Washington State Vacation: May 2015

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Thursday, May 17 - Kalaloch Beaches, Hoh Rainforest, Rialto and La Push Beaches

After our wake-up tray, for breakfast this time Neil choose the mushroom and cheese omelete. Ginger had the strawberry and whipped creme crepe.

Photos from breakfast (21 images)

We headed out to the Kalaloch (clay-lock) Beaches, first to Ruby Beach, which ironically does not have rubies or even red sand, at least when we were there, then to the generically named Beach 1 and Beach 2. Beach 2 had some extraordinary, huge overturned tree trunks and such much taller and wider than we'd ever seen.

Photos of Ruby Beach (18 images) Photos of Kalaloch Beach (first stop) (7 images) Photos of Kalaloch Beach (second stop) (9 images)

The next stop was the Hoh Rainforest, and more specifically the visitor center, about 12 miles inside the National Forest from the main highway. The entry fee is $15 — actually a single fee will get you a 7-day pass to any part of the National Forest, which came in handy the next day. Around the visitor center there are two low-impact trails that show off some of the flora and fauna with plackards along the trails explaining/desribing the various trees, plans, rock formations, etc. A third trail is some 8 miles one way, so we skipped that one. Of the two small loop trails, one is 1.2 miles trail and runs along the Hoh River for a while, the other loop is only .8 miles and is called the "Hall of Mosses" (not Moses, like in the Bible, mosses, the green stuff that grows on trees).

Photos of the Hoh Rainforest (16 images)

After stopping for a Sierra Mist and a latte, we made our way to Rialto Beach. This was the most strenuous hike of the day, but wasn't due to elevation but instead to length. From the trailhead, "Hole in the Wall" rock at Rialto Beach is 1.5 miles North along loose pebble and soft sand beach most of the way with better firmer sand on only a small portion the way. Ginger walked to within sighting distance of the rock, but Neil went all the way around and through it. We spotted a couple seals offshore on the way back poking their heads out of the surf between waves. The photography conditions were less than ideal due to the sun beating in from the West over the water at the shore, but we got some decent (from an amateur perspective) pictures nonetheless.

Photos of Rialto Beach (39 images)

We made our way back to the car and toward Beach 1, which was of course, beautiful, but rather uneventful, then on to La Push and First Beach. (No, Beach 1 and First Beach are not the same.) At First Beach there is quite a bit of interesting driftwood as well as pretty large, straight, obviously man-made jetty connecting the mainland to James Island.

Photos of the beach at La Push (14 images)

It was then time to head back toward Forks and this time we had dinner at the Forks Coffee Shop. Back at the Inn we couldn't pass up dessert & hot chocolate and hot tea, after which Ginger petted Maya and Jax for what must have been at least 15 minutes straight.

Photos from the evening (4 images)