But there's more to it than hills, trees and a dizzying change of climates. Namely, lakes. They're far off the main routes, if not the beaten path, so the busyness of Seattle might as well be across an ocean. To the north is easily accessible Crescent Lake. To the east is another popular lake called Cushman. Most remote of all is Lake Quinault, on an Indian reservation where peace reigns, though motorboats are not allowed.
The best bet for solitude-seeking boaters is to travel southeast another 20 miles or so, deep into the Olympic National Forest, to a young reservoir called Wynoochee. We got there by taking Donkey Creek Road and several connecting gravel forest roads, if that helps set the scene. Once there, we literally had the lake to ourselves. And this was Fourth of July weekend, the busiest time of the summer on lakes across America. To our amazement, we saw only one boat running across the lake.