Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Evening On The Spit

Every summer we go camping. Camping with family and friends is a constant, the location is a variable. This summer we went to Dungeness Recreation Area near Sequim, on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.

Within the recreation area is a spit - a narrow sliver of beach, extending five miles out into the salt water. The spit is very narrow, barely visible when the tide is in and punctuated by a light house at the terminus.

We saved one evening of our camping adventure for visiting the spit. After dinner we gathered layers for warmth and jackets to buffet the wind, shovel and pail for G, and started out along the trail.

The path edges the top of the cliff until you are above the beginning of the spit and entering a special, protected area. They especially want to protect the area for wildlife - primarily birds.


At this point you start down a hill, through the forest. The path is wide - wide enough for four or five people to walk side-by-side in most places. Eventually the downward grade increases.

Just before the final decent you are afforded your first view of the spit. From the observation platform you can see the entire spit, including the steady flicker of rotating light from the sentry way out at the end.

After taking it all in; the spit, the Strait of Juan de Fuca (used as a shipping lane for vessels transiting from Puget Sound out to the Pacific Ocean), the San Juan Islands, and the southern part of Vancouver Island, Canada. Besides the spit this area is in a wide, shallow bay. You can see the shoreline's crescent to your left, ending at Port Angeles.

As I watched the water I realized something was breaking the surface. Fish jumping? That was my first guess and then I watched for another moment. There was a seal frolicking - popping up and diving down again. I pondered if it was fishing or simply playing. Was it solitary or was only one breaking the surface at a time? I watched.

As evening approached, the sinking sun began to color the sky as a watercolor artist would brush their painting. The lights in nearby towns began to twinkles and the brisk breeze necessitated coats to be zipped up.

Once down the hill the gentle crashing of small waves competed with the sound of the wind and G's giggles as she splayed in the sand - sending Daddy to the waves for water.

Grandparents headed down the beach, determined to explore a bit of the shrinking sand as they raced the tide - and the clock. The spit closed at 8 p.m.

In our final moment G hid among the logs on the beach, waiting to scare her returning grandparents as I watched a cruise ship heading out for the Inside Passage.

What a glorious evening for adventures.


  1. Such a lovely tale of your adventures. I love the ocean so, & am envious of your closeness to it. I've been in that area with my students-the furthest most northwest point. It is so beautiful there. Thanks Kristi!

  2. Thank you for sharing your adventures. Your photographs were such a nice companion to your words.
    "the sinking sun began to color the sky as a watercolor artist would brush their painting. "
    Your words paint a picture as well.