While this blog was hiding under a rock, I went twice to the outer coast. Was trying out doing it as an overnight trip with motel, instead of a daytrip, to get around my energy problem. It works.
Trip #1: So it took me 5 hours to get out of the house on October 13, then finally I'm rolling determinedly toward Rialto Beach and three miles short of the beach
Rialto Beach is in the PARK. At not one single moment in the five days that I had been planning this did it cross my mind that the #shutdown I had been following obsessively had SHUT DOWN MY PARK.
Easy enough to re-direct. First Beach is on the Quileute Rez, under tribal control (not the Park). So I went to La Push. Very warm. Very quiet ocean. I put on my water shoes for a little while. Not THAT warm. Put back on the boots and socks. Read for a while.
Sat in the car on the point overlooking First Beach. Tide coming in, ever so peaceably. Just a few pelicans cruised out towards James Island. Still reading. As IJ reminded me, I can read anywhere. Have often used that fact to get me on the road to Rialto in the past. Wouldn't I rather read to the sound of waves? Yes of course I would.
Hadn't been able to get a reservation in the motel in La Push, so eventually I adjourned to the Pacific Inn Motel in Forks. Supper in the diner. Later I wanted a snack and wandered on down the street looking for the convenience store I thought was there. [Not; that was a floating bit of crosswired memory: in Socorro, NM, the same configuration: motel and diner on the west side of a street in a town at convenient run-away distance from home and near someplace beautiful that I really wanted to be. No little convenience store a block or two down-highway from the Pacific Inn in Forks...]
In the morning, back out to La Push, to First Beach. It was even more blue, and just as peaceable. Watched the tribal fishermen working their nets in the river mouth for a long time. Then wandered home.
As pictures go, very much always-the-same-place. First Beach always looks like First Beach. But each occasion is its own self. Today's shirt-pocket full of small smooth pebbles are different from all the others, have their own parking place on the desk. Today's photos of the Quileute Needles are not the same as last fall's or next month's, even when they are the same.
Trip #2: For October 27 I did have a reservation in La Push: second floor, ocean view, thank you very much. The weather was beyond perfect blue. I myself wasn't feeling too crisp, but off I went to Rialto Beach. All I really wanted to do was read my book so I wandered not very far to the south from the parking lot, and sat by a log, and read.
When it got cold sitting there, even in the sun, I drove around to La Push and checked into the Thunderbird. Room 112. Upstairs. Opened the curtains. Opened the sliding door to the little deck outside the room. I had a bed, a couch, a kitchenette, books to read, a deck, and the entire Pacific Ocean. And I thought I might just move in permanently. Never leave. It's been a long time since I had such an upsweep of delight.
There was not much swell, through the night with the windows closed I could hear only the occasional larger waves. Thump-boom-swoosh reaching in through the glass. In the morning, a soft and subtle sunrise, a perfect blue horizon. The sunlight arrived on the sea stacks and on James Island.
Still not feeling very well, I just hung around sipping coffee and looking out the windows until checkout time, watching the waves break peaceably on the shore of First Beach.
Then I headed home without even going down to the beach, while I still had as much fresh energy and focus as there is available on a zombie day. Do you see? I can go be at the ocean even when I don't really feel well. This is epic.
Thanks to Olympic National Park, for Rialto Beach, and to the Quileute tribe for room 112.