The Adventures of Ruby Beach

14 06 2013

I was pretty adamant that we had to be at Ruby Beach for sunset. But I was also pretty determined to have dinner at Kalaloch Lodge.  So after seeing that sunset in Forks, WA wasn’t until 8:30pm, we motored past the signs pointing to Ruby Beach and headed on towards dinner.  I had already looked up the menu on my phone and had my eyes on a black tea poached black cod.

I had everything planned out.  Nice dinner, and then head out back to Ruby Beach to get those magical sunset photos.  I didn’t just want to see the sun set, I wanted to see all the magic that happened after the sun went down over the horizon and the skies really started to shine.

So it was disappointing to hear that there wasn’t any availability for dinner until 7:45pm.  I kind of peered around our hostess to see a pretty empty dining room, but in the end we decided to push our reservation until 9pm (their last seating).  I guess in all of my planning, I should have called ahead.  We weren’t that hungry anyway.

So back to Ruby Beach we went.  We timed it and we were exactly 14 minutes away from the restaurant.

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We were definitely not alone in our attempts to capture the sunset at Ruby Beach, and as we parked and started our trek down to the water we saw photographers loaded up with their tripods, huge lenses, and a few even had on waders.  I was pretty impressed, and since we hadn’t even seen the beach yet, I could only imagine that these hard-core photographers were going to be taking their photos in the waves.

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Beautiful beach.  Sea stacks towering over the beach, perfectly positioned towards the west to get both their shadowy figures and the dramatic skies.  And as we crept over the perfectly smooth round and oval rocks to get a closer look at the sea stacks, I finally understood what the waders were for.  Our group came to stop, everyone with the exception of our friend with the waders, because there was a stream of water that was cutting off one part of the beach to the more ideal side with the sea stacks.

Turns out this was not everyone’s first time here, and a couple of the guys went straight to work finding long pieces of driftwood to create a little driftwood bridge across the water.  Perfect.  Now that that business was settled, onto the sea stacks.

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Or rather, that was where everyone else went.  I found myself this perfect heart-shaped rock and I fell in love with it.  So much so, that as everyone else scattered from one sea stack to the next, getting the perfect shot with the perfect light, and setting up for the next perfect shot with the perfect light, I set up my own photo shoot.  A photo shoot for my perfect heart-shaped rock.  I put it in the water to get it wet, so it would really shine.  And then I propped it in the sand to get my shot.

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Perfect.  Until I almost lost my new love when the waves came in, knocking it over in the sand and almost taking it with them back into the ocean.  But, with my heart safely back in my possession, I decided I should probably be serious about these sunset shots, and returned to the rest of the group.

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With the light constantly changing, it was addicting to stay and take photos and watch as the changing light made the beach look completely different.  I really wanted to stay for the entire sunset, take in the whole experience, but now I was torn.  What about dinner?  With 9pm closing in on us and our dinner options diminishing with the late hour, we decided we had to get going.

DSC_0276But since we’d been there for almost 2 hours, as the light had been changing, so had the tides.  And our driftwood bridge was nowhere to be seen, washed away with the rising tide.  So first we leaned over the water, trying to figure out how deep it was….really.  Too deep.  Then Nathan tried to drag driftwood logs over to create a new bridge, but all we had on our side of the water were huge heavy things.  And just when I was about to bite the bullet and pull up my pants and carry my shoes, Nathan yells over to me to follow him!

So we have to climb over a bunch of logs, and then scale across a fallen tree that is wet and lying halfway across the stream.  Now what?  Nathan takes a jump and makes it, sacrificing one foot into the water.  It’s my turn now, and I don’t think I can make it.  I’m clinging to the roots of the tree, trying to get as far as I can without losing balance.  Nathan gets a piece of driftwood to lay down, but it doesn’t reach, and how can you try to jump to land on a thin, wet piece of wood.  So I decide and I’m going to have to jump.  I get myself settled, draw all the energy into my legs.  I shoo Nathan away from my jumping spot.  And I concentrate on jumping as far as I can, knowing that I’ll probably be sacrificing one wet foot too.  Just as I’m about to jump, Nathan says, ‘just plan on landing one foot in the water’.  And just like that, I’m like a tightly bound ball of springs that comes apart, and bounces in all directions.  I don’t know what happened, but somehow both of my feet land in the water, the water splash hits me up my legs, onto my vest.  My face is wet.  Even my hair is wet.  It’s as if I decided to jump into the water and get as wet as possible.

I could not believe Nathan chose to talk to me at that very moment, making me lose all my concentration.  But at that point I had black cod and fruit crumble on my mind and we jogged back to the car.  And we were late…really late for dinner.  No cell reception to call the restaurant, and we ended up driving behind the slowest car ever.  Nathan dropped me off at the door, I ran in out of breath as I saw a ‘closed’ sign, and the hostess was just about to say ‘tough luck’ to me until I told her that we did have a reservation, but then we got distracted by the sunset, and stranded on the beach, and I fell in the water, etc, etc.  Turns out, she had a soft spot for the wet and stranded type and we got safely tucked into a booth, eating black cod, and watching the last of the light of our sunset.

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7 responses

14 06 2013
Deb Platt

Loved the photos (and your perfect, heart-shaped rock!). I’m glad that your waitress had a soft spot for the wet and stranded. 🙂

22 06 2013
tracilee

Thanks Deb! I definitely fell in love with my heart-shaped rock and such a huge sense of relief when pretty much falling in the water to get across the stream wasn’t for nothing!

14 06 2013
Lissa Rabon

Oh c’mon…really? These photos are so wonderful. I scrolled through more than once. Great post!

22 06 2013
tracilee

Thanks Lissa! Such a beautiful area – can’t wait to go back

14 06 2013
Alice

Great pictures! I haven’t been there in years. I love sunsets and water.

22 06 2013
tracilee

It was such a great place to watch the sunset – we’ll definitely go back there, thanks Alice!

5 07 2013
mberri

Nice story. Awesome pictures. Those sunsets are beautiful.

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