Winter on the Olympic Peninsula

January 24, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I had a long weekend coming up and wanted to play outside, so on a whim I booked a dirt cheap cabin on the Olympic Peninsula. Best last-minute decision ever! The weather was calling for 40s and sun all weekend, which is a tall order for winter in the wettest place in the continental U.S., let alone the Pacific Northwest. I packed my backpack, fly rod and camera and drove up Highway 101.
       My first stop was Ruby Beach, one of my favorite places in the world. Though I had a sunny drive, there was a dense fog covering the beach. Made for some spooky/pretty photos ...
Highway 101

Tree-lined path leading down to the surf ...

Miles of wilderness beach, not a soul in sight ...

Ruby Beach driftwood Ruby Beach fog

Finally spotted a far-off fellow beachcomber, walking the shores alone. Even though I was enjoying the solitude, it was comforting to see another person out there.

Lone beachcomber | Ruby Beach, Washington

All of my favorite earth tones are here -- the rocks look black at first, but when you look closer they're all different, rich shades ...

Lone beachcomber | Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach coastline in fog After I got my foggy beach fix, I continued on to drop my things at my cabin. As I drove down the rainforest roads, the sun peeked through the dense forest like a spotlight. Had to jump out of the truck and document.

Sunlit logging road | Forks, Washington Sunlit rainforest Sunlit rainforest Sunlit rainforest Next up: my second favorite beach, Rialto. Another fog-drenched coastline with that same spooky/beautiful landscape. This one has special significance to me ... The first time I saw it, I was a 16-year old Bostonian on a five-week camping trip with friends. We were hiking the Olympic coast, sleeping on beaches and rarely seeing other hikers. I specifically remember our stop at Rialto Beach and seeing this trailmarker in the woods. That trip sealed it for me: I knew I had to live in the Pacific Northwest one day. I loved it so much and it felt like home. 12 years later, I moved out here. Greatest long-term decision of my life to date!

Rialto Beach landscape cold. gray. calm. Rialto Beach rockscape

The next morning, the fog had lifted. I hopped in my truck, headed down a back road and fished the Hoh river. Beautiful, sunny day on the river and not another angler in sight. Heaven.

On my way out, caught a stunning view of the Olympics.

Olympic Mountains | Forks, Washington Back in the truck and on my 4.5-hour drive home, I decided to say goodbye to Ruby Beach, until we meet again. But the sun was out and I accidentally stayed another two hours. Worth it!

Ruby Beach Ruby Beach Ruby Beach landscape LOVE driftwood.

Ruby Beach Surf rolls in on Ruby Beach Ruby Beach landscape Sunscape on Ruby Beach I'll be back.

All photos here are available for purchase online. Click here to buy a print. Thanks!

 


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