We live on a heavily wooded peninsula. It is nearly surrounded by the sea except for a small land mass on the South/Central end. We are connected to “modern times” by ferries and bridges. It’s a different, but special, life style that we have chosen for retirement. We enjoy the geography and wildlife here. We look for a new trail to hike each week. Sometimes the trails are recommended by friends or guide books, other times we find them by poking around on our own.
Our last hike was suggested by my husband, who was researching something unrelated to hiking; the history of a really bad winter storm that destroyed some amateur radio antennas and sunk the Hood Canal floating bridge in 1979. Near the site of the station and the remaining antenna tower relics is a coastal sanctuary located in Foul Weather Bluff Preserve.
The hike started through a forest of large standing trees plus snags and logs, evidence of foul weather events, covering its floor. Something else was there too…survivor trees. There must be a forestry term for trees that have continued to thrive on the debris of their predecessors (anyone know?) There were several sprouting up from fallen trees and one literally suspended in a horizontal position.
The trail lead us to the bluff itself, where madrona trees appear perched to dive into the water. An entry trail onto the beach had a view of Skunk Bay, the Olympic Mountains to the West and the Cascade Mountains in the distant North East.
Being a preserve, the trail and beach were filled with birds and sea creatures. The tide was way out, as required to actually walk on the beach, and there were many interesting things to see; oysters, clams, mussels (or their intact shells) and sea anemones. Anemones on the beach look very different from when they are under water. Instead of waving their feelers, they squirt if you walk too close. There were large piles of dead sand dollars stranded on the beach when the tide went out. In addition, there was a multitude of open iridescent purple shells – recent snacks for the shore birds.
We enjoy living close to the sea and a variety of hiking trails. This one was a favorite. I think I’ll let my husband recommend some other trails for us to explore! Where is your favorite place to walk or hike?