Rialto Beach is a magic, mystical place, pulsating with energy from wind and waves. When we got out of the car, the pounding of the surf was almost scary. And, yes, conditions are ripe here for tsunamis. There are even signs warning of them. The beach is part of Washington state’s Olympic National Park, a sliver that hugs the coastline, while most of the park is a few miles inland. Rialto is littered with driftwood, but not the branches and limbs I’m used to from my childhood vacation days on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. While some of the wood here is smallish, much of it is huge, including whole trees that have washed down the Hoh River and other tributaries and, finally, into the Pacific Ocean.
There are fewer big ones now than there used to be, because the logging areas keep being moved. In the old days, we learned, there were a good number of hollowed out trees you could walk into! That’s no longer the case, but you can still poke your head in a few. Have you ever put your head up in a tree? It’s quite special. I love the look of rocks and pebbles being stuck in the wood with the surf. It’s like the tree is accessorizing.
All the wood and pebbles, from tiny to golf-ball size and bigger were glistening in the surf and the omnipresent rain. We walked and walked, but didn’t have time to reach the famed Hole in the Wall. Another time, perhaps.
I’ve collected heart-shaped stones for many years, and on the beach here not only did I find a perfect one, but Wessel found me a small heart of wood that is a bit of a stretch for a heart, but just qualifies. Then he found a massive one. It was so beautiful that it clearly belonged to nature, not me, so we took only photos, not the heart itself. Oh hell, the truth is that had I been driving instead of flying I would have carted the thing home. It was a beauty. But I have my two smaller samples to gaze at and relive our wonderful walk on Rialto Beach.