It begins somewhere west of Interstate 5. Six speeding lanes condense to two, and the horizon-stretching straightaways slowly bend into wending country lanes. Nature encroaches. Night grows darker. The moon grows brighter. The frogs croak louder.
That’s about when it hits, thefeeling – a metaphysical sense of place so powerful it takes on almost tangible qualities. It’s the hands of a masseuse. It’s the bubbles in the bathwater. It softens the car seat and slows your pulse. It’s a real thing that happens in a real place.
That place is Pacific County, Washington.
We’ve been attending conferences and trade shows lately, the Visitor Bureau’s executive director and myself. Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles – we’re destination marketers visiting other destinations to consult with colleagues and stay abreast of industry trends. We’re also connecting with potential visitors where they live, reminding them that the b”each beckons and inspiring them to visit us soon.
It’s necessary stuff. And it’s fun and inspiring and motivating, but it can also be stressful and exhausting, especially at the end of the day when we’re facing an urban rush hour on our way back to the beach.
Pacific County pacifies
We’ve all been there, staring at a sea of red taillights in the shadow of a city as motorists dart in and out of plodding lanes of traffic. Horns scream. Exhaust clouds linger. Our grip tightens on the steering wheel and our knuckles flash white. We’re boxed in on either side. Muscles tighten. Jaws clench. Facial tics have been known to manifest. This is a feeling we prefer to forget.
Then I-5 westbound turns into Highway 8 near Washington’s state capital or it becomes Highway 4 just north of the Oregon border. Your grip on the steering wheel loosens. Soon, you pass into the rolling Willapa Hills. Traffic thins with each turn. And before you know it … ahhhh. Whatever urban stress your body harbored was lost at the last twist in the road. Your ramrod back has loosened and that pesky facial tic has relaxed into a smile.
Pacific County pacifies, simple as that. This phenomenon can’t be quantified, but you sure can count on it. This corner of Washington state is a destination for peace seekers and soul searchers. It’s the capital of casual and a bastion for beach lovers, where the wave therapy is free and available around the clock without an appointment.
The beach is waiting f