Friday, March 12, 2010

Walking south from Taholah until the beach disappears

My goal this day was to walk south from Taholah along the beach as far as possible towards Point Grenville. This photo shows the end point of the beach hike. You can see Point Grenville from the north side, but you are stopped from approaching further because the waves here are beating against the cliff. It looks like it would be possible to get around that nearest point on a low tide. This was a fairly high tide.

This was an amazingly beautiful and interesting hike. First of all, we had the beach almost to ourselves - just a few people out near the town and some teens hanging out near another beach entrance road. Secondly, the terrain is very interesting. Down around Copalis Beach, Pacific Beach, and Moclips the cliffs look permanent - like they haven't changed in years. Here south of Taholah, huge chunks of the cliffs have fallen off. In fact, in some places there is a constant stream of sand and small rocks running down, and you get the idea that the massive cliff above you is not so stable. A couple times I moved the kids along quicker or told them to walk nearer to the waves.

The next most exciting thing we encountered on this walk was a dead seal. I startled an eagle as I approached and it flew off in a hurry. The eagle had eaten out the eyes and was working on the brain next. On the return walk we noticed two bald eagles waiting patiently on the top of a dead tree - 200 feet up the cliff and another 200 feet up the tree. They were waiting for us to pass so they could get back to their meal.

The weather was marvelous - sunny and near 60 degrees in the first week of March (3/6/2010). We walked about four miles round trip, which is quite arduous over beach sand. We returned to the town after five hours accompanied by a beautiful sunset.