June 2019July 2019 August 2019

07/30 - Hawaiian Luau

We missed our luau last year. This year we made up for it by holding a science luau with electric spheres, the Keck telescope and a host of other scientific tiki artifacts.

The pineapple upside down cupcake heiau

The chocolate cupcake heiau

Quasi-sushi objects

Danger, tiki cocktails

Godzilla is amused.

Keywords: hawaii, science

07/24 - Dungeness Spit Lighthouse

There have been some good low tides lately, so we headed out on Dungeness Spit, and, somewhat to our surprise, made our way all the way out to the lighthouse in what was a record time for us. There was good footing and a bit of cloud in the sky that made the walk all that much easier. It's a fascinating walk, almost five miles out on a narrow spit jutting into the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. Even when one is walking it, there is a feeling that it is something strange and wonderful. The lighthouse makes it even better. It's a haven with fresh water and a clean bathroom. Thank you lighthouse volunteers.

The broad low tide beach

One often sees interesting ships on the strait

First glimpse of the lighthouse

The haven

Mount Baker

Rock art

The way back with mountains

The way out, a path into the sea

Driftwood lines the way

We call this Ribsy even though most of the ribs are gone.

There was a lot of pink seaweed on the beach.

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides

07/20 - Obstruction Point, First Look

Obstruction Point Road has been open for a while now. We finally drove out and took our usual walk along Lilian Ridge to check out the wildflowers, the marmots, the snow melt fed lakes and the beautiful scenery. Most of the snow had melted, but there were still scraps of it around. We caught some of the last glacier lilies and first lupines. We weren't used to the altitude, so even the 200' or so initial climb from the parking area was a bit of a struggle, but we made it.

Clouds in the sky, color on the ground

Another look

Fields of red and green and melting snow

Distant mountains, descending the staircase

A last patch of snow on broken rock

Glacier lilies


The trail

One of the lakes


Ripples on a lake

Rock garden

Striking red paintbrush

Four little lakes


The trail again

A bit of the view

Another field of color

One of the marmots

Keywords: flowers, marmots, obstruction point

07/12 - Second Beach - Low Tide

There have been some really low tides at the West End beaches, but road work at Lake Crescent has made it difficult to get out there except on weekends. This time, however, time and tide did wait for us, so we made our way out to Second Beach at an extreme low tide. According to the GPS, most of our walk was underwater, though with the low tide we were always on dry sand. We made our way out to the big seastack that is usually cut off by water and explored. This time, we didn't even have to wade, and we were able to make our way almost all the way around the seastack.

The big news was starfish everywhere, but more on that in another post. For this post, the big news was a journey out to a usually inaccessible sea stack and getting a chance to explore its caves, beaches and tide pools.

GPS map showing us walking on water

Stairs to the beach

The seastack at extreme low tide

At the seastack

Hidden cave on the far side

One of the sea birds

Exploring the far side

Another view from the far side

The seastack via land bridge

Barnicles on the rocks

Exploring the seastack, misty skies

The near side of the seastack

Mysterious caves

The main seastack is on the right.

Across the beach

Sea, sand and seastacks

Algae on the rocks


The candelabrum tree, a happy mutant, with three branches again

Keywords: beaches, birds, lake crescent, second beach, tides

07/11 - Second Beach - Starfish

A few years ago, just about all of the starfish in the Pacific Northwest were wiped out by a mysterious disease. At low tide we would often see them clinging to rocks close to sea level waiting out the dry period. Then, they were gone. We have heard that they were recovering, but we only saw a handful of them, here and there. This time, we made our way out to a seastack, and there they were, by the dozen. There were others on more accessible rocks. It is such a relief to see them coming back.


More starfish

Even more starfish

Do we even need a caption here?

Some anemones

Starfish at the south end of Second Beach

More starfish ...

Wow, lots more starfish

Keywords: second beach

07/03 - Klahane Ridge, Hurrah

To our amazement, we made it up Klahane RIdge on our first try this season. We needed to stop and rest a fair bit, but that just meant more time to enjoy the amazing view while catching one's breath. It was a perfect sunny day for a good long climb.

That's how steep it is.

The view from the ridge

More of that view

Still some snow on the north face

A bit of trail

The park service has been doing repairs.

Lush green by the trail

A pocket view

The umbrella forest not far from the trailhead

Keywords: klahane ridge

07/02 - Klahane Ridge and More

Here are some more photos from our first climb up Klahane Ridge in 2019. The good news is that the alpine flowers are in bloom. The bad news is that there were goats still around. We met a ranger armed with a paint gun who went after them. Then, she had to race off to get to a meeting at headquarters on time. Being a ranger is a job. We walked down from the ridge in a more leisurely manner and took our time admiring the flowers.

The bowl to the north and the Strait of San Juan de Fuca

The goats heading towards the ridge

The goats scampering away after a warning paintball shot

Pasque flowers

Wall flowers

A green collage

Lingering phlox

Larkspur and wall flowers

Larkspur and paintbrush

Some lupines

An assemblage

A close up

Bog orchids by the stream near the trailhead

The little waterfall near the trailhead

A close up of some carnivorous plants

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge

June 2019July 2019 August 2019