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Journeys Through America is a nonprofit organization providing educational material for all school-aged children across the country. The program will form partnerships with local school districts to provide children with a new, interactive, educational experience integrating the history of America and its National Parks. Journeys Through America's goal is to foster a fun and adventurous learning environment that will promote altruistic growth within our children and our greater community.

Olympic National Park: Shi Shi Beach

By Sep 1st 2010 No Comments »

On our way to Shi Shi beach in Washington we stopped at one of the most beautiful and memorable Recreation Areas I have ever been to., Salt Creek Recreation Area in Port Angeles.

Salt Creek is home to some of the most exceptional tide pools in the Northeast. Unfortunately Ash and I missed low tide and failed to see the starfish, sea cucumbers, sea anemones and other sea life that would have been on display for us.  Even though we missed the tide pools I was not let down. We walked along the rocky cliffs overlooking the awe-inspiring ocean which gave way to crystal clear views of Victoria, British Columbia! The clear view of Victoria, took me back to clear days on the beach in Falmouth, Cape Cod with my family looking out at Martha’s Vineyard.  While taking in the breathtaking scenery, we were joined overhead by a magnificent Bald Eagle! It was the perfect scene.

If you are ever in the area I would highly recommend a visit here, or even plan your stay at one of their 92 campsites! It was the perfect stop for us before arriving to our next stop, Shi Shi Beach!

Shi Shi Beach in Olympic National Park., A hidden gem and an overnight I will definitely do again. Though it takes some mandatory steps to get you there, the journey is well worth it.

First, you will need to get the Olympic National Park permit and bear canisters in Port Angeles. Then stop in Neah Bay for a Makah Lands permit.  Finally, for peace of mind pay $10.00 a day fee to park on private land rather than at the trail head where break-in risks are unfortunately high.

After securing your permits, you are ready to take off into the lush forest and embark on the 1.75 mile trail to the beach! The trail was full of abundant swinging vines and trees with heavy moss. It had a magical feel to it. I completely let my senses go and embraced the senses and new environment around me. The cool air on my skin, the warmth from the rays of the sun breaching through the tops of the trees and the sounds of distant winds and birds- I was fully taking in the serenity of where I was.

At times the trail was extremely muddy, (so I recommend boots) however the trail brought me back to the scene in the movie The Labyrinth, the part with the Bog of Eternal Stench. The Bog regularly emits unpleasant gurgles, belches, and other noises, and sends forth an excrescent odor. Brackish muddy fluids and bubbling openings surround the area, and sunken tree branches poke out from the horrid depths. Legend has it that if you put as much as one toe in the Bog you will smell bad… FOREVER! This was going through my head as I hopped from log to log and stone to stone ever so carefully, not to fall into the Eternal Stench.

After making it across the ‘Bog of Stench’ and across cedar-planked boardwalks and bridges, we made it to our final destination for the night… Shi Shi beach.

After setting up our tent amongst a few other scattered tents along the beach, I was able to fully embrace the raw beauty of this wilderness beach. Even amongst arriving to the beach with a cloud of fog cover, I was taken away at its splendor and majesty.  I was able to feel its soft sand and taste the salt water. The fog added a certain mystique over the beach and water, instead of frowning upon it, I embraced it. I let the eerie haze consume my mind.

As we walked along the surf we heard baby seals off in the distance. At certain moments we were able to make out their bodies moving in the waves.

The rest of the afternoon was a lazy one, fully taking in where we were. As we settled for dinner, I was in bliss. I was sitting in the soft sand, my back against a log, sleepily gazing into the red fire and looking past it onto the magnificent ocean. It was a Pacific sunset I’ll remember for a longtime, and a magical place I will be returning to!

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