Tag Archives: Third_Beach


I am leaving this Sunday afternoon to hike in the nearby Eagle Cap Wilderness with Bob Carter.  The mornings and evenings now have an autumn tingle with lows in the forties. These are the temperatures at 2700 feet; we will be camping at 6700 feet. I find I no longer look forward to the “vigor” of cold mornings.  I would just as soon be instantly comfortable when I wake up.  

Yet I realize that I need this discomfort to keep my mind/body from contracting and getting smaller; to challenge it with what is new.  Similarly, I need the continual stretching that Bible passages and my relationship with God and Christ give me as I interact with others. My life is static and dull without the journey into the ever renewing newness of His mystery and joy.

Third Beach, La Push (click this one to enlarge the text)

Mt Harris, Grande Ronde Valley OR

The rugged, wild Olympic coast of Washington, from Shi Shi sea stacks to Third Beach waterfall

Several weeks ago, my PCT hiking partner, Bob, and I dropped Troop 514 Boy Scouts at Camp Parsons on the Hood Canal in Washington State. While waiting to take them home a week later, we explored the coast and the rainforest of the Olympic Peninsula.

We have not hiked such a wild coast line before.  We only hiked about twenty five miles  of the available seventy three miles on the beach and forest, but indeed it was far, far different from our usual mountain terrain. We experienced continual rain and fog, with occasional sunshine. Most of the hiking needed to be at low tide, so knowing the tide tables was crucial.  At that, we had to use ropes to pull ourselves up and let ourselves down the steep trails that went up and over the headlands that jutted far enough into the ocean that beach passage, even at low tide, was impossible.

The challenge was stimulating, we enjoyed it, but we also enjoyed changing our camping routine once in a while and drying out in a motel 🙂 The sea stacks, eroded by constant rain and wind, were dramatic from Shi Shi beach in the north at Neah Bay, to Ruby Beach in the south.  La Push, on the Quileute Indian reservation, offered up Third Beach, a delightful place we would like to return to and camp.

The photography was far different from what I was used to.  I kept hoping for spectacular sunsets.  Instead, I changed my vision to see more in black and white and accept the opportunities for simplicity that the fog offered.

Avala Beach. Bob hiking past one of the beach challenges.  Note his umbrella.

Third_Beach, La_Push

Third_Beach, La_Push

Ruby_Beach, Olympic_coast

Bob using rope to descend around a headland

Rialto_Beach, Olympic_Coast

Ruby_beach sea stacks in black and white

Ruby_Beach sea stacks in foggy color

Shi_Shi_beach, Neah_Bay

Shi_Shi_beach, Neah_Bay
Avala_beach, Olympic_coast

There is a wideness in God’s mercy

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
like the wideness of the sea;
there’s a kindness in his justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is welcome for the sinner,
and more graces for the good;
there is mercy with the Savior;
there is healing in his blood.

For the love of God is broader
than the measure of man’s mind;
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful,
we should take him at his word;
and our life would be thanksgiving
for the goodness of the Lord.

Words: Frederick William Faber, 1862

Shi_Shi_beach, Olympic_National_Park, Neah_Bay

Third_Beach, La Push, Olympic_National_Park