|Sitting on driftwood on the Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge outside of Sequim|
|View of the Olympic Mountains from the dock in Port Angeles|
|Kristy's wonderful parents, Cindy and Les, with the Olympic Mountains as backdrop|
Our trip started when Kristy and I drove up to Sequim and met Kristy's parents who had driven from South Dakota. Before we went to the rental house we went for a hike at the Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge. It is a beautiful and ecologically important piece of land that juts into the Straight of Juan de Fuca a few miles outside of Sequim. It felt like being at the ocean even though the Pacific Ocean is an hour and a half away.
|View of the Dungeness Spit|
|Looking south from the spit|
The next day we spent some time in Sequim. It is a small town of about 10,000 people that is known for its abundance of lavendar farms. It has a small farmers' market and a charming library.
After Sequim we visited Port Angeles. It is a town of about 20,000 people and is a working port. It actually reminds me a bit of Astoria here in Oregon where my parents live. It was nice being on the waterfront with its crystal blue water. It had an even larger farmers' market and library.
|The Port Angeles Farmers' Market|
|Looking into town from the dock in Port Angeles|
|Some of Port Townsend's impressive architecture|
On our last day as we drove home we saw this view of the Olympic Mountains. It was a lovely reminder of the beauty we found on this trip.
So it was a great trip. And we got a good sense of the area. Port Angeles in particular seemed like a town we could base ourselves out of. The combination of the water and the mountains was spectacular. The growing season and farmer's markets were encouraging. We would also be able to catch fresh seafood here, which wouldn't be possible eleswhere.
But ultimately as much as we liked the area, we are concerned that we may not be able to find the type of land we need for a price we can afford. There is technically land we can afford in our price range, but almost all of the lots we found were parts of larger developments or subdivisions. There is an increasing amount of development in the areas outside of Sequim and Port Angeles in what probably used to be farmland. Even if we found some stand-alone land, it seems likely that the land around us might be developed at a later point. And living the lifestyle we wish to in a developed area may not be possible (i.e. living in a subdivision, our neighbors might not be appreciative crowing roosters). That being said, we have not completely ruled the area out since it does have so many other good things going for it.
My next post in this series will look at our fact-finding trip to Northern Idaho.
And if you are as geeky as us here are some stats that we looked into for the towns in the area...
|Sequim||Port Angeles||Port Townsend|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||7b||7b||7b|
|Annual Moisture (inches)||16.45||25||18.74|
|Annual Snowfall (inches)||6.3||4.1||5.4|
|Avg. Last Frost Date||March 28||May 6||March 28|
|Avg. First Frost Date||October 31||October 18||October 31|
|Freeze Free Days||234||174||234|
|Avg. Min. Temp. Winter||32||35|
|Avg. Max. Temp. Summer||72||68||71|
|Avg. Min. Temp. Summer||50||52||52|
|Hours of Sunlight on longest |
day of the year
|Price to buy 5-10 acres of land||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Average Property Tax rate||0.74%||0.74%||0.65%|
|Average Combined sales tax rate||8.86%||8.86%||8.86%|
|Distance to Recreation||Less than 10 miles||Less than 10 miles||10-20 miles|
|Population Density (by county)||41||41||16|
|Distance to Closest Hospital||10-20 miles||less than 10 miles||Less than 20 miles|
|Humidity (100=most comfortable||89||91||79|
|Air Quality (100=best)||99||99||97|
|Water Quality (100=best)||59||61||53|
|Superfund Sites (100=best)||88||89||99|
|Days with Precipitation||122||143||146|
|Distance to Closest Services||Less than 10 miles||Less than 10 miles||Less than 20 miles|