Category Archives: Beach

New Stomping Grounds

032After two weeks of packing boxes and unpacking them again at my sister-in-law’s new place, we took a break to explore her “new stomping grounds.” The trail leading to the beach was a good two-mile walk through ungroomed forest (my favourite kind). This area, near Lacey, just north of Olympia, Washington, gets a LOT of rain in the winter and spring, as you can see by the moss on the trees.

The Hawks Prairie Trail is named after one of the local pioneers (pictured at the bottom of the information sign) and the area around it is preserved in as natural a state as possible.


Ivy is finding a lot of traces of scents left behind by other visitors.


The first glimpses of the ocean tugged at me as I hadn’t seen my beloved seashore for a couple of weeks.

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I could see the old wharf that, apparently, was once a busy loading and unloading place.


Now to get down to it….  An iron structure had been built to make it easier to descend to beach level.


I was impressed, but Ivy was not. She stopped in her tracks and would not budge.


Then I saw why. The gaps in the stairs were too big for her tiny feet.


Luckily, Ivy is tiny enough that she’s easily picked up, so she wasn’t deprived of her romp on the beach.



Who Goes There?

001The snow hangs onto branches like popcorn balls, but the sun is coming out and the snow must go. But before the serious melting began Sherlock Holmes discovered some interesting evidence at the beach.

??????????It seems that this beach was a very busy place overnight and the snow held onto the evidence long enough for a few photos by Mrs. Holmes.

Small creatures walked across the snow. Some kind of bird investigated the freshly exposed rocks and weeds.

??????????Checking out the seafood smorgasbord was a raccoon.

??????????Someone’s dog had gone for a run along the beach, too.

??????????A deer had gone by but the sun was already melting its print.

??????????But what could have made these large prints? We put a toonie in them to show the size. I measured the toonie, and it is about 1 and 1/8 inch in diameter, so the print had to be at least three inches across and a bit longer than that.

cougar [2] ??????????Any ideas? I have my suspicions, but I wonder if we have any tracking experts out there who might verify them. Seriously, it’s not a joke print that we made up. Could it be a cougar track? They’ve been known to walk along the beach to get out of the deep snow.

The snow will be gone in a jiffy. Two Canada geese flew over on their way to tell their friends that spring is on its way at last.



Our Europe trip was done and we were on our way home to the Queen Charlotte Islands, but our Greek suntans had already begun to fade.

“We can’t go home like this! Where could we go to have one more blast of sunshine before we go back to a winter of wind and rain?” Moments later the decision was made. “Hawaii, here we come.”

From London to New York, New York to Chicago, Chicago to San Francisco, San Francisco to Honolulu, Honolulu to Kauai, we traveled with short stops in between. We left London sometime Wednesday afternoon and arrived in Kauai late Thursday afternoon, but in fact it took much longer than that because we were flying west, playing catch-up with the clock.

When we landed in Lihue, on Kauai, we phoned around for a place to stay. How hard could it be? It was October, the off season. Wrong! It was Aloha Week! Every hotel, motel, and B&B was booked solid. We were on the last of a dollar’s worth of dimes (yes, those were the days when local calls cost a dime and you used those big payphones that hang on the wall or in cubicles for the convenience of Superman/Clark Kent. Remember those?) and used it to call the place that the cleaning lady at the airport suggested – Kahili Mountain Park. Yes, they had a place for us. We needed a car. Rent-a-Wreck was popular in those days and in this case they lived up to their name. (We returned it the next day for a more reliable wreck.)

And so, asleep on our feet, we coaxed the wreck up the mountain and collapsed in our new digs. It’s an indication of how tired I was that I didn’t care too much about the big spiders, lizards, and earwigs in the place. I just wanted a place to lay my head.

That’s our blue wreck with the door open.

img043Definitely a bad hair day the next day, so I’ve painted my head a lovely shade of green. But never mind. The main point of this photo is to show you our very rough camping set-up. Inside you can’t see the bare spring iron frame beds or the geckos on the ceiling, but you can see that we’re going to bbq something and have salad with it for supper that night.

img158aWe hung around the campsite through several cloudy days, but beach weather didn’t happen. Finally we went for a drive anyway. The road down the mountain to the beach ended in a beautiful drive through a tunnel of huge trees. Some, not shown on this photo, had giant philodendrons growing up their trunks. Beyond them were sugar cane fields. All new to us.

img044For that matter, I don’t think I had seen coconuts growing on a tree before, either.

img040At the end of this road, we were amazed to see the sun shining on a perfect beach. Day after day we came down the hill to the beach and laughed at our naiveté about the weather. It was always cloudy up by the mountain, and always sunny at the beach. That’s how it worked here.

At Poipu Beach we learned about body surfing.

img041We waded out through the waves and stood waist deep, waiting for a big wave to come. When it was almost on us we turned and swam for the beach, letting the wave catch us and scoot us in to shore.

That was great fun. Once or twice, the waves were extra big and I was pounded on the beach. Some skin was  sanded off my thighs, but still, I went back out, as did several others, to look for another pummeling.

A young man about my age stood nearby waiting for a wave. When the giant swept us up, I concentrated on not letting it break my back as it lifted my legs over my head. In the wildly frothing foam I stood up after another pounding in the sand. But wait! Where were my bikini bottoms? Fortunately the foam was still boiling at least thigh high as I shrank into an instant crouch and retrieved my bikini from my ankles, swishing three pounds of sand out of it as I pulled it up.

The fellow next to me stood up and gawked.

“Whoa!” I panted. “Nearly lost my bathing suit there with all that sand!”

A big smile spread across his face as he drawled, “I know….”