When we approach Port Angeles, we quickly see it is not a desirable destination. Although second homes scatter across Lake Crescent nearby and the grand entrance to Olympic National Park is in its backyard, the small town itself is one of those places that needs rescuing with all of the closed shops and for lease signs. It is a launching pad for exploration but it is lackluster in charm. I can’t imagine settling down and calling it home like our trailer park owners do in the Elwha area.
We were quick to find an area to lift our spirits that offered wide open views and spaces to explore. Salt Creek Recreation Area did not disappoint. We realize this is the place we should have camped. It is an area worthy of making a move from where we are set up, but there is not a site available. That’s the hardest part about camping -campers are just flat out organized and we are not. We booked our entire trip about five weeks ago when we got the green light to miss a little football training. The rest of the camping world mapped out their routes last year AND reserved their sites.
We have accepted we are lacking in the scheduling arena with three kids who are up to ten years apart. We are stretched. Even though we made major changes to be more deliberate and more focused, we can’t seem to do it all. We even forgot the name of the camp we booked in Idaho to cancel it when the boys found a better option on their way out. These campers facing the gorgeous water view of the Straight of Juan de Fuca have fueled us to try a little harder next time.
It took a little navigating around campsites to figure out where to access the beach, but WOW. It truly feels like we are at the end of the earth.
When the tide is out, anyone can walk across the sea stone and feel the slimy kelp, some of it shaped like octopus and scattered everywhere. Hermit crabs and others creatures are left in crevices, pining for the water that has retreated. Clams stretch out like pavers across a new patio. We are anxious to climb down and reach the beach and touch the Pacific Coast sand…a first for all of us.
Cleo goes wild for it and we quite literally cannot contain her excitement.
We spend the afternoon here with a picnic lunch and a kayak. We launch each of the kids in the kayak for a little trip around the shallow waters. Parker in particular looks like he could paddle out to the wide expanse and hit the deep water and never look back. He was born for the outdoors…we aren’t ready to let him get that far yet but we have no doubt he would survive.
The tide keeps pushing its way back to us. We are mindful of how the water keeps forcing us to hug the rocky cliff and our way down to the beach is now is fully submerged. The tide comes back in and restores everything to its original form. All of our tracks virtually gone, erased as the water washes across the sand. We give into nature’s ebbing and flowing and find a new way out, leaving the beach behind. We shake the water and sand off our feet, feeling refreshed. The hermit crabs and clams bask in the water washing back over them. A clean slate for us both.