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Time to Unplug


There’s no Wi-Fi at Kalaloch Lodge. Either this fact doesn’t faze you or it terrifies you. I fall into the latter camp. It makes my palms sweaty to think about disconnecting from my email for any length of time, so when I heard that Kalaloch Lodge was launching a new wellness program, I immediately wanted to check it out—and then immediately wondered how I would make it work. >>

Located along a wild stretch of the Pacific Ocean in Olympic National Park, Kalaloch Lodge is less than 200 miles from Bellevue, but it’s about as far removed from the hustle and bustle as you can get. Out here, there are no TVs, no phones and even the cell service is spotty. I drove the three hours in the pouring rain, waiting until the last minute to leave so that I could fire off those final emails and turn in a few pending assignments. I packed my laptop anyway, just in case I really needed it.

When I arrived, the ocean was churning and the clouds above ranged from a bright white to the darkest of grays. I watched for a moment, mesmerized by nature’s power, before settling into my Bluff Cabin overlooking the ocean. Inside, I was greeted by the picture of coziness: knotted pine walls, a comfy bed draped in a wool blanket (custom-made by Pacific Northwest company Pendleton), and a wood-burning stove. Perched on the dark-leather couch was a blue yoga mat, reminding me that my retreat was about to begin.

Inside a room in the main lodge, I was met with a hug by Kelsey J. Patel, a spiritual empowerment coach based in Los Angeles. (Yes, that means she knows her fair share of celebrities.) Kalaloch Lodge has partnered with her for their new Live Well, Live Healthy, Live Active program, and she’s bringing her expertise in yoga, meditation and reiki to the property. Kelsey had hard-charging jobs in Washington, D.C., and New York City, plus back pain that just wouldn’t go away, before transitioning to her current lifestyle. 

Our group started with a light yoga practice, designed to open our hips and stretch our bodies after being cramped in a car for hours. The session ended with Kelsey placing a stone on each of us—everyone got something different, depending on what was calling to her. Mine was the moonstone, which enhances the inner goddess energy. 

We also set our intention for the next couple of days. I vowed to work on a passion project without guilt, to find balance and to relax. “We’re gonna break your little hearts open,” Kelsey warned. 

The next morning when I woke up, my heart was still intact but the power was out. Such is life on the coast, where the storm-watching can be epic. I’d fallen asleep reading a book instead of with my laptop on my lap, as per my usual nightly tradition, which I considered a step in the right direction.

After a little morning meditation, we walked to the “tree of life,” an incredible cypress on Kalaloch Beach that continues to not just survive but thrive, despite the fact that the earth below it has crumbled, revealing a cave. The weather changed a dozen times on the short stroll, from sun to rain to hail and back again in various configurations. 

Later that day on Ruby Beach—a gorgeous expanse of rocky sand strewn with driftwood and cairns—we took turns getting into yoga poses with the dramatic sea stacks in the background. After we took our photos, Kelsey encouraged us to take the time to actually be in the moment, not just capture it. I walked near the edge of the water, letting the foam from the waves wash up onto my rain boots, and I suddenly felt lighter. It certainly wasn’t in the physical sense (I’d thoroughly enjoyed the Washington Cheese Plate at Kalaloch Lodge’s Creekside Restaurant the night before), but instead an energy I felt emanate from my chest. I don’t know what it was, but I do know letting it go felt freeing.

I spent the afternoon reading and trying to start a fire (not my forte!) before we came back together for yin yoga and a guided meditation. We met ourselves in 10 years, and even wrote our future self a letter, plus a response. I learned that future me has a fantastic wardrobe and a beautiful home, but more importantly, I’m on the right track with my goals—I just need to restructure my schedule to make them a priority.

When I left the next day, I felt amazingly refreshed and was able to immediately put into action some of the advice Kelsey offered. But even without a coach there, the Olympic National Park setting is inspiration enough for anyone to find rejuvenation. 

Back home as I unpacked, I realized I never once touched my laptop, and somehow, the world was still spinning. No Wi-Fi wasn’t so scary after all—in fact, it was just what I needed.  


Go On Your Own Getaway

The Live Well, Live Healthy, Live Active wellness program launched at Kalaloch Lodge last month. It includes:

  • Journal to keep
  • Healthy artisan breakfast delivered each morning
  • Loaner yoga mats with suggested yoga poses
  • Meditation guide written for Kalaloch Lodge guests from wellness coach Kelsey J. Patel 

Use promo code WELLNESS4U when booking. The package is available year-round.

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