The Olympic Loop Highway was completed in the summer of 1931 and opened the West End to more recreational activities. A man named A.P. Carroll became a one man Chamber of Commerce with his efforts to share the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula. In 1930 at the age of 40, Carroll had come to Washington as a very ill man.
Shortly after arriving in the state, Carroll’s health improved and he felt that the clean, fresh outdoors had healed him. He soon began organizing excursions by bus and boat entertaining tourists with trips to the area’s scenic attractions and festivals. Two of his ventures were called the Puget Sounders, Inc. and the Olympicans, Inc.
Another one of Carroll’s ideas was a six-day bike race around the Olympic Loop. He called the event “Torchy Peden.” After much publicity build-up and attempting the event, it was decided that bicycles and logging trucks did not mix. Most of the new Loop was also just gravel.
In the photo that accompanies this story one of the professional bike racers is in the fancy biking attire. When the racers stopped in Forks in 1933 a race for local children was held and this photo is from that event. Information on the photo does not identify Carroll in the photo but he may be the man in the tie. Carroll stopped by the Forks Forum office in October 1973 and shared this photo and story.
In 1934, the Forks Forum featured a story about an Olympicans Tour. The following is a portion of that story.
Olympicans are making plans for Loop Tour
Plans for the itinerary of the Scenic, Olympic Bus and Auto Caravan around the Olympic Mountains, May 19 and 20, were completed at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Olympicans, Inc., at the Emerson Hotel in Hoquiam.
Noted speakers, including Gov. Clarence Martin and the Hon. Premier of the Province of British Columbia, have been invited to address those present at a grand rally to be held in Port Angeles on May 19 on the development of resources and stimulation of tourist business of the entire Pacific Northwest.
Caravans will be formed in Tacoma, Seattle, Olympia and Bremerton proceeding over different routes to Port Angeles.
Following the evening at Port Angeles and a visit to lake resorts of the district, the caravan will proceed around the Olympic Loop Sunday morning, making stops at Forks and Lake Quinault where the party will enjoy a lunch in the forest primeval.
The Olympicans have nominated advisors for election to the Board of Directors representing various cities who will help publicize this monster program.
A new illustrated folder of Olympic Country, sponsored by the Olympicans, is now in preparation with art work and maps. It will be distributed through transportation and tourist agencies.