Monday, March 3, 2008

Copalis Rock and Copalis State Airport

Saturday, March 1, 2008: This was a magical day at the beach. I drove onto the beach at Roosevelt Beach Road - 4 miles south of Pacific Beach. Another two miles driving south on the beach brings you to a stream issuing out of the Iron Springs Resort. I chickened out and crossed the stream on foot, but just after I saw another car cross easily.

Copalis Rock lies a further one mile south of Iron Springs. It is an entirely isolated seastack rock. The next one of its size is found 20 miles north on the Quinault Nation reservation at Point Grenville. To the south, I don't know where the next such rock might be - maybe not until Oregon.

The weather had turned out unexpectedly pleasant - mostly sunny with just enough clouds to make the sky interesting. This picture shows dozens of seagulls flying around the rock. There seems to be a colony nesting there.

I continued south to see some further small rocks scattered about the beach, and then I noticed a windsock in the distance. I had read about the Copalis beach airport, so I continued on to check it out.

The airport consists of a windsock, two signs explaining that this is indeed an airport ("elevation 1 foot"), and a container labeled "Guest Book". The guest book was missing. There were no airplanes to be seen this day. However, online I read that up to 75 planes may visit on a sunny, summer day.

I continued a bit further south to the Copalis River. This marks the boundary of Griffiths-Priday State Park, which I had visited the previous August and enjoyed wading in the river. This walk answered the question I had in my mind of whether there was another access point back to the road in this area. There is not, the river cuts off the last possibility.

So it was a two mile slog back to the car into the wind, which had now picked up and turned chilly. Did I mention that I was barefoot? I didn't want to ruin my shoes in crossing the stream. My feet felt like icy bricks at times, but it wasn't so bad as long as I kept moving. The sun was setting at this time and I snapped several more pictures of the rock, sky, ocean, and setting sun.

See more pictures at:
(Vacation rental beach house built in 2007: great ocean view, short walk to beach, 3 king beds)

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