As one of the rainiest places in the US, the Olympic Peninsula coast is notorious for bad weather. A national park leaflet explains:
Severe currents, rocks and infamous weather doomed many ships along this wild coast. Shipwrecked mariners told of hardships endured on the rugged and desolate shoreline, and of dramatic rescues, some involving heroic assistance from local tribes. Memorials north of Rialto Beach commemorate 36 people who died in wrecks of Chilean and Norwegian vessels in 1920 and 1903—testament to a perilous, remorseless sea that has taken many lives.
So we counted ourselves fortunate to experience slightly damp but by no means unpleasant conditions. At Rialto Beach the offshore sea stacks loomed mysteriously through the fog and a light sea fret hung in the air. The conditions rather suited the landscape and made for some interesting if challenging photography.
[For another view of Rialto Beach, see the image I posted for the Around the world in ten photos challenge]
Shadowy figures could be seen in the distance, walking the shoreline.
The sea and wind had scoured the bark from the fallen tree trunks that line the beach, leaving bizarre and sometimes haunting shapes, best photographed in black and white.
At the uninspiringly named First Beach (guess what the next two beaches along the coast are called? You got it – Second and Third Beaches!) we found yet more photographic inspiration in the misty conditions, and fewer people.
Although one small boy was enjoying himself, despite the weather!
The next day, after a morning exploring the surprisingly dry Hoh Rainforest, we travelled further down the coast to Ruby Beach. This beach lies some distance below the parking lot, reached by a fairly steep path and a scramble over large tree trunks. I decided to stop at the first viewpoint on the descent, while Chris continued to the beach alone. Even from there, it was a magnificent spot for photos, with the clouds a little higher than they had been at Rialto and First Beaches.
By the time we reached Beach Four (are you keeping count?!) there was a little blue in the sky, and we found more still at Kalaloch Beach.
But by this point the photogenic sea stacks we had found further north had petered out, so we didn’t linger long but turned inland away from the coast, happy with the photos we had taken in this atmospheric weather.
For this week’s Sunday Stills challenge Terri asks, what is our favourite weather? When travelling, I am happy with any weather in which I can get out and take photos. And if the weather enhances the shots, as the mist did here on the Olympic Peninsula, so much the better!
I visited the Olympic Peninsula in 2017