Day 2: Saturday July 3
Today’s agenda: Kalaloch and Ruby Beaches. We rise after a fitful slumber; the room was too hot and WonderBoy had fallen asleep first, the rollaway bed on which he slept wedged up against the air conditioner so we couldn’t reach the controls. He’s grumpy if you disturb his sleep, so we just suffered instead. Trust me, it was less suffering that poking the grouchy bear.
SIDE NOTE: Even as I’m writing this, I’m watching a bald eagle circling above the trees, hunting prey on the forest floor. We’re about half an hour past Port Angeles, on our way back down the 101). Awesome, the number of eagles on the Peninsula.
Kalaloch Beach holds a special place in my heart. It’s where my daughter discovered her love of the ocean, and where I discovered that the sea heals. The crash of surf on the shore and the cry of gulls on the air is a symphony that resonates in my heart like nothing else. WonderBoy and I chase some gulls on our way to the water, our path taking us south toward the tide pools around a cluster of rocks, and as we walk I feel lighter, carefree, and realize I’ve set down my burdens. No worries right now of financial aid files to be done, of the withdrawals that are doubtless piling up, of the housework and yard work I left undone before the trip.
The drive from Forks to Kalaloch takes about half an hour—it’s approximately 30 miles away. As we’re cruising the winding road, we come around a curve and the forest on the right opens to a tiny cove. WonderBoy and I are paying attention, so we see the huge bald eagle coming in for a landing on a tree in the cove. His wingspan must be six feet. Magnificent.
We play in the surf, walk ourselves to exhaustion, and eventually pack up to head to Ruby Beach, which was a disappointment this trip. It’s not really a beach where you plop your backside in the sand and sit for hours, just basking in the atmosphere. There was, in fact, a little too much atmosphere today—the wind blew pretty heartily and the tide was in, making the trek down there just short of worth it. We usually manage to time it right and get there when the tide is out, and are able to view the “wall of starfish” and other attractions on the sides of the seastacks. We stayed for only a few minutes, then headed back to Kalaloch to watch the sun set. We only stayed there a while—long enough to get video of Foster Kid trying to make fire by rubbing two sticks together. Relying on that method, we’d have frozen to death waiting for warmth. Luckily Long-Suffering Spouse has another plan, and we watched the sun set from the warmth of the Suburban in a scenic pull-off at the side of Highway 101 .