After a peaceful evening, we took our time getting going. Linda was ready to go out and hunt for rocks on the beach, so we got ready and drove the mile and a half out to Rialto Beach.
The parking area always seems to have several cars in it. And the adjacent parking lot set aside for backpackers (overnight parking), RVs, and buses was full both times we've been there.
Like other beaches we've been on in Washington, you have to make your way around driftwood to get to the beach.
Driftwood seems to conjure up images of something used for decoration at a beach house, but the driftwood here is massive. The little girl below looks so tiny on a driftwood log.
Like yesterday, there was a lot of sea spray in the air making everything look a bit fuzzy.
We turned right and started walking north in the direction of the photo above. Linda had her bucket and started her search. This morning, she was on the Pacific Northwest beachcombing website (pnwbeachcombing.com) reading a trip report to Rialto Beach. It mentioned an abundance of "orbicular jasper", rocks with little red orbs on a black background. So, that was her first goal.
But eventually she had an idea for a project so her focus changed.
By the way, on the Olympic National Park website, there is a small section for "Beach Combing". It says you are allowed to take a "handful" of "unoccupied shells", but nothing about rocks. Checking with a ranger, we were told the same "handful" measurement was applied to the removal of rocks.
While Linda was doing her scan, stoop, and review routine, I walked the mile and a half up the beach to the sea stacks.
The large rock that looks like a shark fin is actually two rocks.
And in the tree on top of the left one was a Bald Eagle.
As I walked, I spoke to a few backpackers that were returning from multi-day beach camping trips. They were all smiles and said they loved it. There were also a few tents set up between the driftwood and the forest here on Rialto Beach. It's an easy-to-get-to location for some beach-side camping. Wilderness permits ($8 per person per night) are required for beach camping, and you are required to have a bear canister to protect your food from racoons on the beaches. With your permit, you can borrow a bear canister for your trip.
Hmm. Wonder if I can get Linda to do a short backpacking trip and sleep on the beach a night or two?
Here is a view of Hole-In-The-Wall from those triangular sea stacks.
The tide was coming in quickly, so I hustled over to get a better look and walk through the hole.
Inside were these anemones in a shallow, pink rock-lined pool. The water was so clear, you can't even tell they were underwater.
Hole-In-The-Wall is known for great tide pools at low tide, but I was a little too late for that.
Sea stacks and Hole-In-The-Wall rock (on the right).
From a different angle, here is Hole-In-The-Wall between the other rocks.
And with that last shot, I walked back. I found Linda sitting and talking to a curious gentleman.
She just learned about "orbicular jasper" this morning, but she was sharing her samples with those that stopped and asked what she was doing. She was definitely in the moment as the waves pounded and the clatter of tumbling rocks in the receding water filled the air.
She gave me instructions on what she was looking for, and I helped her for a good half hour, maybe an hour. Then we headed back to Mora Campground.
Later, I picked up a couple of bundles of wood at one of the self-serve shacks along Mora Road. Two bundles and a handful of free kindling for $6 - not bad.
Linda got the fire going, and I cooked some bratwursts while she prepared a side dish of baked beans.
It's been too long since we have roasted anything over a fire. We thoroughly enjoyed our simple, but delicious meal.
After dinner, we went back to Rialto Beach for the evening low tide.
We walked together, and I helped Linda find rocks until it was time to get ready for the sunset. She "plopped" in a big pile of rocks she could sift through while I scampered down to the other end of the beach to take sunset pictures.
Though there were fewer of them, the Olympic National Park beach paparazzi were there with their tripods.
I once again recognized a couple of them from Ruby Beach yesterday morning and Second Beach last evening.
I moved around and took random shots as the view spoke to me and the colors changed. Hole-In-The-Wall on the right in the below photo.
A young lady on the rocks watching tonight's show with waves crashing in front of her.
As the sun continued to sink, some of her friends joined her, and I changed angles once again to squeeze Hole-In-The-Wall into the frame on the right.
One more zoom in between the rocks.
I think this photo has the best combination of the rocks, ocean, sunset, and colors.
There wasn't a cloud in the sky, so once the sun went down, it didn't get any better than that.
Another fantastic evening on the beaches of Olympic National Park.
I got back down the beach to Linda, and we made the short drive home. Thanks Rialto Beach for a wonderful day - this Friday the 13th wasn't unlucky at all.