Getting Away to it All on the Olympic Coast

The trail from Lake Ozette to Cape Alava.
The trail from Lake Ozette to Cape Alava.

Boots make a hollow thumping sound on the rotting wooden planks that wind through the dark forest. Splashes of brilliant sunlight glow on ferns and mossy tree trunks.

A pilieated woodpecker hammers on a distant snag. Ahead a dull roar with booming sounds gets louder and ravens call. Then I hear gulls and the distinct explosions of surf on rocks. The light grows brighter and sky is visible straight ahead through the towering sitka spruce.

Cape Alava is close!
Cape Alava is close!

Anticipation grows and I emerge from the dark forest to a brilliant, wild coastline and a broad blue ocean and sky. Life is in motion everywhere. Gulls soar randomly over the rock-studded surf. Ducks fly in long lines or bob in the waves. Pelicans sweep by at water level, occasionally soaring up and then diving into the sea for fish. Sea lions toss their heads on a distant rocky outcrop. Seals bark. Sea otters ride the swells on their backs, cracking open shells. Deer walk by and graze on shoreline plants. Flies rise in clouds as crows hop among heaped wet piles of kelp. Seawater gurgles as the tide comes in.

The abundance of life, sound and movement is almost overwhelming. Time to sit on a bleached log for awhile and just look, listen and feel the active immensity all around. Time to not think for awhile. It’s pretty damn refreshing!


Surf scoters
Surf scoters

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