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Pt. Defiance Park

Indian Summer

Yellow Rose

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Busted!

Busted

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Olympic National Park

Cape Flattery Trail

Although the Hoh Valley was the destination of last week’s trip to the Olympic Peninsula, my favorite part of the trip wasn’t planned at all. As we went by the Neah Bay cutoff on our way to the Hoh, I said, “We have to go there on our way home” because it’s one of the few automobile-accessible places I haven’t been in Western Washington.

With the cooperation of some surprisingly good weather our trip there and the hike on the Cape Flattery trail was nothing short of fabulous. Here’s a shot taken just before the end of the trail:

Looking South

The view rivals anything the Oregon Coast has to offer, a statement I don’t make lightly since the Oregon Coast is one of my favorite places in the world.

At the end of the walk you get an awesome view of the Cape Flattery lighthouse,

Cape Flattery Lighthouse

the farthest NW piece of the United States.

As if that wasn’t enough, I spotted a flock of Black Oystercatchers, one of the few “local” birds I’ve never managed to get a picture of:

Black Oystercatcher

And, on top of everything else, I got a chance to indulge in a favorite pastime, staring at waves breaking on the cliffs.

Waves Breaking Over Rocks

At my age, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect day.

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Olympic National Park

Rialto Beach

The day after we visited the Hoh River, Leslie suggested we should visit Rialto Beach, and, though I was ambivalent because I wanted to visit Neah Bay, the farthest NW point in the United States, that’s how we started our day.

I’m certainly glad we did because two of my favorite shots came from this side-trip. Here’s one of them, a shot of the Indian village of La Push,

Village of La Push

reduced to about 1/6th of its real size to fit your computer screen because it’s actually six different shots joined together.

I loved the driftwood on this beach. The combination of old-growth forests and powerful waves created magnificent sculptures:

Driftwood

I’m not sure if this is really a Winter Wren,

Wren

but I like to imagine it is since I’d been on the lookout for one since seeing one in the display at the Hoh Ranger Station.

This picture,

Headlands

like the one at the top of this entry, is really much, much wider than this, but I prefer a small section of it to the full shot reduced to the above dimensions. I was upset that the fog was so thick while I was there, but it turns out this is my favorite shot of the trip.

I also realized as we walked the beach that this is probably the first beach I ever hiked with my former wife and kids some 30 years ago. Seeing the powerful waves helped me to understand why Dawn refused to wade around the point with a pack on.