I spent a little time at North Head Lighthouse looking back down the beach I had been walking along earlier in the day. It is a vast area so the people down below were but specks against the sand. However, one person did catch my eye. He was fishing in the surf and standing out in the shallows as he cast into the water. Not sure how successful a location it is for fishing but it didn’t look like the easiest way to catch your dinner!
My Cape Disappointment visit had started with a look at the area best known for big waves but I then decided to head off and explore the other parts of the area. I drove out along the shore until the road ended and started walking west along the peninsula. The water was to my left but I could hear the sound of waves from the right. I eventually came to the beach at which point I could see what the source of the noise had been.
A fantastic beach lay off to the north. It was a wide expanse of sand with another headland at the end with its own lighthouse. It was one of those scenes where it was hard to judge how far away anything was. Since I had not fixed place to be, I started walking north towards the Headland. The sun was out and it was a gorgeous morning to be out. There were plenty of people on the beach doing the same thing but the beach was so large, it felt like you could have been totally alone and, if you wanted to avoid everyone, it wouldn’t have been tricky.
I was certainly right about not having a clue how far along the beach things were. It was true that I was in no hurry and so was ambling along at a leisurely pace. Even so, I didn’t seem to be getting closer to the headland. In fact, it was quite a while before I realized I was almost there. At this point, I glanced back over my shoulder and realized the other end of the beach was disappearing from view. A look out to see suggested rain coming in from there and that I might be about to get wet.
I turned around and made the return leg with a little more urgency than the outbound leg. Even so, the rain soon reached me. Despite this, I actually wasn’t too unhappy. I had a good coat on and my pants seemed to openly get damp. The rain didn’t last long and I was dry again not long after. I did take a slightly shorter route back to the car, though, and a second rain shower hit as I was getting close so I was glad I had done so.
Later, as I visited the North Head Lighthouse, I got a great view from above back down the beach I had been on earlier in the day. It looked just as large and deserted as when I had been on it and I was quite taken with what an amazing place it was only a relatively short drive from Seattle. This is a place I shall definitely be back to explore, both in the nice weather of summer and when the winter brings storms.
The sunsets at Tofino were beautiful and I included some shots of those in this post. Sunrise was also pretty impressive. Winter means the sun is pretty far south so the position it comes up is not so far off that in which it sets. It does provide a very different light to things with some of the headlands that we could see from the hotel now having nice light on them. When you wake up to a view like this out of your hotel window, you know you are a lucky guy and are likely to have a good day!
Seeing logs on the shore is not unusual. Plenty of logs get washed ashore. However, when taking a walk along the beach at Shoreline over the holidays, there was a tree trunk that had become lodged on the water’s edge. It had become wedged in amongst some piles in the water with the roots of the log still out in the water. Usually the logs appear to have been cut but this was a tree that had got washed out into the sound. Everyone was taking a look at it or climbing out on to it. It was pretty big and finding a way to convey the size was something I pondered at length.
Walking along the beach at Tofino, you see some interesting patterns in the sand. He movement of water across the sand causes various ridges in the surface. There is also water draining down the beach from the land behind the beach. This water gathers behind the ridges but ultimately needs to drain further. When it finds a weak spot, it cuts through the ridge. Once it does so, the water all flows through this breach and it starts to take some sand with it. It expands the cut and then deposits the sand further down as it slows down again. This can result in some cool formations in the sand.
Head up the shoreline from the center of Aldeburgh and there is a beach area with an interesting sculpture. Called the Aldeburgh Scallop, it is a stainless steel sculpture, funded by public donations. It is two scallop shells that interlock. It is nearly four metres across and dramatic, sitting as it does on the open shingle beach. Very cool.
Perched above the beach at Lepe in Hampshire, overlooking the Solent, is an old bunker. It is surrounded by fencing and there is signage about the purpose of the bunker. You can see the hatch to access the bunker as well as some of the vents for the space below. I’m not sure what the bunker was designed to survive. It is close to a huge oil refinery and close to the headquarters of the Royal Navy. In a shooting war, there would have been some large detonations nearby. I doubt it would have provided sufficient protection to its occupants.
Wood on the shoreline is usually pretty interesting from a texture perspective. Spending a bunch of time in the water getting beaten by waves and any other debris in the water tends to smooth out the surfaces and also emphasize the flaws in the structure of the wood. I saw a bunch of wood on the beach at Shoreline when walking along the shore there and one in particular caught my eye.
The walk along the beach in Deception Pass State Park starts out in amongst a lot of people. The West Beach near the parking lot had a lot of people enjoying themselves while we were there. However, they didn’t want to go too far it seemed as, when we started walking along the shoreline towards the North Beach, we rapidly found ourselves a lot more isolated. There was the occasional person passing the other way but we were, for the most part, on our own. Standing on the shore and looking out across the water on a sunny afternoon was really relaxing.
The moisture in the air along the Oregon coast can catch you out at times. On one drive south out of Yachats we rounded a bend in the road where we looked down from quite a height along the beaches stretched beneath us. It looked most impressive, but we were then on the way down a twisty road and had missed the pull off. I made a note to come back another time. This I did but the conditions had changed a lot. There was now a lot more mist in the air and the beaches were disappearing into the glare from the sun. Even so, it was still a very pretty location.