Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to visit the Olympic Peninsula. The warm-weather visitors have all fled the scene, so the hardier winter visitors get solitude, silence, and, sometimes, snow. Sometime before noon, my nephew and I set out to see what the day would bring.
Blue skies, bare branches, and a light dusting of the white stuff begged for photographs to be taken. We obliged, sharing our finds on Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter.
And forget about buying a flocked Christmas tree. Nature has done those sad city-corner lots one way better. I’ll just use this in place of the expensive sad things they sell.
We drove down a plowed and sanded road and were rewarded with this view of the Hoh River.
The first coastal stop was, appropriately enough, First Beach, near La Push, famous for apparently being in some Twilight movie neither of us had seen (and never will). The beach was cool enough on its own, endless surf and even some hardy surfers trying to catch a wave.
Sea stacks line out from the bluff, and by the look of the waves, what’s still standing out there is pretty tough rock.
The driftwood is mostly huge logs, stripped to their essence by the pounding of the waves. It’s hard to believe these things washed down from the mountains and then ended up here.
I can’t decide if this one is a seahawk head or a weird alien with tiny arms reaching out to possess whoever gets close.
Some are sculptural and haunting.
We weren’t the only ones enjoying the sunshine despite the chill.
Before we left, we each built a cairn, carrying on my personal beach tradition.
Next up was Ruby Beach, where I’d been before, but it’s beautiful enough to take another look.
The half moon over the cliff was breathtaking.
And, yes, another cairn to mark our visit.
Last order of the day? A beach sunset back at Kalaloch, the kind of leisurely sunset that lasts long enough to really enjoy it.
The sun slowly sank into the west, turning the water and sand into gold.
And as the last light faded into the dusk, all that was left was the sound of the waves, endless surf on sand.
And that was the end of our perfect day.