Today we went to Rialto Beach, our most northwest point on this trip. Some 2826.77 miles as the crow flies from the other corner of the United States we visited last year! If you drive directly between the two it is 3,640 miles. We have covered a lot of ground!!
It was pretty thrilling to stand at this edge of the US and recall all of our time along the south and east edges of the US. We have made so many memories between the coasts and there are many more to be had. I hope that these travels will inspire the kids to explore the world on their own someday. Whether it is exploring new places near home or in some distant land I pray that they remain curious about the diversity of the land, animals, weather, people and experiences that await them around the next corner.
Ok, enough of the deep thoughts from Jack Handy…let’s get on with the beach!
Today we would be at the beach well before low tide so we could be sure to maximize our time exploring the tide pools. Being the land lubber I am I was somewhat clueless about tides and these tide pools. I briefly studied tides back in Galveston because Dacen did a science project on tides while we were there. But I missed the fact that in some locations there are two lows and two highs per day and that their height varies with the phase of the moon. It so happens we are not here during the most drastic high/low tides but it seems as though they would be low enough for us to see stuff in the tide pools. And what are these tide pools? I didn’t know if they were in the sand or in the rocks. Low tide was around 3:00 and we arrived at the beach around 11:00, so we had time to figure it out.
Parking lot was jam packed but as we were leaving from a lap around the lot a car left and we scored the spot. Dog in tow, we headed to the beach. Sort of similar to Ruby Beach except we had clear blue sky and the kids had their swim trunks and a change of dry clothes. Steph and I hunted for pebbles while the kids jumped the waves and took turns running with Sheba. We took a short break for lunch then decided to hike up the beach towards the Hole in the Wall (a famous rock with a hole in it).
The dog was allowed as far as Ellen Creek which was short of the rock outcropping we could see ahead and assumed was the Hole in the Wall. The kids and Sheba wanted to play in the creek as it dumped into the ocean but I wanted to check out this hole in the wall so I hoofed on ahead. When I arrived at the rocks it was nearing low tide and I found some pools of water in the rocks. And in the pools were these awesome green tentacled things…sea anemones!!! I texted Steph that I would come back to watch the dog but they should come and check it out. I snapped a few pics and hustled back.
Brielle was too tired so she stayed back with the me and the dog while Steph took the boys. We made a rock stack and then we made a miniature version of the raised streets of Seattle as Brielle hadn’t quite grasped how they had raised the streets (but now she gets it!!). Then I get a call from Steph that they’ve found star fish. So Steph jogs back to watch the dog while Brielle and I go check out the star fish. It was about a 1/2 mile from the creek to the Hole in the Wall but we made it at about the peak (or trough I guess) of low tide and we got to see and touch the star fish. It was super cool and the kids had a blast finding anemones, snails and crabs in the tide pools (all of which were in the rocks and not in the sand). I only wish all 5 of us could have enjoyed it together but we wanted to respect the rules of the beach and keep Sheba back at Ellen Creek. Turns out that everyone else and their brother do NOT respect those rules and take their dogs up to Hole in the Wall and several even had them off leash.
The 4 of us went back to the creek where the kids did a few boat races (floating little sticks or bark down the creek) before we mosied back to the truck. I am so glad we got to see those tide pools and all the great life within. I’d read about it and it sounded awesome but wasn’t sure where to find them or how good they would be at the less than optimal low tide they are having right now. I was totally amazed at the variety and vibrance of the sea life we saw just here on the fringe of the ocean…to think of what all lies beyond the fringe just blows my mind. Maybe some day I’ll get up the gumption to SCUBA!
Getting feet wet
Do you like my scarf
Brielle's stack with morter
On way to Hole in the Wall
Petting sea star
Searching for tide pools
Kids at Hole in the Wall
Steph at Hole in the Wall
Boat with rudder