we woke up for the sunrise on la push beach, after esther made it clear that she will never use a porta potty because that's where black widows love to hang out. ew. needless to say, on this trip esther learned how to use the restroom in nature, if you will. victory!
side note: i had a moment on rialto beach... as i was walking, i was looking down at my feet, & noticed the smooth sand. one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, psalm 139, ran through my head, & it hit me for the zillionth time how much God loves me. His thoughts about me, about you, outnumber the grains of sand. i looked at esther & shared this with her, & we both were absolutely floored by the thought. like, not just the grains of sand on this beach. not just the grains of sand on all the beaches in washington. aaaaaall the grains. of sand. whoa. our Creator is so infinite & huge, & yet He thinks of you, He thinks of me, more times than there are grains of sand. mind. blown. heart. exploding in love for my Maker.
after exploring the simple beauty of la push, we drove up to shi shi beach. it was a little drizzly, so the trail that winded through a peaceful rainforest was pretty mud-stricken every so often. at some points, there was only mud puddles, almost like quicksand, & we had to surrender the original color of our shoes over to repeated muddy sinkage.
with no signs hinting to us how far we'd need to hike in order to get to shi shi beach, we trudged on for over an hour. there was a random semi viewing spot where i could hear waves through a clearing of the trees, & we decided to pause to check it out. a little ways away, i noticed a frail yellow rope going down the mountain. decided to check it out, and realized it was our way down to shi shi. prior to our trip, when i was looking up places we wanted to visit, i hadn't seen anything about a rope being our way of getting to this beach, & chances are it probably wasn't the ONLY way. but, it had obviously been used before, as there was a slippery trail accompanying the rope, which was tied to a small tree.
"well?" i asked esther, "you wanna go down to the beach?" expecting her to say no, i was impressed and excited when she took a deep breath, & with a slightly frightened look on her face, responded with "...okay. yeah!" i braced myself with my back facing down the cliff, gave a couple tugs to ensure the rope was solid, & peered up at her from under my hat to double-check. "are you sure?" same response accompanied with several emphatic head nods. (later she confessed to me that she was pretty much petrified, but wanted to do it. what a boss.)
we carefully started down the cliff, at one point having to be ropeless in order to switch from where the first rope ended to another rope that was tied to another tree. it was crazy. it was a little scary. it was totally exciting. & shi shi beach was beautiful!
over to cape flattery next! wooow such a breathtaking siiiight. a short hike to a bunch of lookout points was a perfect combo.
a sign there caught my attention, which said cape flattery is slowly retreating under the force of pounding waves. the actual sandstone beneath our feet was riddled with sea caves. by sitting quietly, we could sometimes feel the entire cape shudder from the force of exploding waves, funneling into the caves below. the sign informed us of the unfortunate possibility that within the span of several hundred years in the future, the ground we were standing upon may not even exist! kinda sad, but it sure is pretty while it's here! so happy we got to see it.
later that day, we decided to drive to british columbia! our directions failed to mention that we'd have to take a ferry, which was a pleasant surprise for us. it's the little surprises, you all. =)