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 – as you can see, they would eat the house if it had leaves:

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…

You never know where you might find yourself in an encounter like this – as they say, “the closer you are to the wild, the closer the wild is to you” – like this rattlesnake:

Yes, we were hiking in Beverly Hills and came across a Rattler – and he was not happy!

Click here for that encounter:

there have been great efforts to find a compromise for animal and human interaction – like this one:

This special animal “overpass” allows wild life to safely cross our freeways…click here for more details:

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Let me know your most recently wildlife encounter and if you like this story, please share on social media!



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

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

15 replies

  1. I think seeing a heard of elk is pretty cool. Not so much the rattlesnake! I cracked up at calling Brinnon a metropolis.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great shots of the elk. There’s a spot north of us near the Oregon border where the elk cross a piece of Highway 101. They stroll across the road in a long parade, seemingly without a care in the world.

    Like

  3. Thank you for the journey! I lived in Maine for a couple years and remember the elk and the moose! I never saw such huge, intimidating animals. Well, except for buffalo in Yosemite. Great post! What fond memories you have.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aww, I used to live in Seattle but never had a chance to go there…Lucky you, there’re so much wildlife you’ve encountered!

    Like

  5. I’ve never encountered an elk in person but would love it to

    Like

  6. I remember this one, John. I wouldn’t like to crash into an elk when driving, they are huge! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this, John! So many wonderful memories from Hood Canal! And what a treat to see the herd of elk grazing!

    Liked by 1 person

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