Some of the rocks along the shore in Larrabee State Park had worn in to interesting shapes under the relentless pressure of the sea. The coastal rocks are all shaped by the wave action but I thought these looked a little different to normal. I wonder whether the rocks are a softer type than I am more familiar with because the curves and cracks seemed to be a lot smoother than is usual. Some of the rocks also had pitting in them, presumably from the eddies in the water flowing across them gradually eroding deeper into the surface of the rock.
On our drive up the coast towards Bellingham, we were passing Larrabee State Park. Apparently, this was the first state park in the state of Washington. We were only making a brief stop so we didn’t get to explore it too fully but we did follow the trails down to the beach. The first trail we took brought us down to the water’s edge in a little cove. A few people were there but it was quite sheltered from the wind and seemed very tranquil.
We then reversed course and heading to another part of the shoreline. This was far more rocky and exposed and also very attractive. Standing up on the rocky outcrops looking out to see in the sun as the birds wheeled overhead, I could easily have stayed there for a long time. We also had a good view across the bay to the opposite shore which had some nice looking houses arrayed along the cliff tops. Some larger building was further up the coast in a prominent location. We were heading elsewhere, though, so we walked back up through the park, past the stage area and off on the next leg of the journey.
Drive south from Tofino and you come to the wonderfully named town of Ucluelet. There are some great trails near the town that take you around the coastline and one of them goes past a lighthouse. The Amphitrite Lighthouse is a great looking lighthouse. In the days of modern navigation techniques, the concept of lighthouses seems a little out of date but they still serve a purpose and they do provide a nice focal point to a view of a rocky coastline. The lighthouse was one of the first things to see on the trail we took and I should probably post some of the other views in another post at some point. In the meantime, here is the light to keep you going.
I have walked across the bridge at Deception Pass before and that appeared in the blog in this post. We headed back to the area one weekend recently and stopped to cross the bridge again. The narrow sidewalk on the edge of the bridge is ideal for someone with my lack of enthusiasm for heights. It also isn’t a good place to loiter to try and get shots because there are always people crossing and it is hard to squeeze by in some places.
However, you can get a really nice view of the pass itself and the bays alongside it. There is also a fair amount of wildlife that inhabits the area. We saw seals frolicking in the waters of the pass and a bald eagle flew by and perched in a tree top near the car. Some kayakers were enjoying the waters too. I actually could have done with a wider lens than I had but that was back in the car so 24mm was as wide as I could go.
Mukilteo Light Station is a small lighthouse located (not surprisingly) in Mukilteo. It sits in a small park right next to the ferry terminal for the crossing to Whidbey Island. I had been wondering about checking out the park and the light station for a while after noticing them on Google Maps but I had never got around to doing so. Then I found myself on the ferry to Whidbey with a buddy of mine when I looked back and saw the light in some lovely early morning sun. Too late but something to remember.
I didn’t have long to remember though. I was back at the ferry a few days later. This time we arrived just a little late to get the first ferry so had to wait for the second. This gave me a chance, albeit a short one, to have a quick look at the light. It isn’t the most impressive structure you will see but it is a nicely kept lighthouse on a nice promontory.
Our Bainbridge trip included a bonus element. I had been advised how busy the ferries could be on nice summer weekends so we headed out early anticipating some long lines to get on the boat. We got to the terminal about an hour ahead of when we were planning to sail, bought our ticket, drove straight on to a boat and it sailed a minute later! This was a pleasant surprise. However, it did mean we were on the island a lot earlier than our planned first stop was open. We needed to kill some time.
Nancy did a quick search and came across a place called Fort Ward. We put that in the GPS and headed off. Fort Ward is an area of the coastline that used to be part of the protection of the approaches to Bremerton naval shipyards. It was given up by the military a long time ago and now sections of it are rather nice housing and more of it are a state park. In the early morning, walking along the shore through the park was a very pleasant way to spend some time.
Our trip down the coast included some driving down the Pacific Coast Highway. This is undoubtedly a gorgeous place to be. Each turn in the coast brings with it another lovely view of rugged cliffs and crashing waves. Add some sun and it really is wonderful. There is little point in saying much more. Instead, here are a few shots to show just how great it is.
A weekend day had us over in San Francisco having a mooch around some places we haven’t visited before. I had been reading something online about Sutro Heights and wanted to check the place out. This is an overlook up on the cliffs that had been the home of a guy called (unsurprisingly) Sutro. He had built a large house on this land and added gardens around it that included statues and artworks that were available for people to visit.
The house is long demolished but the gardens have become a city park. We stopped off to look around, enjoy the view and use the place as somewhere to have our lunch. The view down to the beach below, while rather hazy when we were there, was still rather nice. You could see plenty of people having fun down on the sands. The gardens themselves were rather relaxing. You could climb up onto the area where the house had once stood and try to imagine what it had been like. A few signs included images of how things had been laid out. Given how close we were to the Cliff House, the baths and the trails, it was a little surprising how few people were there. However, it isn’t heavily signed so maybe it is easily missed. If I hadn’t read about it, we would probably never have known either.
While watching the waves come rushing in to the Santa Cruz shore, I saw something floating on the surface just a little way out. It appeared to be seaweed but that wasn’t all that was there. A look through the longer lens confirmed that a sea otter was sitting out there enjoying the ride. The clump of weed was drifting closer in so, when the waves started to break over the top, the otter would dive underneath and pop back up once the turmoil had passed. The current was taking him along the shoreline over time so we lost track of where he ended up but he seemed to be enjoying the ride quite a lot!
Do you ever see an advertising image of someone doing something artistic outdoors and you think to yourself, “No-one ever does anything like that. It’s so contrived.” How about a guy standing on a rocky outcrop above the pounding surf playing the trumpet? That is exactly what we came across on the shore in Santa Cruz. This guy was just standing out there playing his trumpet. What a strange thing to see. It did sound pretty good though. He was a pretty decent player!