ONP = Olympic National Park
I had dreamed of long peaceful walks on the beach, exploring tide pools, and admiring colorful beach stones.
The weather and the tides had other plans though.
We spent two nights at a lodge on this beach. We arrived very late the first night, and there was thick fog.
The next morning we were on the beach by first light, but the overcast sky obscured the setting full moon, and grey-ness prevailed. This beach is very flat and wide; the tide was very low. We didn't walk very far - we were not inspired by the flat-greyness, few stones, and lack of tidal pools.
The next morning we were out before sunrise again, and we did get a few glimmers of pink before the clouds filled in the spaces.
Kalaloch Creek empties into the ocean here, and there were always lots of birds along its edge.
Ruby Beach is five miles north of Kalaloch. We stopped here on our way to the Hoh Rainforest. We thought we might stop again the next day, but did not. The sky was still quite grey. We figured if it was to be a rainy day, we might as well be in the rainforest, so we did not walk much on this beach either.
I was most excited to see and walk on this beach. It is one of the most famous of the park with large sea stacks and lots of tidal pools. Unfortunately, we arrived as the tide was coming in, and it was a day of stormy seas. Along the edge of the beach were huge beach logs. We couldn't tell if the tide usually reached far into this area, but wet pebbles suggested that even back among these logs we would not be dry.
I don't know the reason, but the normal 17 second space between waves had increased by 5 seconds or so (I learned later), so each wave carried more energy than normal. We had expected to walk 2 miles up the beach to a rock formation called, "Hole in Wall," but the approaching tide of super-charged waves was very intimidating. The warning that I read later said that these rough seas would easily overwhelm normal sea walls, and there were concerns of beach erosion.
We walked only a quarter of a mile or so before we just stopped and watched waves.
Even though we had a significant rain shower that morning, we had very clear skies at Rialto.
Near Point Wilson at Fort Worden in Port Townsend
After we left Rialto, we drove away from the coastal areas of the ONP. We spent a night at Crescent Lake, then after a trek up Hurricane Ridge went on to Port Townsend. Even here my anticipated nice walks on the beach were thwarted. We had vey high winds - perhaps that is usual for PT in the fall, but it was unlike anything I had experienced there. Again we arrived at high tide.