Tag Archives: Olympic National Park

2015 in Review: The Great Pacific Ocean

I’ll close my 2015 in review with the following two images from the Olympic coast.  It was early November, winter was in the air with plenty of lowland rain and snow in the mountains.  We had Heather’s sister visiting from Ohio and we wanted to expose her to some of the beauty of Washington despite unfavorable weather.

We hoped to make it up to Hurricane Ridge but due to heavy snow the park closed all access…with dangerous drop-offs, a good idea in my book.  We stuck to lowland forests, which revealed massive cedars and stately bigleaf maples covered with gorgeous mosses.  But the highlight was definitely seeing the Pacific Ocean…first time for Beth.  We chose the scenic Rialto Beach within Olympic National Park.

Beach stones, Rialto Beach | Washington

Beach stones, Rialto Beach | Washington

The beach has no sand, just pebbles of all sizes and colors.  I was attracted to the two larger stones standing watch over the smaller ones.

It was great to see Beth’s excitement, which in turn also added to our excitement.  For us it was also the first visit to this area in over four years and we couldn’t believe that.  The area is so gorgeous, the beach with its stones and pebbles and massive logs, shadows of enormous trees ripped out by storms from Canada’s and Alaska’s coastal forests to the north…and most likely as far as Russia.  Also grand seastacks.  It was healing to listen to the pounding waves and to watch the light.  There was a grand tree log dancing in the waves but it would have to wait for a storm to come ashore….

Despite a at times very gloomy day, the clouds parted in late afternoon and treated us to a grand sunset.  It was a great journey indeed.

Rialto Beach sunset, Olympic National Park | Washington

Rialto Beach sunset, Olympic National Park | Washington


Quiet Waters

So there it was, our anniversary was coming up and we decided that going camping was just the ideal thing to do.  Checking out Lake Ozette area on the Olympic Peninsula had been on the list for no less than a few years…so why not!  We packed up the truck and took off to catch the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston.  Wow, thinking about it now, I miss it all; mind you this was back in 2009.  It is always amazing to be heading out to a new destination.  Even if one knows details about the place, there is no substitute for being there….

Part of the drive was unimpressive due to going thru much logged land…didn’t look short of a war zone.  But once we arrived, there was an incredible sense of isolation and solitude.  One has to be deliberate to come here.  There is nothing beyond here except the vast Pacific Ocean, legends, and history.

Being late summer, the weather was all over the place.  It is Washington after all.  But that was part of the charm.  Imagine cooking in between two huge cedars, their branches spreading wide, trying to protect you from the massive downpour.  Some drops get through and the whole experience makes you shudder and reminds you that this place is greater than you can imagine.  The rain drowning out all other sounds.  Knowing you are not far from civilized places but still feel like you are a million miles from anywhere.  And the love of my life is right next to me sharing in the memories.

And much like in life, following the storm there was brilliant sunshine and quiet….

I made this particular photograph at one of the bays of Lake Ozette just as the sun set below a ridge of trees.  I tried a few ideas, but ultimately found this one, without a polarizer, to be my favorite.  The water was still, the lilies reflected the pure blue of the sky and the reeds reached for the air above.

Lily pads and reeds on Lake Ozette | Olympic Nationa Park, WA

Lily pads and reeds on Lake Ozette | Olympic Nationa Park, WA

‘Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you….’

Jeremiah 32:17 ESV