Sunday, August 10, 2014

South Beach and Pacific Beach Washington

August 7- 10, 2014:

South Beach, Washington

We leave the Hoh Rainforest at 9 AM heading south on route 101 for the Kalaloch campground in Olympic National Park.  It was an easy drive except for the huge bicycle rally that was also following route 101.  There were hundreds of riders in packs on the highway to weave around and there wasn't much room at times.  We arrive at the Kalaloch Campground to find one available campsite open which turns out to be about 20 feet long, no good for us.  We do have a backup plan, always a good idea, which is the "South Beach" campground a few miles further south that is a first come/first served only campground. We arrive to find it pretty congested looking, but there are open sites so without delay to grab the first one we see.  South Beach is another Olympic National Park area, adjacent to the beach, very scenic and in fact better than Kalaloch campground if you want the rustic ocean surf experience.  We plan to stay here only one night, got to keep moving.

South Beach Campground

View from the campground

The Jesus Bus spreading the word at South Beach

Massive Drift wood along the beach

Beach Logs can kill !

The fog is always close by

Driftwood cabin on the beach

The stones and driftwood are "real" art

It was cloudy, foggy and pretty cool on the coast and we decided to drive back north to Ruby Beach which is one of the more spectacular scenic beaches on the Washington coast.  The views do live up to the hype, it was great !  Also the clouds parted, the sun broke out and we took an extended beach walk. 

Grand entrance to Rialto Beach

Impressive Sea Stacks

Another perspective

Beautiful coastline

A more distant view

The surf splashing over a rock

Then back to South Beach, now sunny and warm, and another beach walk.  As we were walking, we noticed a few ravens eating something near the water, then suddenly an Eagle swooped down right on top of it, the ravens hoped away quickly and let him have it, no argument. He ate for a while, all the good parts I suppose, then waddled away and let them have the leftovers. 

Eagle on the beach taking procession

The Eagle then flies into this tree

Close up view

The sunset was unusual with the sun a bright hot pink ball breaking through a break in the clouds right on the horizon for a minute.
The ocean at high tide came in and almost completely covered the beach after sunset and the sound of the surf was really loud.  Ominous sounding in fact making me think of the Tsunami warning signs along the beach.

South Beach Sunset

No huge hurry to leave in the morning as we have a reservation at Pacific Beach State Park further south on the Washington coast.  Adequate time for a beach walk, to scramble into a few piles of drift logs and check out the cabin built from driftwood. 

Part II.  Pacific Beach, Washington

It is about 30 miles from South Beach to Pacific Beach as the crow flies, but there are no direct roads. However, there are a couple of shortcuts per our GPS that doesn't show on our Washington State map.  Twinkles takes one, while I take the other slightly longer one, but both are decent roads.  My Verizon phone is working, but Twinkles AT&T is not, so we are out of communication the whole way.  It all works out in the end and we are in our campsite in early afternoon.  It is a nice site right next to the beach which is about a mile to the surf at low tide.  Our site is electric only with a convenient dump station and water spigots, but one of the most expensive places we have ever stayed.  It's another situation where we pay an extra $10 a day for the Jeep since we are not towing it in.

There isn't much to the town of Pacific Beach except the beach.  These are not swimming beaches, the water is frigid.  Kite flying seems is very popular here, there is always a sea breeze and we watched some expert young pilots in action. If I had to label it, I would call it a family and dog friendly beach area.  The sunset turned out quite good too !

To the Beach 

The Wacky Warehouse

Twinkles on the super wide beach

These shells are great

They look like little boats

Sunset in RV window

Ocean Beach sunset
Sand dune action

We took a ride south along the coast passing through several beach areas, Seabrook, Copalis, Ocean City and out onto Ocean Shores, many that you can drive your car onto.  There are a number of native Indian tribes along the coast, the Makah, the Ozette, the Quileute, the Hoh and the Quinault who were all somehow able to retain reservations along the coastline.  We then stopped at the town of Hoquiam, had a coffee and toured a couple of blocks in the old downtown.  There is a nice old theater, the 7th Street Theater,  that is worth stopping for, but not much else sorry to say.

The 7th Street Theater

Tug boat in Hoquiam harbor

Old fishing boat in Hoquiam

On return to Pacific Beach, we found it covered in a layer of fog, it was sunny and clear when we left, but that lifted within an hour and then it seemed that everyone rushed onto the beach to fly their kites.

Lots of kites were flying

A couple of great windsocks

We are leaving Washington on Sunday, moving onward to Warrenton, Oregon (on the border) next to Astoria, Oregon and the mighty Columbia River;  

Twinkles and Slick

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