Beautiful Ruby Beach.
Our group managed to be up and ready and headed out of the casino parking lot by nine on Monday. We only had a 70 mile drive, but we wanted to arrive at South Beach Campground in Olympic National Park early enough to be sure we all got sites. I was a little stressed traveling with four RVs wondering whether there would be room for all of us, since we had no plan B. As it turned out there were quite a few sites available when we arrived just after 10:30, and several people were still packing up to go. We all picked a suitable spot for the best views of the fog and filled out our tickets. $10/night, or $5 for those of us with the Senior Pass. There are flush toilets and trash dumpsters but no drinking water or dump. Those can be found about three miles up the road at Kalaloch Campground (reservations only).
This was taken later when the fog burned off. Sites are sort of scattered and hard to delineate, so people just seem to park any which way. Of course all the prime ocean front sites were taken, but we had a partial view.
In the afternoon Jim and I drove 30 miles south to Lake Quinault to hike in the Quinault Rainforest and drive the loop around the lake. How refreshing to see a natural glacier-carved lake instead of one created by a man-made dam. Our trail took us past the Lake Quinault Lodge, which was like stepping back in time. They were even playing croquet on the lawn.
The trail also went through the rain forest along a creek, very green, dark, and mossy. Although this area receives 120 inches of rain per year we managed to come on a clear dry day.
On our way back to the car we saw this interesting couple and their cat.
Along the scenic loop drive we spotted a couple cars pulled off the road and people holding their tablet computers up to take pictures. We thought there must be deer or some other wildlife, but as we passed I spotted this huge waterfall set back off the road and barely visible. Of course I made Jim screech to a halt and park. I’m so glad we didn’t miss this, although it wasn’t mentioned in the brochure we had. I did find the name on the map, Merriman Falls, 40’ high and quite picturesque.
This morning at 8 there was a ranger walk to the tide pools at Ruby Beach, 10 miles north. Jim and Kim didn’t make it, opting to sleep in to get their beauty rest, but Chuck, Carla, Debbie and I, and 50 or so of our closest friends, had the pleasure of getting to see this gorgeous beach on a rare clear morning.
We knew it would be good when we got this glimpse from the trail to the beach.
Our group, heading out to the rocks.
I lagged behind taking photos.
The deactivated Destruction Island Lighthouse is visible about 3.5 miles away.
As we approached the rocks the ranger pointed out a bald eagle. He flew off as we got closer.
We learned a lot of interesting facts about the sea creatures that get exposed during low tides.
A wall of sea stars.
It really was a glorious morning on the beach.
By the time we got back the fog had rolled in, but we went for a walk anyway.
Someone built this elaborate hut out of driftwood.
After the walk we spotted an RV leaving one of the prime sites by the water. Jim quickly drove the car over to hold it, and we moved the Lazy Daze to its new home for a couple days.
Now if only the fog would go away so we could actually see the Pacific out there.
Ah, now that’s better.