This is Don Holzer's place. He and his wife and children have been going to it for picnics since time out of mind—for the children, that is. Don remembers well enough when he first found it, the day he took that side road off 101 where it runs along the edge of the rain forest in Olympic National Park. He followed the Hoh River for a while, and there it was, with the big old trees rising in a tangle overhead and the forest floor all green and soft underfoot and the still enchantment over everything that only the rain forest has. And ever since the Holzers have thought of it as their own, although everybody in the state of Washington, including all the tourists at the World's Fair in Seattle only 116 miles away, could go there, too—if they knew where it was.
I won't say there's a conspiracy afoot to keep such knowledge from our visitors; it's just the way we feel about the place we live. It's big and beautiful and open and free, and some of us are just a bit afraid that too many of our guests this summer might want to stay here. Billy Reece and his little sister Debbie, for example, consider it perfectly natural to have an entire seven-square-mile island in the San Juans, beautiful Blakely, all for their very own as a playground. Where else can two kids roam wild and unwatched on empty pebbled beaches, hunting agates (right), testing them for lucidity against a sun whose brightness shines undimmed by civilization's smog? And Andrew Galbraith, the orchard owner from Yakima, shares his favorite trout waters in Horseshoe Lake (below) only with his children Anne and Peter and nesting eagles. No wonder that when Fair promoters launched a contest for the best schoolchild note of invitation to prospective Fair visitors the little ones rebelled and wrote: "They'll drop beer cans on our mountain trails!"
So our defense is likely to be: "Well, you didn't ask me!" Of course, if you do ask us, we'll have to tell you—how to get to the fog-shrouded, stormy beaches of Olympic Peninsula (left), where logger Phil Brower and his little daughter Janice dip for spawning smelt; or out to the ancient apple orchards at Peavine Pass in the San Juans, where Cindy Caruthers and Billy Reece (above) are playing with these tame deer. The key to our outdoor fun is participation, kids and all. In a state that is 25% national forest and includes two great national parks, 66 state parks and innumerable recreation areas, there is enough for everybody. But if you don't ask ns natives, as you tour around it, for tips to the places we love, you won't see it at all.