Road Trips and the Mind

August 3, 2014

“Carried along on the hum of the motor and the countryside passing by, the journey itself flows through you and clears your head.  Ideas one held on to without any reason depart; others, however, are readjusted and settle like pebbles at the bottom of a stream.  There’s no need to interfere; the road does that work for you.  One would like to think that it stretches out like this, dispensing its good offices, not just to the ends of India but even further, until death.”
— Nicolas Bouvier, The Way of the World

Nearing sunset on Hwy 101, Olympic Peninsula

Nearing sunset on Hwy 101, Olympic Peninsula

This has been a vacation-less summer for me, and I’ve been craving a getaway.  This weekend my husband and I took a daytrip to a few ocean beaches on the Olympic Peninsula.  We drove from sun up to sun down — a long day — but relaxing in the way Bouvier describes in the quote above, the miles stringing along with free-flowing thoughts and impressions.  The day was a tonic.

We explored two beaches I had never been to before near La Push on the Pacific coast and Rialto Beach where I had taken my niece last year.  Our summer weather has been hot and sunny lately, but interestingly, a fog bank had settled right where the water met the land, and it stayed cool and gray on the beaches.  We could barely make out the silhouettes of sea stacks off shore.  Still, being by the ocean was restorative — the fresh smells of salt and wet sand, the rhythmic crashing of the waves.

First Beach in LaPush with fog-enshrouded sea stacks

First Beach in LaPush with fog-enshrouded sea stacks

Jetty at First Beach

Jetty at First Beach

Through the "eye" of driftwood

Through the “eye” of driftwood

Watching the waves

Watching the waves

Mile+ path down to Second Beach included stairs down the bluff

Mile+ path down to Second Beach included stairs down the bluff

Fog at Second Beach

Fog at Second Beach

Surf fishing at Second Beach

Surf fishing at Second Beach

IMAGE_6090

IMAGE_6091

IMAGE_6095

Second Beach

Second Beach

Sand sculpture

Sand sculpture

Pebbly shore at Rialto Beach

Pebbly shore at Rialto Beach

The sun never made it out

The sun never made it out

Stacked beach rocks, Rialto Beach

Stacked beach rocks, Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach

Seagull

Seagull

Seagull

Seagull

 

 

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7 Responses to “Road Trips and the Mind”

  1. Bellezza Says:

    I am so greatly restored by water, be it sea, lake or even my bath. However, I did not have enough time by the water this summer, and your pictures give me a vicarious escape. Especially love the stacked beach rocks.

    • Rosemary Says:

      I grew up in landlocked Minnesota, so water meant lakes to me. We are still three hours from the ocean coast here in Seattle, and I get to the ocean beaches too infrequently. I am in awe of the ocean, love to just sit and watch the surf or amble at the water’s edge and beachcomb. I confess I like the ocean more than lakes!

      • Bellezza Says:

        I like oceans more than lakes, too. But, born and raised in Illinois, the lakes in Wisconsin are what I have the easiest access too. Except for the summers I spent on the Côte d’Azur, about thirty years ago. See what I mean about too little time? 😉

  2. Sallyann Says:

    Looks like a very refreshing day, I miss the seaside too, lovely pictures. 🙂

  3. shoreacres Says:

    I love the ocean, too. Lakes feel too closed-in for me (though a much larger lake might be fine). My first view of ocean was the Gulf Coast, though, and that’s quite different from the Pacific Coast. We’re muddy, shallow for a good way offshore, and entirely without rocks, crashing waves, scenic drives and pebbles. The best time for beach combing and ocean watching here in winter, when the currents bring in some really nice shells.

    I do love that first photo. Here’s something strange for you. I just realized this past week that, apart from interstate highways which go through cities as freeways, I’ve never driven a north/south interstate. On the other hand, I’ve drive the entire east/west length of one, two-thirds of another and a great chunk of a third. Even when I’ve gone up to Kansas, Iowa or Minnesota, I’ve avoided the interstates.

  4. Rosemary Says:

    You know then the rewards of “blue highways” (from the book of that name by William Least Heat Moon). I’ve driven freeways for large chunks — I-90 and -94 from Seattle to Minnesota and I-5 from Vancouver to San Diego. But when time is not so pressing, I too enjoy the smaller highways and roads. I love to have the space to pull over and stop for photos.

    I’ve driven all three west-east roads across Washington State: Hwy 20, Hwy 2, and I-90. And I’ve driven every mile of I-5 from Vancouver B.C. to Vancouver, WA. But there are still plenty of places in my state that I have never been.


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