Storm Watching on the Washington Coast
Dec 6, 2009
|In early November there was an enormous storm in the Gulf of Alaska. If it had occurred in Southern Latitudes it would have been called a hurricane and the winds were equal to a force one classification tropical hurricane. Seas were 40ft and the coasts of Alaska, Washington and Oregon were getting whacked with 25ft breakers. We packed the van. We had to go see this.
It was a day trip over to the coast and we visited the shores of Westport, Moclips and Ocean Shores. Westport is a typical seaside town with a fairly large marina and well developed breakwaters to keep the angry ocean at bay. Didn't work. As you can see by the pictures, Westport near the water, was flooded as the sea came over the breakwater.
Moclips is along the "hidden shores" of North Beach. Several small burgs are locate along this strip with the Quinault Indian Reservation at the end. We stayed at Ocean Crest Resort which started in the 1950's as a private residence. Still family owned it has morphed into several motel type rooms, cabins and a house or two for rent.
Ocean Shores is a sand spit that has been built up for summer vacationers and year round residents. Many hotels, restaurants and again, breakwaters. The whole ocean appeared to want to get over that breakwater. Some of it did.
It doesn't do much good to try to use words to describe the feeling of being mesmerized by the power of the ocean assaulting the shore. The sound, the smell, the spray, the energy and the threat all come together in an oddly alluring way.
From here we headed north along Hwy 1. We spent a night at the Kalaloch Lodge on the coast. This property also started in the 1950's and has a main lodge, cabins and newer motel. We visited Olympic National Park and hiked the Hoh Rain Forest. We saw a lot more agitated ocean, a little bit of rain and some snow.
During the last half of the trip we stopped in Forks. We were in this little burg about 15 years ago. It hasn't changed much except now it is trying to take advantage of some notoriety coming it's way from the books and movies "Twilight". My guess is that even the most avid "Twilight" fan will not have to go back to Forks any time soon. Better to see the movie.
We took the road out to Neah Bay, visited the Cultural Center of the Makah Tribe which is filled with thousands of artifacts. We then headed out on the Cape Loop trail stopping to make the 1 1/2 mile hike out to Cape Flattery, the northwestern most point of the continental U.S. The view was awesome as the pictures attempt to show. You know how that goes, the pictures are a snapshot and can't possible capture the 360 degree sights, smell and sounds. It was special.
Last year at about this time we were in Key West at the southeastern most point. Hm mm, guess we need to try to get to Maine one of these days !
Enjoy the pictures !!