Ruby Beach

Two of the biggest draws to the Pacific Northwest for me are the weather and proximity to water. Once I started planning my vacation, I knew it had to include time away from the cities and on the water. Despite the extra expense, I decided to rent a car and drive from Portland to the Olympic National Forest prior to heading to Seattle. I didn't have a plan in mind other than knowing I wanted to drive along the coast (US-101 N) and make a stop in Forks (Twilight nerd over here). After a couple hundred miles of driving solo, my legs (and bladder) started to get antsy, I pulled over at a random spot along the coast. It happened to be Ruby Beach.

My photos do the place no justice. I don't think I've ever seen a place so unadulterated by civilization. The seemingly infinite Pacific Ocean flanked one side and soaring evergreens and their fallen brethren lined the other with ancient rocks filling the space in between. I came across a dozen or so people, but the sounds of the ocean and the thick fog that hung above it seemed to dampen any human made sounds. The slow, rhythmic crashing of the waves were like music to my soul. I felt instantly calm and was in a meditative like state. I thought about everything and nothing as the sights, sounds, and smells of the beach invaded my senses. For awhile, I walked along the shore and did a little hiking nearby, but mostly I just stood at the shoreline, soaking in the awe inspiring beauty. In the future, I hope to bring Merle back with me, both as a child to explore the unfamiliar terrain and marine wildlife and as an adult to experience its reflective quality. If you plan on visiting western Washington, I highly, highly recommend taking a day to enjoy Ruby Beach and the rest of the Olympic National Forest. The beach will likely continue to be there for centuries, telling the stories of its human visitors.

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