Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Second Beach, La Push, Olympic National Park

Second Beach is a stunning open beach isolated by headlands on either end and towering bluffs behind (a small trail finds a low point along these bluffs and descends down to the beach). The perfectly groomed reflective sands stretch out a considerable distance making this one of the deepest beaches in the area. In front of the beach though stands what really sets this beach apart... towering rock islands studded with pine trees, punished by the continual approach of the pacific tides.

Such a place can only be truly experienced in person, and though much stunning photography has come from here nothing comes close to the experience of seeing the starfish hugging the rocks, the sun setting on the ocean, and the roar of waves crashing and echoing along the beach.

The sun was minutes away from setting and Beylah and I began the hike in to Second Beach at a brisk clip which turned into a dead spring for me within minutes. The yellow light of the waning sun filtered in through the trees, flashing between them as I moved quickly along the bluffs. I noted the trail seemed especially long on the way in, surprisingly so anyway. I was practically giddy with excitement when I arrived on the beach after scurrying my way down a few flights of stairs cut into the steep slope. I've seen so many photos of Second Beach and conditions were perfect.

Three other photographers were already set up and shooting away into the waning sun, just a few moments from setting. I quickly took stock of the scene, waiting a few moments for Beylah to follow after me. Two large islands dominate the view from the beach, the run up to them a huge featureless, perfectly smooth sand beach covered in a thin glaze of water. Just a few rocks dot the beach, sitting in small depressions where the tide has cut away at their base.

Starfish were clinging to one of these rocks, directly opposite a small seastack, just off the main island. I sat and crouched down in the sand, taking a few photos and pausing every couple seconds to breathe deeply and simply enjoy the location before returning to a frenzied exploration of the beach before the sun set.

I started off towards a large rock arch, trying to climb a large tidal shelf to reach it. At the top of the self though I realized despite the low tide the way was impassable. Around the I turned around to find Beylah emerging from the forest on to the beach, taking off her shoes and getting ready to walk across the beach towards me.

We poked around the beach together for a little bit as the sun began to dip below the horizon. With a small hike back to the car left to go we decided it would be prudent to leave the beach a little bit before sunset. About three-quarters of the way back to the trail I turned around and took a couple last photos of the sunset reflecting in the water, then turned away and headed back for the car. Even now, I wish I never had to leave that beach.

No comments:

Post a Comment