Cape Flattery – Northwest Tip of US

Well, technically the northwest tip of the US was our aim today: Cape Flattery.  In fact, I decided a new item to add to our bucket list, standing on all 4 corners of the US, so now we can check off the Northwest corner.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I really wanted to go to a tide pool, but low tide was around 1-2 pm when we were in the middle of doing another activity or not close enough.  We had a late start this morning and we’re driving over an hour away.  I had read that the small fishing villages of Clallam Bay and Sekiu had great seafood restaurants so we headed there for lunch on the way.  There was one restaurant in each town and they both served burgers or fish and fries.  We grabbed halibut sandwiches, although they confessed the fish was not local.  There was a small marina for fishing boats and a Visitor’s center but for future, we’d just drive through both towns without stopping.  Now that we had fueled up, we passed Shipwreck Point just at low tide.  Finally!  This was one of the sights I was really excited about in WA.  750_5216I kid you not, we started making our trek across the beach and onto the first few rocks in search of a pool when Mark had to make an emergency pit stop.  Off he went in search of an elusive restroom. I chose to stay put, binoculars on one hand to watch for otters, seals, and whales (saw none), and camera in the other hand.  Hopping from seaweed covered rock to rock, I discovered plenty of crabs and hermit crabs, a few baby fish, and that’s it.  I was hoping for urchins or anemones or starfish, but didn’t see any.  Not sure if our spot wasn’t quite right or if I didn’t go out far enough or what.  Mark came back to get me after half an hour of finding a bathroom and we were back on the road.  We crossed through Makah Indian Reservation where you have to buy a $10 pass to park on their land.  I have never been on an Indian reservation, other than being in Indian casinos in CA and it wasn’t what I was expecting.  There were signs everywhere warning people about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, enough to know that it was really a big problem for this people.  I thought there would be more native gifts or displays or restaurants that would show the pride and history of this people.  What we did find, finally, was a small hole in the wall place that served fresh, homemade blackberry pie.  They were getting ready to close up for the night so we didn’t get to try the Indian fry bread, but we took 2 slices of pie back home and boy were they delicious!  After 2 weeks of blackberries lining every mile, this is still the first homemade pie we have seen anywhere.

We drove along Neah Bay and finally reached our half mile boardwalk trail through the forest.  When we first arrived at the lookout at the very northwest tip of the US (lower 48), it was pretty foggy all around us.  There were a few rocks and water caves we could see in the water to either side of us, but the pictures weren’t coming out great because of the heavy fog.  There wasn’t even a sign denoting our destination.  We stood and took some obligatory photos anyway and were there for about 10 minutes when all of a sudden the fog began to clear and Tatoosh Island slowly came into view.  Then we could see a rock just to the right of the island covered in lounging harbor seals.  The fog continued clearly and we could see the lighthouse on the island directly across from us.  It was spectacular to see how much the fog hid and how quickly and completely it came and went.  We were getting ready to head back when someone spotted a bald eagle perched on a nearby rock.  I’ve learned that bald eagles like to roost high. They sit close enough to be sighted with the naked eye, but just far enough that our longest camera lens fully zoomed only captures a fuzzy image.  We had not brought the tripod on this hike and regretted it.  We finally had our fill of amazement and turned back, satisfied with scenery and once again in awe of the incomparable beauty of Washington.

 

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