Posted by: abbiewatters | September 23, 2012

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.


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