Definitely glad to be home. Went to the outer coast yesterday with my beach-buddy JL, and took the hike to Second Beach. Foggy/overcast here in town as it has been for days, cleared up before Lake Crescent. Perfect sunny weather out on the beach, then later fog moving in.
JL was in bliss. Sunshine! Beams of light in the chilly woods on the 30-minute hike to get down to the beach. And sunshine sunshine sunshine by the ocean with the tide retreating, giving us more and more beach to wander on. We shed layers, ambled, had a picnic.
While we picniced, the fog began to drift ashore. The sunshine went, and came back, went and came back, over and over.
Not a lot of wildlife. Some really distant elk off the highway at Beaver Prairie, raccoon footprints on the beach, flitty chirpy birds (that we never saw clearly) in the woods, and hardly any critters in the tidepools. I kept joking that the sea stars and anemones, and the mussels on the rocks that the sea stars eat, had all gone south for the winter; but really, where were they? On the way back to the trailhead, in a sunny interval we saw a nice show of the garnet sand Rau tells about. (Washington Coastal Geology between the Hoh and Quillayute Rivers, about 2/3 down the page.)
I had Philip Whalen's voice in my head all day, as he wandered the main path at Tassajara more than thirty years ago, coffee mug in hand on a spectacular sunny February day and offering his very best T.-S.-Eliot-as-an-old-man impersonation. "Midwinter spring is its own season," he creaked, passing by.
Thank you, Phil; and thank you, Olympic National Park.