Monday, April 15, 2013
TROWBRIDGE TREK to SHI SHI BEACH
Every summer I look forward to treks into the Olympic Rain Forest wilderness where Mrs. Trowbridge once lived. My last trip was to Shi Shi Beach, on the Pacific Coast in Washington State, a stretch of coastline considered to be the most rugged and untamed on the West Coast.
The above view from atop the 150-foot high bluff overlooking the beach offers the first glimpse of this fantastical realm. There are more sea stacks here than anywhere on the West Coast
As we hiked southward along the 2.3-mile long crescent shaped beach toward Point of Arches, I kept an eye out for a patch of forest just off the beach where I could begin sketching, and writing the words you are now reading. I found the perfect spot that you see above. It was almost as if a little patch of pristine forest had been prepared for me. I'm writing this in longhand while sitting on the log in the foreground. The grass in front of me looks almost like the domesticated grass in my back yard. The large-leaf plants growing from the grass are Devil's Club (Oplopanax horridus). The steep high bank begins abruptly, where you see the sword ferns (polystichum munitum) growing. The entire hillside above is an enormous sword fern garden.
There was a purpose for our trek to Shi Shi. I have suspected that Mrs. T and her family visited Shi Shi on their summer treks to the shore over 200 years ago. I have seen a number of her sketches that resemble the features of Shi Shi Beach so I wanted to see the beach for myself to confirm my belief that she was here many years ago.
Shi Shi Beach is not just another beach. One visit is all it takes to realize that this is a very special place. As part of the Olympic National Park, Shi Shi Beach is an Unesco World Heritage Site. The Travel Channel named it the "best nature beach". And it was declard one of the Top Five Wilderness Beaches in the World.
Next episode: Point of Arches at Shi Shi Beach
Have you seen my other blog? It's called Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy