This morning there was a cold fog on the Strait in front of the campground here at the Salt Creek Recreation Area. And it was pretty chilly, so we stayed home and took care of some other things until the afternoon.
In the afternoon, we decided to walk to Hidden Cove, which is a small cove off of the Striped Peak Trail which starts here at Salt Creek. Based on reviews found online, going all the way to Striped Peak wasn't all that appealing, but they all said to make a stop at Hidden Cove which is a little less than a mile from the trailhead.
We walked on the shady trail until we saw a fence line on the edge of a cliff. This area provides a small window for a view of the cove below.
You can access the cove, but not from there. Back on the trail, you continue up and around until you see this sign at 0.8 miles in.
There is no sign to the cove, but there is a trail. It's a very steep trail, but at least there is a trail and not just scrambling. Linda definitely needed her hiking poles.
On the way down is small waterfall tricking down a moss-covered wall.
Somebody made a sign.
Though the cove collects a lot of seaweed, driftwood, and trash from the Strait, it's still a nice, peaceful, beautiful place.
It's a great location for a secluded picnic on the tiny, rocky beach.
"Rocky" being a key description as Linda started looking for sea glass which is more prevalent on rocky beaches. It wasn't long before she was finding several pieces, and she announced "Packs off!" meaning we were going to be here a good while.
I helped her and found a few pieces, but she was soon down in the rocks and sand and seaweed digging around.
I wandered around and took pictures. Soon, the first of the half dozen eagles we saw flew by.
And I spotted a big yellow blob in the water. At first, I thought it was trash, but upon closer inspection, I realized it was a huge jellyfish.
It looked like a big ol' fried egg, and come to find out, it is commonly called the Fried Egg Jellyfish (or Egg Yolk Jellyfish). It is well named.
That's definitely a first for us. Linda said the stick floating on top of it looked like a piece of bacon.
This thing was about two feet across, maybe bigger, and I was fascinated. I watched it in the waves - it was sort of stuck in the seaweed and driftwood. I rooted for it to make its way back to open water, but it just floated around in a circle like it was in a giant washing machine.
Eventually, another jellyfish floated in. It wasn't quite as big as the yellow one, but it was also pretty big and the color of grape jelly.
I couldn't figure out what kind it is, but if we have any jellyfish experts out there, I'd love to know.
Here's a shot of both of them.
I was getting hungry for breakfast. With the kelp and driftwood, let's call it a spinach omelet with a side of toast with grape jelly.
For a little while I went back to looking for glass, and then I checked on the jellyfish. The yellow one was washed up on the rocks in the corner of the beach.
Now ordinarily, I would have just let nature happen, but I had become invested in this jellyfish. So, I got a big stick, slid it underneath and picked it up. Wow, it weighed a good twenty pounds. I carried it to a spot on the beach clear of seaweed and put it back in the water. But it ultimately ended up in the eddy going around in circles again.
So, Linda spent a couple hours digging through the sand and rocks looking for sea glass, which is basically trash washed up on shore, and I spent a couple hours caught up in the saga of the jellyfish. If you didn't already know how weird we are, now you do.
Another eagle did a fly-by.
It apparently got too close to a crow's territory, so the crow chased it.
I also watched a kingfisher feeding. It would hover and then dive into the water. It was too far away for a good photo, but I snapped a shot of it hovering anyway.
There was a lot of subtle nature drama going on in Hidden Cove today.
More eagles flew around above us, .....
as we finally called it a day.
Around 5:00, we headed out. We scrambled over the rocks and driftwood logs and made our way up the stone steps.
About a quarter-mile from the trailhead, Linda, with her head down, almost ran into a deer on the trail. The doe just sauntered on in front of us.
Back at our campsite, we combined all the sea glass we picked up. For a tiny beach, Linda found a lot, and I kicked in a few pieces.
So, that was an interesting afternoon. Never underestimate the treasures that can be found in unexpected places.