The Olympic Loop, Day 2

It was cloudy, windy, and cool (cold to this Southern gal) on Wednesday, but we were warm and snug in the car as we drove north along the shore road onto the Quinault Indian reservation. They have closed their beaches, but we were able to ride along the coast road and into their little village where we saw a brackish harbor at low tide, with thousands of seagulls. in the fresher water.

There was a fellow in a boat fishing about half-way across the little river (you can just see him through the guard rail).

There were lots more gulls fishing and pottering around in the shallows farther inland.

After leaving the village, we stopped on the side of the road and looked at this little stream of fresh water coming down to meet the ocean. It was just full of seagulls.

Apparently even the gulls think the salt water is sticky and itchy, because they were venturing farther and farther up the stream to find fresh water to splash and bathe in.

They weren’t feeding or fishing, they were just splashing and playing in the water. They reminded me of my sparrows and finches in the bird bath outside my window.

We turned and looked back at the inlet by the village, and saw the headland and surf in the mist.

We drove farther south and found a little road that led down to the beach. You were forbidden to drive on the beach between April 1 and Labor Day, but we congratulated ourselves on taking this trip in September, and drove right down on the beach to watch the surf, listen to the waves, and become friends with the seagulls, who were very tame.

They didn’t seem at all frightened of us, just nonchalantly strolling out of our way as we approached.

We even got out of the car and walked a little way.

Yep, I got out of the nice warm car, too, for a little while.

Big Al was entranced with the wind and water erosion of the cliffs.

As bad as I am with pictures of lakes and rivers, Big Al wants pictures of structural geology formations.

You can see by the remains of the campfire that the water doesn’t come too far inland very often, but in stormy weather it can reach the bluffs. The wind also has taken care of some of the erosion.

And all the time we could hear the beat of the surf and the cries of the gulls.

Even on the road leaving the beach, Big Al spotted signs of the elemental sculpturing of the land.

And the trees guard the gullies, and the blackberry bushes keep the soil from disappearing.

After a day spent in the open air with the sun, and wind, and mist and all the wonders of the shore with surf, and birds, and erosion, we were ready to go back to our room, have an early dinner, and sleep the sleep of the thankful.

The next day we drove father south to Ocean Shores, and looked around the area, but it is obviously very touristy and overcrowded in the summer. We were thankful we were able to go in the off-season so we could enjoy the beach without falling over so many other folks.

The road home was good highway without too much traffic, and we arrived in mid-afternoon, much refreshed from our little vacation.

The Olympic Loop, Day 1

The beautiful, dry ( ūüė¶ ) weather¬†continues in the Pacific Northwest, so Big Al and I decided to take advantage and go look at the ocean last week. The concierge here at Franke Tobey Jones is married to a retired Army fellow, and she told us about a Naval Recreation Area, right on the beach in Pacific Beach. So I called on Monday and got reservations for Tuesday night and Wednesday night, and we threw some stuff in a suitcase and off we went.

First we drove up to Port Angeles on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s a pretty busy little port with freighters and a ferry that goes to Vancouver, Canada.

The land in the distance behind the freighter is Vancouver Island, Canada.

This sculpture of an octopus guards the entrance to the public pier.

Before we left town we got a closer look at the busy port.

From Port Angeles the road continued to the west, and then turned slightly south to skirt the shore of Crescent Lake.

It’s a beautiful, clear lake, surrounded by mountains.

In parts it was so clear and still that it made a beautiful reflection.

I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of the lake (as you can see).

Finally the road went off and left the lake, and we turned farther west. As we got closer and closer to the shore we started to see what we thought was smoke on the far hills, but as we continued on we realized it was Pacific mist blowing in off the ocean, and we caught our first glimpse through the trees of the surf.

The road ran along a bluff with no easy way down to the shore, but we were able to see more rocks and surf through the mist.

It wasn’t all overcast, and occasionally we were able to see the sun breaking through the clouds.

We continued on through the Olympic Forest around the Quinault Indian Reservation, and arrived in Pacific Beach about 5 p.m. We could hear the surf from our room, and we settled in for the evening. There was a restaurant right there on the property, and they had wi-fi (although no AT&T for the phone). We watched our TV show (Parenthood) in the room and went to sleep listening to the waves crashing on the shore.

Birding the Sanctuary

Pastor Sarah received lots (and lots and lots) of origami cranes from a colleague in Virginia Beach. That congregation folded them for Pentecost last year, after they received some from a congregation in Florida who folded them in response to September 11th. It’s sort of a chain-letter of peace cranes!

Last week several of us got together to put them in the sanctuary at Bethany Pres as decorations for the Season of Creation.

For the last couple of months we have had a rainbow across the congregation.

First we had to bring in the strings and strings of cranes.

and try to keep them from tangling.

Then we had to lower the rainbow (I know you were all wondering how on earth we got it up there in the first place. The secret is revealed)

…and we had to unattach it from the balcony railing…

After almost losing my religion trying to tie knots and swivels on 30+ feet of fishing line, and attaching the cranes to it, they took flight!

Then came a time of adjustment and rehanging after examination from all angles.

Some of the cranes just didn’t fit, so they were returned to storage, temporarily.

They’re fluttering and flying over the congregation bringing the Spirit of Peace to the church.

They’re swooping and flying over the cancel.

The Spirit hovers…

…and some find a rest near the cross…