Silver Creek Garden

passion and obsession for gardening, food, and living lightly

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The more you grow your own food, the harder it is to get away, even for a short time.  We recently had a 4 day window to ‘do something’, but the timing wasn’t the best.  We had tomato and pepper starts that needed water every day when sunny- who would take care of them?

tomato/pepper seedling

Tomatoes and peppers waiting to be planted.

But we couldn’t pass up the chance for a get away. So, even though there was a slight chance of frost, we planted all of them out in the hoophouses.

For 15 or more years, we have been hoping to get a chance to visit Olympic National Park- the beaches.  Every time we’ve had the time, the weather did not cooperate.  This time, the weather forecast was perfect, so we took the chance and went, leaving our fledgling seedlings to cope with the cold.  We knew, chicks were arriving on Friday, we needed to get away before livestock tied us down.


In the ground!

Over the years, we’ve found that these cold sensitive plants are pretty tough, as long as they have some cover.  The hoophouses provide them protection from radiant frost, even though the air temps can get pretty low.

So we set off on Earth Day (DH’s birthday) for the Olympic peninsula.  Our plan was to visit Kalaloch, on the southern part of the park.


Kalaloch beach

A beautiful, flat sandy beach that stretches for miles along the coast.  The campground was pretty, too, with several sites with views (all taken). We grabbed a site in the woods with gnarled trees, very private and magical.  Since we weren’t exposed to the ocean, the breeze didn’t make such an impact on temperatures.  We had a short trail to a private spot on a bluff above the beach, so it was the best of both worlds. One of the beaches we wanted to hike was Ruby Beach, just to the north. This is often cited as the most photogenic beach on the coast. It lived up to its reputation, although the north end of the beach required a wade to visit.  I ended up with very wet feet for the rest of the hike.  We did enjoy the solitude, as not many were willing to get wet to venture here.

The hike down to Ruby Beach

The hike down to Ruby Beach


We saw lots of eagles on the coast. The zoom lens helped capture this one.

Our next stop was Beach 4 on the way back to Kalaloch.  Here we found great tidepools filled with green anenomes along with pale yellow anenomes with purple tipped tentacles.  We also got a glimpse of a sea otter frolicking in the surf. Great geology here, too, with tilted rock beds eroded into stripes.


Green anenome with their cousins, purple tipped anenome

After another great camp meal and a snug night in our tent, we packed up and headed north to La Push.  I had heard about and seen photos of Second Beach, and wanted to see it for myself.  We found the unmarked trailhead and started off.  Much to our surprise, this beautiful beach is also pretty small, just an hour to hike to the end and back, even stopping to take lots of pictures.

Second Beach south of LaPush.

Second Beach south of La Push.

Trillium at Mora

Trillium at Mora Camp

  So up and over the headland we went back to our car, and continued on to find a campsite at Mora.  Then out to Rialto beach for an afternoon hike.  Bad idea- Rialto at high tide is not a fun hike.  After our walks on packed sand, the coarse pebbles that shift underfoot were not welcome!  stopped at Ellen Creek, but DH crossed and went on for a little more scenery.  Then back to camp, where we walked the closed loops of the campground looking at (and photographing) all the beautiful woodland flowers.

The next morning after packing up camp, we visited Rialto beach one more time, this time at low tide.  What a difference!  Easy walking, very moody lighting with marine clouds overhead.

Then onward to Port Townsend to catch the ferry home.  Delighted to find all our tomatoes and peppers had survived our absence quite well. And the kitties were unable to hold a grudge about their first time being left outside for very long after getting to go back inside the house.