After we settled down in our new Mora Campground spot, we took the short 5 minute drive to Rialto Beach. This is a favorite for those who wish to tent/backpack camp along the beach here in Olympic National Park.
Those type of campers head north, because to the south is La Push, and that is part of the Quileute Nation, the Quileute Indian Tribe.
Although there are many nice rock features out in the ocean and some along the beach during low tide…there is also a bunch, and I mean a bunch, of huge piles of driftwood logs piled up along the top of the beach.
This is a crowd favorite, the hole-in-the-wall which, as it is shown here, very accessible during low tide. During high tide, especially with high surf, you are going to get a bit wet.
Our next stop was just across the Quillayute River (above) to La Push, which is a 12 mile, 20+ minute drive to the east, south, and back to the west…unless one wants to swim. (do you know how cold that water is?)
Anyway, just a short distance from Rialto Beach on our way over there we came to a turnout where one could see the Quillayute River…and we stopped…and something caught my eye out in the river.
Three Otters! They were just playing and playing and bothering the ducks, and having a ball. I guess someone forgot to tell them how cold the water was.
After we went over to La Push, we came back to the turnout and I was able to get some shots of the ducks…but the otters were no where to be seen.
Both Marcia and I captured this Blue Heron flying across the river. I thought since we both got it, I would use both shots. On our way back to the campground there is a small pond to the north of the road and I saw a beaver swimming in the water…but before we could get the camera out, he went under and was gone.
Over in La Push we didn’t know what to expect…and what we found was a fairly clean city, some older homes, a few restaurants, a marina, and gorgeous views of the ocean. This is where the River enters into the Pacific. The same rock structures we saw at Rialto have a different look and feel from this side of the river.
I am really liking the panoramic feature of the camera…and to capture that bird, yes it is only one bird, and have it turn into three birds is something else. We really enjoyed the views from La Push, and we are contemplating spending a day or two camping over there near the beach at $40 per night…but they have no openings until Sunday, and just not sure we want to hang around this area that long.
Above are two of my favorite shots of the day that I took…both with the older camera too. We are fortunate to have two good cameras.
Marcia was so impressed with this area, she got out of the car and walked on rocky/grass to take a few shots too. Here she got one looking over the River at the Rialto Beach area, capturing the clouds which hung over the inland just 10 miles or so in. Early when we arrived at Mora Campground, she said, “If the sun does not shine today, you might not live another day…”, or something like that. When we were traveling along the Oregon coast back in 2012 she was going nuts after a week plus of no sunlight.
I think we could have stayed there along the beach parking lot for the entire day…except there were a bunch of people around. So back to the campground we went. But I would be amiss if I did not talk a bit about the Quileute Indian Tribe. The Quileute are a Native American people who number around 2,000 people. They settled this area, where their reservation is located, after a treaty signed in 1855. Under 400 Quileute live on the reservation today. In years past, they were great whalers, and great fishermen. Fictionalized version of the tribe is featured in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Members of the Quileute tribe are shape-shifters (mainly wolves) and hate the vampires. Meyer’s books are centered on the town of Forks Washington, which is very close to where we are. Told much in real Quileute folklore, the Quileutes descended from wolves…hence Meyer’s use of them shape-shifting into wolves. From our brief encounter with them, they are a proud and happy people, they have a good tourist industry, and lovely area to live.
The Mora Campground is another no reservation, dry camping area in Olympic National Park. The sites are nice, but unlike yesterday, we are back amongst the “group camping” thing. There are 5 different loops, we are in loop C. We got here so early that we had a hard time to find a spot…but by the time we got back from our trip over to La Push, there were only 2 camping spots open in the entire park, one across from us now being used by a motorcyclist from San Francisco, and one down the way which was gobbled up by one of two cars which passed by as this guy was checking in…this was around 4 pm. So you have to be quick and on top of things if you want to get into these parks along the coast.
These two panoramic shots show how we are up against a wall of forest, and open to a lot of road, people and noise. But hey, it could be way worse…you got to love these National Park Camping Sites.
I realized with the change to August I had forgot to put the pink ribbon on the pictures…sorry mom, but we still love you. See you in a few weeks.