Third Beach and Cape Flattery

In the morning, I decided to visit Third Beach near Fork where Stefan and Astrid had seen the eagles. Again, I started early, 6AM, to hike down the 3 miles to the rocks and logs before the beach. There were several groups who had spent the night on the beach. Two of the young men said there had been four eagles around high tide the afternoon before. I wasn’t expecting to see the eagles who move up and down the coast, but I had hopes, after a while, I gave up, moving on to Cape Flattery, the western-most spot in the lower 48 states. To my surprise, on the drive, I saw eagles. None that I could get a picture of, I was driving, but there they were, also ravens and, perhaps, vultures, besides the sea birds, and song birds. One raven cut in front of me, then trapped by the trees lining the trees, feverously flapped his wings trying to escape. I slowed, but with no opening, he was tiring, until finally a space opened. The poor bird escaped.

The path down to Cape Flattery is short, 1.2 miles and 300 feet, much of it one wooden steps, paths and platforms. At the end of the trail, you can feel the waves crashing into the caves beneath, about 200- feet down to the water, or so they say. It always seemed to be someone coming down the wooden path when I thought I could feel the waves. One of the men there said the waves vibrated his camera on its tripod. Unable to get a steady picture, he had to hold the camera in his hands.

If you are brave enough, or foolish enough, you can leave the platform out to the westernmost edge of the lower 48 states. I did, but drew the line at tapping the edge with my hiking stick, which reminds me:

I broke one of my ultra-lite hiking poles, slammed it in a car door in a second of inattention. It looked OK, but when I tested it, snap! At Cape Flattery, a local Native American artist had left some hiking poles he had carved from wood and that he had left by the trailhead on the honor system for $5. I picked one out but it had a small plastic, damn, peace sign decoration. A young couple laughed, “too hippy, for you?” “My hippy days were 50 years ago,” I replied. I thought about cutting the peace symbol off, but the decided that would violate the spirit of his work, so when it isn’t a serious hike, I now carry a new, hand-carved, Age-of-Aquarius, hiking stick.

The panoramas are top to bottom: Third Beach, the view from the platform at the end of the Trail (westernmost point), and along the drive to Neah Bay.

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