Trip Recap #5: Captain, O my Captain, steer the first mate true *
On Wednesday morning, we went to the coast. There were warnings on nearly every website I looked at and all the printed info about the park such as "high tides may cover the beach and trap you against a bluff, making it hazardous to return" and "be aware of the tides at all times!" and "never underestimate the power of the Pacific Ocean" and "beach logs in and adjacent to surf can KILL!" Also, this: "Severe currents, rocks, and infamous weather doomed many ships along this wild coast." We didn't set out until about 9:30, and when we checked the tide chart at the motel office, it said low tide had been around 8:15.
We were planning to go to Rialto Beach first. The guy at the desk said we could still make it to Hole in the Wall at mid-tide.
It took us another half-hour to get there, and it looked like the tide was coming in already. MB had never seen the ocean at all, and I'd only been to the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, and we were both suitably impressed. The beach was beautiful in a fierce, slightly scary way:
There were huge trees piled up on the beach. Not sticks, not logs...whole huge trees.
We didn't see any signs for any kind of trail to Hole in the Wall, overland or otherwise, so we started hoofing it down the beach. We made it maybe 500 yards or so, but the surf just kept lapping higher and higher. MB can't swim and doesn't float, and was understandably nervous. I swim well but a lake's about as wild as I'm willing to trust with my experience. It looked like it was going to be a pretty long haul to Hole in the Wall (I later found out it's a 3 mile round trip), so we turned back. We moved up to the strip of beach between the giant driftwood trees and the impassable forest above the tide line, but as MB pointed out, you can't take refuge from the sea behind the trees when the sea put the trees there.
(Okay, he wasn't really running. But it's a funny picture anyway.)
(That's MB at the top.)
There was insanely ooky, huge seaweed, too. It looked like some kind of monster's entrails:
Is this not the most badass slug EVER? Its tail looked dead-on like a leaf.
After we left Rialto Beach, we backtracked a bit and headed back out to Third Beach. It was about a half-mile-long hike through a very nice forest down to the beach, which was much less intimidating than Rialto.
The seastacks were FAB.
Apparently, Third Beach is one of the few sand beaches in the area.
We sat on this really great rock and watched the sea while we ate lunch. It was really, really nice.
Unfortunately, we couldn't stay forever, so we hiked back through the forest and headed for our second day of hiking at the Hoh Rainforest.
More photos from our beach adventures are on Shutterfly.
*PS as I was looking for a suitable sea-related quote to use as a title for this post, I stumbled upon this one, from Joyce's Ulysses: "The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea." Also, this one: "I hate water - fish fuck in it." (W.C. Fields). Dudes, this is why I love the internet...there is no end to the random shit that turns up in a simple Google search.