Coywolf

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I may be taking a job up in Quilcene/Sequim Washington here soon, and wanted to know if anyone had any info on what it is like to be a Van-dweller up on the Olympic pen.

Good spots to set up? Cops? Night life? Stuff to do? Other van dwellers? Is the weather REALLY that bad?

My plan here is to eventually try to learn to sail, rent out or buy a boat, live on it, and sail the San Juan Islands...EVENTUALLY.

I would be working for the Forest Service up there full time, so that takes care of the income factor.

Any help would be appreciated. I know @CrowTheBard is up there somewhere....a few others as well, I believe.
 
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Dameon

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Port Townsend is a really chill town over there where you can meet lots of sailors and cool types, and your closest night life. You can take the ferry over to Seattle from there for more night life options, but of course those don't run all that late. The ferries will let you get all over the islands, too, and Puget Sound ferries are big enough that you get to take your van with you. You don't have to worry too much about cops out that way, there's not many and they're pretty laid back.
 

roughdraft

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i lived in Quilcene for 6 months or so in USFS housing, it was winter 2014-2015. this is a really nice place to live man, I gotta recommend taking the job.

When I was traveling on the peninsula I never had any problem crashing in my vehicle. granted this was mostly on the western side with even less population. There was a brewery in Quil when I stayed there. Never had a problem with anyone, actually a few amazing and friendly people, and a lot of MYOB types. No memories with police and I had to travel around the peninsula a lot. I think outside of Aberdeen and Port Angeles things are really chill.

The National Forest was really great there, I think a lot of places that don't see any activity. Of course this was during the rainy season. Most of the western side is National Park but some free places and a lot to discover...Ozette, Quinault. Kalaloch beaches. Shi Shi. The Hoh i think was more regulated. a lot of beautiful elk. Enchanted Valley and some places for more serious treks.

Nightlife, I wouldn't have any expectations. Hoodsport and Pt Townsend had breweries too I believe, but I feel like that whole 101 loop is more for introverts. ah yes, watch for tweekers.

The weather was serious, but plays into some of the positive factors, the very lowkey culture. & there were times after weeks with minimal sunbreaks where there'd be 4 days or so with pure sun, and no rain, in January/February. I lived for these times. I felt like the only outsider on the peninsula. I want to come back there in the summer one day but I imagine it gets blown up by tourism. i lived in many places in OR / WA, but this was my favorite area, i actually miss being there
 
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Coywolf

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Port Townsend is a really chill town over there where you can meet lots of sailors and cool types, and your closest night life. You can take the ferry over to Seattle from there for more night life options, but of course those don't run all that late. The ferries will let you get all over the islands, too, and Puget Sound ferries are big enough that you get to take your van with you. You don't have to worry too much about cops out that way, there's not many and they're pretty laid back.

Thanks, Dameon! Super helpful.

i lived in Quilcene for 6 months or so in USFS housing, it was winter 2014-2015. this is a really nice place to live man, I gotta recommend taking the job.

When I was traveling on the peninsula I never had any problem crashing in my vehicle. granted this was mostly on the western side with even less population. There was a brewery in Quil when I stayed there. Never had a problem with anyone, actually a few amazing and friendly people, and a lot of MYOB types. No memories with police and I had to travel around the peninsula a lot. I think outside of Aberdeen and Port Angeles things are really chill.

The National Forest was really great there, I think a lot of places that don't see any activity. Of course this was during the rainy season. Most of the western side is National Park but some free places and a lot to discover...Ozette, Quinault. Kalaloch beaches. Shi Shi. The Hoh i think was more regulated. a lot of beautiful elk. Enchanted Valley and some places for more serious treks.

Nightlife, I wouldn't have any expectations. Hoodsport and Pt Townsend had breweries too I believe, but I feel like that whole 101 loop is more for introverts. ah yes, watch for tweekers.

The weather was serious, but plays into some of the positive factors, the very lowkey culture. & there were times after weeks with minimal sunbreaks where there'd be 4 days or so with pure sun, and no rain, in January/February. I lived for these times. I felt like the only outsider on the peninsula. I want to come back there in the summer one day but I imagine it gets blown up by tourism. i lived in many places in OR / WA, but this was my favorite area, i actually miss being there

@roughdraft that is what I have been hearing on the whole. I wouldnt be getting housing, but I feel loving in my van would be pretty chill.

