Friday, June 16, 2017

Third Beach Serendipity

Olympic National Park

Serendipity.  I love this word.  It means discovering something wonderful by accident.

My well thought out itinerary had us driving out to Rialto Beach and hiking up to the rock formation called "Hole in the Wall", but when we got there, the road to the beach was barricaded.  Closed for paving.  Now what?  Skip the beach areas?  Move on to Hurricane Ridge?

We looked at the map and decided to "re-calculate" as Miss Garmin is always doing when traveling with us.  We backtracked and took the southern portion of  Road 110 to what was blandly called First, Second and Third Beaches.

Man, oh man, what a stroke of luck.  I am so happy that road to Rialto Beach was closed.

We stopped at the parking lot of Third Beach, having absolutely no idea what it was all about.  There were only a few cars there so we shrugged and said, "Sure, why not?"

A lovely trail, only about a mile and a half long, took us through a rain forest and then descended abruptly to the beach.  We gasped when the view of the ocean burst through the trees.

It seemed like a movie set.  Sea stacks in the distance.  A waterfall at one end.  A rocky point studded with trees at the other.  A beach strewn with weathered driftwood and . . . . get this?  River otters playing in the surf.  Disney himself couldn't have dreamed this up!

Not only that, but we had lucked out with the weather.  Normally the beaches of Olympic National Park are shrouded in mist and fog.  Not today.  Today was warm and sunny.  I even had to put on sunscreen.
We lingered here for a couple of hours before heading back.  Had lunch.  Took photographs.  Dreamed about returning with backpacks for an overnight stay.  There are primitive campgrounds along the beaches here, but the only way to get to them is by foot.

I can't believe I'm even contemplating such a thing.  Me.  Whose idea of camping is a hotel without a formal dining room.

You do have to scramble over a field of logs before reaching the beach, which is a bit unnerving.  But oh so worth it.  This place is pure magic.


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