Olympic Range from Dungeness Spit
Spring is continuing to drag its feet even though we are already into April. Today is Easter and although it has been nice, today is overcast with a chance of some sun. That is the way it seems to go when you only have one day off together. The chances of a great day, even if the forecast is for good weather, is very slim. Oh well, to make the best of the day.
We head off for the 8:50 ferry and fortunately the line is not that long. The fare is now $33.00 RT and that isn’t even Summer fares. The crossing is cold, breeze but you can see the mountains. Yesterday, I went for a walk to see the brants along the Edmonds waterfront and we spot a few here and there before we arrive in Kingston.
The drive is easy. There isn’t a lot of traffic. Either everyone is in church or the cost of gas which is about $4.10/gallon is keeping people off the roads. Our destination is the Dungeness National Wildlife Reserve and a beach walk along the spit. It is 5 miles from the parking lot to the lighthouse which we probably won’t do but it will be good to at least get outside.
We sign in. It is a National Wildlife Reserve so the fee is $3.00 unless you have a National Pass which we do in which case you just put your pass number on the form and in the envelope. The trail is nice and wide with several kiosks along the way with information about the forest and beach. The trail descends through the fir forest to the edge of the bluffs and the start of the spit.
The Strait of Juan de Fuca is on the west and a tidal lagoon on the left separated by a wall of driftwood. We spy some herons and ducks in the lagoon and listen to the lapping of the waves.
G wonders if we can see whales and scans the horizon with binoculars. He spots a pod surfacing in the distance. They are orcas and we watch them swim out towards the ocean – too far for a picture but it is cool to see their black and white fins.
The rocky pebbles crackle beneath our feet as we meander along the shore. We see a Caspian Tern patrolling the beach – back and forth. The seagulls are harvesting clams from the lagoon and dropping them on the rocks to break them open. The Olympics ring the horizon to the south still covered with snow. To the north, the beam from the lighthouse blinks on and off and Mt Baker white cap is visible in the distance. The smell of the sea is fresh.
We walk about a mile or a mile and half down the shore until our stomach tell us it is time for lunch. The walk is much faster on the return. We headed to 3 Crabs on the other side of the spit for a couple of sandwiches. Halibut for me and crab for G. Just right.
We head back to Kingston and catch the 4:00 ferry. It still is not that crowded but there is a bit of blue in the sky. Northwesterns can not resist standing on the front edge of the ferry, cold wind blowing, enjoying the tips of the Seattle skyscrapers and Mt. Rainier in the distance.