away with the Elk continuing to feed in my rear-view mirror…

It’s alway interesting to come across nature – so much of our life is in cities where few other creatures exists…but with the Covid-19 pandemic, people have had to stay at home, returning the wild to the wild:

However, with people being required to stay at home, the Bears at Yosemite National Park have returned – here is a look at other animals who have reclaimed their homes:

https://johnrieber.com/2020/04/16/yosemites-bears-are-back-how-the-covid-19-crisis-has-given-wildlife-the-right-of-way-around-the-world/

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Let me know your most recently wildlife encounter!



Categories: Exotic Travel, Memoirs, nature, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. The drive across the Cascade Mountains from Portland, passing by Mount Hood, and then going into the High Desert, is remarkable. From scary woods and snow into the scenery of a John Wayne movie. Big wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great photos John…quite elegant aren’t they

    Like

  3. Do you miss your old home state, John? Not the rain, I suspect. Ollie would be in heaven withall those Elk to chase. They are peaceful, but I can imagine the amount of ‘Elk poo’ they must leave behind when they move on. Do any local poeple ever shoot one to eat?
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete, it’s absolutely gorgeous up in the Pacific Northwest – for about 100 days a year…otherwise it’s overcast, grey or raining…I didn’t look up when the elk season is, but I believe there is one, and they are good eating.

      Like

  4. I am sure the bears are very happy not to have to bother with humans, John. I have been thinking a lot, recently, about how badly humans have treated the animal world. We have a lot to answer for. I enjoyed your videos, pictures and the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the tour! Love Brinnon and Hood Canal! Chocked full of childhood memories! Not to mention Elk. Glad you got to see them. They were out grazing the last time I visited too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful drive and the elk seem quite happy (and full). I’m so happy to see wildlife returning and enjoying the world around, unbothered by humans around them.

    Liked by 1 person

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