Western Washington is full of fine old traditions- Who hasn't heard of of the Festival of lutefisk in Ballard? Or the naked bicyclists during Fremont's Solstice Parade?
But one of the fine traditions that is often overlooked is that of the Carved Wood.
As you drive along the gorgeous scenic byways, one side a drop off to muddy shored salt water, the other a steep wall covered in madrona and blackberry, you will often come across the Northwest's version of the Local Artisan. You will marvel in the likenesses of bears and eagles, often in patriotic stance. Sometimes a toilet paper roll holder.
As you near your destination, you will see the more common fruits of the Carvers labors: Name Signs.
Our landscape is blessed with much rugged beauty- rugged, like where an untamed driveway (muddy & unpaved) leads through the mysterious (overgrown) trees & shrubs, to a home near the banks of a delightful saltwater estuary (called mudflats here'bouts) or perhaps a small lake (glorified mud-puddle).
And if you have ever had the delight of trying to discern between said driveways on a late afternoon in February, as the rain is blowing sideways and your windshield is fogged from the cold, you are very thankful to the signs announcing whose home you are approaching!
Our western Washington forest-scapes are dotted with these signs.
They announce everything from the cost of the lot, the ancestry of the inhabitants to the humor found within. And they range in complexity from the simple "surname-on-a-plank-of-cedar" to those carved in the shape of favorite forest denizen, up to 5 foot x 5 foot carving naming 5 generations of the family found therein and sculpted with bas-relief and painted on both sides.
I am not sure whether this is a phenomenon found only in the Pacific NW, but I am sure it is a treasure to the cold and weary traveller, struggling to find that one home on a shore of thousands of similar driveways!
Are you looking for a home or a vacation spot in Western Washington? Somewhere to hang your own shingle?
I work in Thurston County & Mason County and can help you find homes anywhere around Eld Inlet or Harstene Island, from Olympia to Shelton, and all the little and big lakes around the area, including Mason Lake, where these photos were take, or Timberlakes or Benson Lake or Lake Limerick or along the shores of the Skookumchuck River or just about anywhere in the area! These areas are about 2 hours from Portland, Oregon, and about 1 1/2 hours from the Seattle & Bellevue areas- so perfect for a vacation spot.
Give me a call if you have questions about the South Sound, I live here and I love it!
Sarah Nopp, RE/MAX Four Season, 360-789-7898
Search for homes at my website: http://www.sarahnopp.com/.