A big part of the fun of being a travel nurse is the constant opportunity for new adventures. Rather than being stuck in one facility in the same town for years, life as a travel nurse means getting to dip your toes into so many different places all the time and experience what each region has to offer. Every place, whether it is a large, busy city or a sleepy small town, has its own particularly unique character, history, and sights to get out and explore. Pamela’s List has placement options in so many places, both big cities and small towns, that choosing one can be a truly tough decision to make. This blog will help to paint a picture of some of these small, lesser known areas where Pamela’s List can send you, starting with the charming mountain town of Republic, Washington.
With brisk and fresh air, clean and clear rivers and lakes packed full of fish, as well as beautiful hiking trails alongside tall Ponderosa pines and colorful Tamarack trees, the small town of Republic is a fun oasis for the adventure-seeking outdoors lover or history buff. Republic began as a mining and logging town in the early 1900s and in many ways it continues to still retain the charm of the old west despite being a relatively up-and-coming area of central Washington state for those looking for an escape from the city life. Republic is about a 6 hour drive from Seattle on the Eastern side of the Cascade Mountains, making it an escape from the city indeed.
From hiking and horseback riding in the warm seasons to skiing in the Winter, Republic offers a multitude of exciting ways to get outside, be active, and have fun no matter what time of year you come to visit. If you hope to see wildlife, that will be easy to accomplish because the local deer and elk generally are so comfortable with and used to people that they frequently are seen hanging out in the town’s central park or even casually taking a stroll down the town’s Main Street!
One of the most fun and unique things to do while spending time in Republic is to take a visit to the Stonerose Fossil Site where you can chisel and dig to find real, 48 million-year-old fossils of ancient plant life and small aquatic animals in the soft shale that used to be mud. The digging site is so full of fossils to discover that new ones are found by visitors all the time. The Stonerose Interpretive Center features exhibits of some of the oldest and most complete fossils found on the site. The center also provides sets of chisel tools to borrow so you can go out to break through the layers of shale and find your very own fossils to take home and keep.
Are you more interested in finding your own gold rather than fossils? Republic is a particularly great place to try your hand at panning for gold in the Alva Stout Placer in Granite Creek, a historic mine in the richest mining region of Washington state. At the peak of its goldmining era, the district’s Republic Mine (located southwest of the city limits) was the biggest producer of gold in the United States. The 4 million ounces of gold produced in this district in the more than 100 years of mining activity makes it a high interest area for any gold prospector hoping to find a fortune. The golden history of Republic is honored every second weekend of June when locals and visitors alike come out to celebrate Prospector’s Days complete with really good food, gold panning activities and live theatrical re-enactments in the middle of town. Republic’s Prospector’s Days are always a fun time for the whole family.
If it has been awhile since you enjoyed the excitement of small-town, dirt-track racing, this is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with the experience in a big way. Republic is the proud home to the Eagle Track Raceway, a ⅜ mile dirt racetrack featuring custom stock car races and car shows. If you do make it out to a race to see how incredibly fast some of those custom made race cars can go, make sure not to miss the delicious brown sugar kettle corn sold by the concession booth, fresh and warm from the kettle. The kettle corn alone just might be worth the trip!
When you are hungry for more than just kettle corn after a long shift, you can go out and get a plate of hearty comfort food from the Knotty Pine Restaurant and Lounge. Located in the heart of downtown Republic, the Knotty Pine serves up large and filling portions of tasty home-cooked style breakfasts such as omelettes, pancakes, and their specialty Chicken Fried Steaks, and satisfying dinners like burgers, prime rib, or a fresh and filling salad. Much like Republic in general, the Knotty Pine literally has something for everyone.
Every season has something to love and enjoy in Republic, and Winter is certainly no exception. After a gorgeous and colorful Autumn, Republic becomes a snowy winter wonderland. Be sure to come prepared with warm boots and a coat for Republic’s annual Winterfest! For Winterfest, the community of Republic gathers for winter fun like dog pulls, a community tug-of-war, a craft faire, and even the absolutely comical Outhouse Races where creatively engineered mobile outhouses race like go-karts down the slope of Republic’s Main Street before ending the evening with a Torchlight Parade. This little mountain town knows how to make the most of the snow and have fun in the winter weather.
While Republic may not have all of the amenities of a big city, the rustic small-town charm of Republic is delightful in its own way and is not to be forgotten. If you are craving the fresh, pine-scented air of Washington state without the hustle and bustle and traffic of Seattle, Republic is a great area for your next travel assignment with Pamela’s List. Are you ready for an adventure?