Saturday, November 19, 2011

A true Hole-in-the-Wall

Location: Rialto Beach in the Olympics

Distance: 4 miles

Not quite ready to delve full-time into rain or snow, I opted to spend one of the last fall weekends on the coast. Rialto Beach is said to be one of the most spectacular sights in Washington so I made the more than three hour drive to the Olympics to wander on a sandy beach and listen to the waves crash on the shore. It was blue skies all weekend, but temperatures rarely crept above 32.

You only have to step out of the parking lot to be treated to the stunning sight of Rialto Beach, which stretches just beyond the Quillayute River. There are sea stacks, driftwood masterpieces and colorful cobblestones. The oft-photographed James Island made me leap with delight when I first saw it for I bought a framed snapshot that already hangs on the wall.

I spotted other off-shore islands as I moseyed along the beach, taking the time to admire the starfish and other marine life I found. A round log offered a way over Ellen Creek and my ultimate destination, Hole-in-the-Wall, could be seen another mile or so down the beach. The opening in the stone seemed to change size and shape depending on where I stood and I took more than a dozen photographs looking for just the way I wanted to remember it.

I lazed about on the downed timber for about an hour, enjoying the brightness of the sun and the lull of the waves. The approach of high tide, however, prompted me to start back toward one of the most heavenly sunsets I’ve ever seen.

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