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Just a meandering soul sharing my backyard. Visit my Flickr page too! www.flickr.com/photos/meanderingwa/

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ketchup ~ Shi Shi and a Day at the Beach

At the end of September I grabbed a long weekend at Shi Shi Beach.  I love my little Bullman Beach Inn Unit 5.  So relaxing, so quiet.  I woke up in the night wondering what all the road traffic was about, car after car going past.  Then I realized it was the waves hitting the beach at low tide

woosh...woosh... woosh...

The Saturday was forecast for fair skies, even on the coast, so I knew it was the perfect day for a beach hike.  Shi Shi is the only choice and I was determined to finally get down to Point of the Arches.  Last November I was turned back by high water in one of the creek crossings.  Wet feet and all that...

I am an early bird by nature, so it was great to be first of the day hikers on the beach.  I could see several camps further down the beach.  I cannot imagine camping here on the coast except in the fairest of months.  We have a rain forest just east from here. 

Notable today were the piles and piles of molted crab shells on the beach.  I did not notice the huge numbers last I was here and figure this is a seasonal event.  Certainly speaks to the healthy Dungeness crab population offshore.

These Whimbrels have plenty of food opportunity here.

Point of the Arches is only about 2 1/2 miles down the beach, and the time flew quickly.  All of the creek crossings were trouble free.

When I reached the Arches, it was time for a sit and an early lunch.

By the time I finished other hikers started trickling in.  It was nice to chat with folks about what they had seen.  One group had camped north of the beach access and said they saw a Sea Otter the night before.  I have never seen one in the wild and that would be a treat.

It was here we had to turn back.  The beach to the south of the Arches is not passable except under the lower tides.  People who through hike must time their journey with the tides.  There are programs for this area of the coast that will tell you when to break camp in order to time your passage to the different beaches safely.  Something about those distant rocks makes me want to get there next time.  Sort of "the bear went over the mountain" effect.

Returning up the beach I chatted with the gentleman who had the camp with the fire you see in the picture under the Whimbrels.  He was waiting for some through hikers and said they would not arrive off the south beach until 6pm.  He had a pretty nice set-up with the right amount of driftwood and several tarp and tent arrangements to protect from the weather.  Other campers were not that smart and found they had to hike inland a bit to find dry wood for fires. 

As I was walking back I took note of the beach art that campers had made around their spots.  Wood and kelp made for some eye catching arrangements.

Egg in a nest

Kelp Drapery

Fierce Beach Monster

I found this molt of a Kelp Crab

I love this place.  I noticed that the beach did not yield near as many fine shells and rocks as they did last time.  Not sure if it is season or if it is just that there are more people passing and tucking treasures away.

Sunday the bad weather was rolling through.  The TV said for the inland, high winds were predicted.  I was hopeful but for Neah Bay, it was bands of weather but nothing fierce and stormy.

It looked promising at first light

but just turns to gray mist

After this mist passed, I did a stroll on the beach in high tide.  Lots of kelp, piles of it.  Not a lot of treasure.

After lunch another band of weather passed and then the sun really came out.  Just in time for low tide and another stroll.  The gulls were taking advantage of the lower water and the kelp piles to look for goodies.

I caught sight of a Semipalmated Plover

This wonderful boat is obviously constructed with scraps of wood found on the beach.  It has some old water bottles added for a bit of flotation assist.

I only found a handful or shells.  I arranged them to show off their spirals.

At the Inn, people leave beach treasure they find.  It was here I found that bit of wood that looks like a whale.  I always love looking at the treasure.

By late afternoon it was as clear as it was going to get.  I was sorry to not have a terrific storm to enjoy.  Inland the winds were coming down the east side of Vancouver Island into Puget Sound, totally missing us.

Resident cat joined me in watching the sun go down.

Good Night.


  1. That looks like a great day. You made me miss the beach, the waves, the driftwood, the sounds, the birds.....

  2. Thanks for the info on how the turkey vultures find their dinners. I was just wondering what they would find to eat here where everything gets cleaned up so fast. When there are so many of them, I mean. And, no, we have never had deep fried squash flowers, but I will definitely tell my husband the cook so we can try that next summer.

  3. There is something so compelling about your photos. Makes me want to be there, walking that beach, also.

  4. Beautiful post, Marti. Somehow it didn't show up on my list of new posts, but glad I found it. It's one of those series of pictures that makes my heart ache to be out there.

    "I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying."

  5. I can see why you love this area! Absolutely stunning coastline! We camped overnight on an Oregon beach many moons ago......I will never forget the beauty there.
    Your photos are wonderful and give me a sense of what it is like.
    Thanks for stopping by today.

  6. Re-visiting this post makes me wish for more from you. Soon! Just wanted to thank you for your advice regarding Soldier. I will check the glucosamine/chondontrin with the vet. I used to take it myself and give to our older dogs, but haven't for a long time now. Soldier loved to sleep on the love seat, but does not seem to like soft pillows on the floor or outside, so I have doubled up with carpet remnants for him in here. I leave a small pillow for him to put his head on, it seems to help. Sometimes he uses it, sometimes not. But the carpet remnants make it softer and will keep him warmer and is also good for me if he has any accidents of the pee and poop kind. Thank you so much for your advice. Your wisdom and wide ranging knowledge always helps me out, be it birds, dogs, or, well, everything, really. Phew a lot of commas there!

  7. You posts are a reminder to me that I really do have to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. Thank you!

  8. Excellent post, Marti. WE are so antsy to get out hiking again that we can hardly stand it. Too busy right now and not the greatest weather, so we have to limit ourselves to walks around town. Did make some plans for next spring and summer, though.