<< A Farmers' Market Update

06/29/15 - Rialto Beach, Northwest Cool

It has been hot lately, at least by local standards, so we decided to go to the beach. We went a few hours before low tide and joined the tourist throngs heading west on route 101. Our destination was Rialto Beach, and it was wonderful.

The drive was bright and sunny, but as we approached the coast on route 110, we saw a looming gray band of Pacific fog with its slightly bruised purplish color. The sky stayed sunny as we passed the Mora ranger station, but as we neared the coast, the sky turned gray. We stepped out of our car in the parking lot and were blasted by an icy wind that cut through our light clothing. Luckily, we never clean out the back of our car, so we had some nice warm coats handy. We needed them.

We hiked north along the coast, through the fog, passing ghostly driftwood and crunching our way across banks of rocks and gritty sand. We knew there were sea stacks and a headland ahead, but the fog was too thick to see far. It was delightful. Given the cold, we were worried about crossing Ellen Creek about a mile north of the parking lot. We usually had to wade, and we were cold already. Luckily, Ellen Creek was covered with sand, so we could cross dry shod.

Then the sea stacks appeared through the mist, and we were clambering on rocks and looking for anemones. Then we spotted the starfish. That was great news. Two years ago a plague wiped out every last starfish in the area. This was the first one we had seen in the wild since then. It looked healthy enough clinging to the rocks. We made our way to the headland. There were mussels and anemones and even another starfish. The best thing of all, though, was the Northwest Cool.

If you want to experience Northwest Cool, come in the morning. By mid-afternoon the mist starts lifting, and the heat of the day starts to seep in.

Pacific mist and driftwood

A mysterious beach

Sea stacks

More driftwood and gray skies

A double eagle

A starfish!

The headland

Sea stacks

Another view with a bit of blue sky

Exploring the headland

Another starfish