And no, I’m not being crass. A “spit” is a beach landform located off coasts or lake shores. I didn’t know that either until last night when I looked it up.
Sunday, since I didn’t go to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park I decided to head east of Port Angeles to check out some other things. One place I stopped was the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge near Sequim (pronounced “Sqwim”), Washington.
After a brief walk on the primary trail I could look out over the spit (kind of a skinny peninsula – a VERY skinny peninsula) and see this lighthouse, probably 4 miles in the distance (the sign said 5+ but I had walked a ways from the parking lot).
I wasn’t about to march all the way out there so here are some photos I found online:
(Photo credit: lerrophotography.com flickr)
And if you want to see something really impressive, come out here before wildfire season starts and you may luck out on a clear day to see Mount Baker, which is 10,781 feet tall and, as the crow flies, 75 miles away, in the background:
(Photo credit: shootthesun.com)
I have seen several photos and paintings of this and apparently it is not trick photography or special effects. I also saw a similar photo of the Coast Guard base in Port Angeles, which is out on a peninsula, with Mount Baker in the background. Not too shabby, eh?
Mostly seagulls but here are some of the critters I saw on the estuary and bay while near downtown Port Angeles on Sunday:
This is a Brandt’s cormorant:
And this is an otter, probably a River Otter:
And more seagulls. I was amazed how smooth the water surface was, both on Sunday when I took these and on Monday morning before I left town to head over to Port Townsend. Some of these were on an estuary (near land, where fresh water meets salt water) and some were further out in the bay. I think the Strait of Juan de Fuca, in general, is not as rough as the Pacific (at least this far “inland”), plus the peninsula where the Coast Guard base is also helps protect the bar and harbor close to the city.
Sunday ended up being another low key day without much travel. The air quality was noticeable worse (I had heard on the radio that this would be the case) and I delayed my planned trip up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park because conditions up there didn’t look good in the morning and I completely lost sight of it by early afternoon. I am posting this Monday morning and today and tomorrow are “air quality alert” days so it doesn’t sound like things will improve until Wednesday at the earliest. A friend sent me an EPA Air Quality website and yesterday Seattle and Olympia were in Unhealthy status and Spokane was in Hazardous status! I plan to be in Spokane for 5 days over the Labor Day weekend so hopefully things improve before then, otherwise I will be spending my days indoors (getting caught up on blog posts).
I spent a good bit of the day Sunday down along the water in Port Angeles.
This was from an observation platform on the west side of town. It overlooks an estuary where there several (but not an overwhelming number) of seagulls, Canadian geese and an occasional cormorant hanging around.
Out in the bay I could see a Coast Guard ship docked:
To the west there were a few large ships docked, and there is a large building where a company which builds yachts is based:
I hung out there for quite a while, just watching the birds fly and float on the water. There were also huge schools of fish which came close to the shore and I could see them just below the surface of the water. They created a very subtle ripple effect on the surface, which is what drew my attention to them. I am going to post some bird and critter pictures in another post.
After a while I walked a few blocks east to another observation platform and to where the ferry dock is. Later in the day a large ferry, the Coho, arrived, unloaded it’s passengers and vehicles and loaded a set which was waiting to go north into Canada.
This location also gave me a nice view of part of the downtown business district.
And also a view of a small fishing boat, docked near where the ferry port was.
Saturday as I drove out to Cape Flattery on this nice scenic road I saw this bald eagle perched at the top of a tree overlooking the Strait.