Visiting the Olympic Peninsula is a trip. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north (and Canada beyond that), and Puget Sound to the east, the isolated 3600 square mile horn of western Washington feels like a land before time. It’s truly wild—in fact, much of the peninsula wasn’t even fully mapped until the early 1900s. Centuries-old evergreens tower overhead, and the Olympic mountain range towers even higher.

The region is home to multiple rain forests, hot springs, lakes, waterfalls, and numerous other things that make you say “wow” without thinking. It’s a truly special place, one we were lucky enough to recently spend a couple days exploring.

We camped with friends old and new, rode dirt paths, gravel roads, and single track on the all-new Specialized S-Works Diverge, and paddled Oru Kayaks on 1000-foot-deep Lake Crescent. And loved every moment of it. With so much chaos seemingly enveloping the world these days it’s increasingly difficult to detach and slow down, yet ever more important to do so. This brief trip offered just that—the opportunity to be reminded that the things that matter most include respectfully enjoying Mother Nature’s playgrounds, spending time with friends, and finding pleasure in pushing your limits.