Thanks for the info. I was kinda looking to live in Sequim, as there is a 24 hour gym for showers and more social life, and commuting to Quilcene.

How were the people you worked with down there? I would be doing developed recreation....like campgrounds and pit toilets I think, but I'm not too worried about it,as the area makes up for the mediocre job.

If I get this job, I have the potential for building a homebase up there, this is a year round permanent job. It's a major decision in my life, but I have been wanting to live on the OLY Pen for a long time. I would like to transition over to the National Park at some point, that is my career specialty.

I was most concerned with the weather and how bad the tweakers were up there, I plan on getting a storage unit and storing most of my stuff in it, and not leaving my van for very long in places if I can help it.

Sounds like a sick place. There seems to be a few breweries and Seattle is right there, ferries and everything.
 

roughdraft

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@roughdraft that is what I have been hearing on the whole. I wouldnt be getting housing, but I feel loving in my van would be pretty chill.

Thanks for the info. I was kinda looking to live in Sequim, as there is a 24 hour gym for showers and more social life, and commuting to Quilcene.

How were the people you worked with down there? I would be doing developed recreation....like campgrounds and pit toilets I think, but I'm not too worried about it,as the area makes up for the mediocre job.

If I get this job, I have the potential for building a homebase up there, this is a year round permanent job. It's a major decision in my life, but I have been wanting to live on the OLY Pen for a long time. I would like to transition over to the National Park at some point, that is my career specialty.

I was most concerned with the weather and how bad the tweakers were up there, I plan on getting a storage unit and storing most of my stuff in it, and not leaving my van for very long in places if I can help it.

Sounds like a sick place. There seems to be a few breweries and Seattle is right there, ferries and everything.

Go for it. it's my favorite place in the US, there is so much badass and varied nature.

Quil was cool, everything was walkable from where I was housed near the station, but yeah Sequim would likely be a more wholesome place, holistic type advantages, especially if yr in a vehicle. I had roommates working Fire and Rec type gigs from the east coast, Bellingham area, Arizona... i dunno, i thought most of the people closer to our age were alright, but a lot of the older folks in more permanent positions were much more jaded and bitter. Nothing that'll surprise you. Most of my 'friends' were locals outside of USFS.

Quilcene is close to a bridge over to this area with Bremerton, Poulsbo... there was a larger Grocery store there which was..QC or Rays or something like this? I went there a couple times with roommates, there was a place to do Disk Golf.

Every single town on the pen has badass backroads that lead to very cool places.. and most of them connect to NF and/or NP land. Seattle is cool and all but I think you'll stay very entertained just on the peninsula itself. Port Angeles likely has everything you "need". Port Townsend was indeed very cool, and Olympia is a surprisingly short drive thru Shelton should you wanna shake it up. and most people I met in the more country parts were really like, from there, and fuckin cool.

Mountains, although not super high, a couple hot springs, ocean, the strait, forest and other bodies of water, as you know the islands and such... you got Victoria right across the way...i mean, there is a lot to be glad for, and to work with.. good place to set up, I think. If I was older when I was workin there I'd probably have settled down.

Granted I don't *know* you but from the little I've read on here from you, I would think you'd fare well navigating the tweaker situation there, I don't know the west as well as you I reckon, so you may find that their presence is actually quite minimal from your perspective. It is very rural to me. Lots of badass places in the cut. The most serious thing to deal with after secure employment and 'housing' is the lack of sunlight.....
 
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I live in Bremerton. The weather is incredibly mild here. There is a night life scene you don't have to go all the way to Seattle for, but Jefferson county is quieter, although more hip politically. A lot of alternative home building there. I wouldn't worry about the tweekers too much, they're more of a problem in Bremerton and Port Orchard.
 

Taylor Werner

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I haven't read this whole thread, so I apologize if someone already said this, but there's a gorgeous hot spring on the olympic peninsula. It's a decent hike, and you can camp up there. It's secluded. A natural pool. I live in Seattle, so hit me up if you need more pointers about western Washington.
 

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