2020 was going to be a big year for travel and it was going to be a big year for car tours. Before COVID hit, I was signed up for five different Porsche Club tours and one by one, they were all delayed and eventually cancelled. That’s why I was so excited when I found out that the Olympic Peninsula tour was actually going to happen.. My local chapter, Pacific Northwest Region, had found a way to make it work. The tour had to be limited in size and broken up into smaller groups. There would be no in-person meetups and no group events or dinners. Each group needed to be spaced out so we could always keep a safe distance from each other. Thing we’re going to be a bit different but I wouldn’t have cared if they required me to wear a Hannibal Lecter face mask the whole time. The tour was on and I was ready to go! Four days of driving and car photography was going to be the break I needed to clear my head and recharge my batteries.
I was so excited that I decided to start the tour a day early. While the tour didn’t officially start until Saturday morning, the meetup was in Port Gamble and I didn’t want to drive from Seattle that early in the morning. On Friday morning I loaded up the car, kissed my family goodbye and then drove off to pick up some camera equipment and give the car a quick wash to start the trip.
It turned out that washing the car was a stupid idea because as soon as I hit the road, it started pouring!
Even with the rain, traffic was light and I had a great time making the trip from Seattle to peninsula. I made great time so I decided to explore the Port Ludlow area where I would be staying for the night.
I booked a night at the Port Ludlow Resort and had some time to explore before starting the tour the next day.
Day 1 started at Port Gamble and I arrived a few groups early so that I could get as many photos as possible, I had assigned myself as the official photographer for the trip so I could move between groups. While we had to stick to small groups, it was nice to have a chance to meet at least a few people and enjoy some coffee together before we started our drive. Our leads charted a fantastic route and we enjoyed some amazing twisty roads on our way to have a picnic lunch at Fort Worden in Port Townsend. The rain made the drive even more exciting and I was glad to have all wheel drive and fantastic brakes. While these are driving tours, we always manage to find some fun places to stop, stretch and get some air. After lunch we stopped at another beautiful beach and then drove on to a truly bizarre place, the Troll Haven. After checking out the trolls, we went on to our hotel in Port Angeles, the Olympic Lodge. Our course took us through some of the best driving roads that I’ve ever been on and I can’t wait to find them again on another trip to the peninsula. After we checked in, we were on our own for the evening. After a long day of very “spirited” driving, my body and brain were fried so I stayed in, edited some photos and went to bed early.
Day 2 was another amazing day of driving, talking to other Porsche fanatics, taking photos and enjoying some twisty back roads through the peninsula. We made a loop from Port Angeles to Lake Crescent Lodge for lunch and then back to the same hotel for another night of much needed rest! If day 1 was “spirited”, day 2 was…well, extra spirited. We were always responsible, we had our official lead, a sweeper in the back and two-way radios to stay in contact about any safety issues along the route. That being said, day 2 was 4+ hours of focused driving that demanded your full attention. In addition, I had gotten up extra early so I could wash my car (yes…again) and so I could get some photos of other groups as they left for the day. I had big plans to head up to Hurricane Ridge for some night photography but the thought of more seat time and tight turns caused me to change plans…it was takeout and the Seahawks in my hotel room for me!
Day three was a short day. We all checked out of the hotel and set off for a leisurely morning drive to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, aka, the Dungeness Spit. After a hike to the beach, we all said our goodbyes and went in whatever direction home was. Like any of these club tours, the cars are cool and the driving is a blast, but it is the people that you meet and the passion that we share for Porsche cars that really makes the trip so much fun. Huge kudos to the PCA for finding a way to make this trip possible and for everyone on the trip for following the rules and keeping us all healthy.