Along the Olympic Coast

Along the Olympic Coast

Photographing a special place is a long term thing. It takes more than one visit. Along the Olympic Coast you can camp in wilderness, on the beach.

You may go once to visit a landmark and get lucky. But to really appreciate a spot, to capture the nuances of its beauty, you’ve got to visit many times, in different seasons, under various weather and other conditions.

Recently I visited such a magical place, Point of the Arches, in Olympic National Park.

Located near Neah Bay, just south of Cape Flattery, Point of the Arches sits at the end of Shi Shi Beach. The hike in is 2 miles of mud in the forest, then 2 more miles along the sandy beach. Permits are needed, at the Ranger Station is Port Angeles.

There is a new section of trail, the steep descent , from forest to sand, was before a slippery slope with some roots and a few old ropes for handholds. The entire section has been rebuilt, complete with stairs and railings! Once down to the beach the way opens…

I have camped here along the beach maybe 20 times and yet have never seen the conditions like they were last weekend.

The heavy recent rains created a swell in the creeks crossing the beach to the ocean. The last few days extreme tides conjured some unreal scenes, a Martian landscape, the deep, rich sand and the long orange shadows at sunset.

The next evening was completely different, the sun seemed to set in a totally different place, the color and tone of the light, totally new. The reflections of light and color on the wet sand is spectacular.

Late at night a try a few night sky images…

Dragging myself away I make the late ferry, the light failing as we head across the sound…

What I thought missing has been found.

How flat, pale and dead can a spirit feel?

And how fast its flame rekindled.


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