Hiking, National Parks & Monuments, State Parks, Olympic National Park, United States, Washington, Waterfalls, Work Travel Life

PNW Teaser – Part 3: Marymere Falls, Ruby Beach, Kalaloch Beach, and Ocean Shores

When there are just too many photos for one post…

Continuing where we left off in Part 2… Marymere Falls!

Janice expertly squeezed our wide body sports car into one of the last spots in the crowded parking lot at the Storm King Ranger Station, and we set off for a three mile hike among gigantic trees.

The hike to Marymere Falls is very popular, and we definitely did not have any solitude! But it wasn’t too bad. The viewpoints of the falls were probably the worse.
At the Storm King Ranger Station they had the passport stamp outside and available!
The trail crosses under Highway 101 shortly after leaving the ranger station
The amazing branches of a gigantic tree covered in moss!
Walking among giants in the sunshine
Soaking in all the things that are so unusual to me since we simply don’t have forests like this in Wyoming!
Exhibit A on how to feel small in the world
I like big trees and I cannot lie, you other tree huggers can’t deny
The point where the hike gets “hikey” as we crossed Barnes Creek and begun a steep ascent to the two view points for Marymere Falls. Janice accused me of making her “fitness.” Hell, I was making myself fitness, and I wasn’t ready for that!
The 90 foot cascade of Marymere Falls! So magical, but crowded!
Marymere Falls
The moss is just incredible!
We found some really really really big leaves!

Hiking at sea level is awesome, and we cranked the hike out round trip in 1 hour 12 minutes, which isn’t shabby! Overall, it is mostly flat, minus a very steep pitch to get to the waterfall view points. And I realized I finally became that person and hiked in Chacos.

We stopped to admire Lake Crescent on the way back to the car, with its ultra blue waters

While hiking the wheels in my head began to spin on the time we had left if we wanted to watch the sun set in Ocean Shores, and what we had left on the itinerary. I tentatively asked Janice about how she felt about leaving out Rialto Beach and heading straight to Ruby Beach, and much to my relief she was on board. Back in the car we went, through the trees and over some hills! We made a brief stop in Forks for road trip snacks and caffeine, amping ourselves up for beaches to come.

Leif, our Tree Star road trip partner, was beginning to get a bit shriveled

Y’all! Ruby Beach… oh my goodness! The rocky, pebble shores… the driftwood… THE SEA STACKS! I was in heaven! I’m an oddity for many reasons, but one is in the fact I prefer rocky, cold, and moody ocean views compared to typical tropical beach vibe everyone flocks to… and Ruby Beach had this. Janice was rendered speechless, and I was so relieved to be back on a rocky beach in cooler temperatures as it had been way too long (since January 1, 2020, to be exact!). I’m not sure why we ever left Ruby Beach to be honest, as we slave away in our cubicles as you read this…

Behold, Ruby Beach!!!!!!!!
Sea stacks, all the sea stacks! And Abbey Island, which wasn’t an island when we visited thanks to tide apparently being out.
Destruction Island and the lighthouse. Construction on the lighthouse began in 1890 and it was finally turned off for good in 2008. Crazy enough, the island is 3.5 miles off the coast, and is actually quite big!
Hello, Pacific Ocean!!! This was my northernmost trip to date to the Pacific
Abbey Island
Trolls that turned to stone when sunlight hit them? Or am I in the wrong country for that?
We found this arch and of course I posed all weird with it!
Passing through the arch leads you to this absolutely magical spot
Looking southward
The lighting and clouds above Destruction Island started to do fantastic things!
We explored the driftwood whilst waiting for my turn to sit on the sea stack
How was this real life?! Also, I realize how much I’ve been pushed out of comfort zones and am willing to do more things that should normally scare me, like climb up a big, slippery rock above water!
Little bits of life on the sea stack I was sitting on
We have now dubbed these “beach chickens.” You’re welcome! Look at its little knee caps!!!!
A nice sea stack with a hole
One last capture of Destruction Island

Regrettably, we finally did drag ourselves away from Ruby Beach, and drove a short ways to Kalaloch Beach.

We don’t see many of these signs from where we come from! The next day I’d spend time researching the United States’ tsunami warning system as we started fretting about how we would know to start running away from the coast. “Would they send out a warning like an Amber Alert to our phones?” “Yeah, I’m guessing something like that!” “I haven’t had service this whole trip…”
Back into the rainforest we go
Out of the rainforest and back to the coastline!

Apparently the Kalaloch Beach is split up and numbered, but we accessed whatever beach is right by the campground. Contrasted to Ruby Beach, it was sandy and didn’t have the rocky sea stacks (at least at the part of the beach we visited). However, there was the “Tree of Life,” a sitka spruce whose roots are totally exposed, but yet it just keeps on living. Just one of those wonderful displays of Mama Earth’s resiliency!

The beach access at the Kalaloch Campground
A little less rocky, but still having a moody vibe!
The sitka spruce that is defying logic… The Tree of Life
Another view of Destruction Island

Finally it was time to hit the road to our final destination, Ocean Shores. We had originally looked at staying around Astoria, Oregon, but lodging was pricey, and now looking at how exhausting our day was, I am happy we opted to not drive all the way to Oregon! (And happy we forewent Heidi’s Inn as when we drove past it the next day, it was hella sketchy.)

Mostly an inside joke, but we were happy to get a photo of the sign for Queets!
Janice has Queets, I have Humptulips
Hard to believe we had just left the beach, and was heading towards another beach!

We stayed at the most charming little hotel on the beach, Ocean Shores Resort. We checked in, put on some warmer layers, and headed out for our “night” on the town…

Our dinner plans went mostly like this:
“Let’s just do McDonalds.” – Janice
“I LOVE BIG MACS!!” – Heidi

Why waste time in a restaurant when there’s a sunset on yet another beach?! What was even cooler is you can drive on the beach at Ocean Shores, so our little red sports car got to come along for the adventure. I was in awe of the setting sun and dramatic cloudscapes. Janice amused herself with jellyfish, and I freaked out thinking one was in my Chaco, and literally kicked off the sandal in her direction while screaming that she needed to check my foot for a jellyfish. Don’t you all wish you could travel with me?! LOL!

Ocean Shores Resorts has freshly remodeled rooms
Big Mac, Leif the now shriveled Tree Star, Ocean Shores Beach, Dodge Challenger. Do you need more in life, honestly?
These beach chickens were really after my fries
Probably the best photo this bird has ever had taken of itself!
Freaking magical
Just… wow.
“Take a photo of me walking pensively”
Cheers, and goodnight from Ocean Shores!

Our final night of the trip was upon us, and it was quickly to bed with sand stuck to my toes for another early wakeup to squeeze in all we could before a late flight home.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s