This will be first of several posts on the Kalaloch portion of our trip.
After the Quinault rain forest walk, we left for Kalaloch Lodge – about a 45 to 50 minute drive north. We arrived later than we anticipated and as we began to walk the beach we realized that we would not be able to spend the time we wanted at Kalaloch and still have time for Ruby Beach. We decided to rent a cabin if available, spend the evening at Kalaloch and then drive north to Ruby Beach – about a 10 to 15 minute drive before heading home in the late morning. As it turned out, a cabin was available and since we inquired after 4:00 pm, we were able to get a cabin at a significant discount for the evening – always a good thing.,
It was still grey, overcast and chilly when we arrived at Kalaloch for the beach walk. We picked up some items at the gift shop to cut the chill and spent the next couple of hours wandering up and down the beach before heading to the lodge for dinner.
When we began our walk on the beach we noticed thousands upon thousand of Blue jellyfish that had washed up on the beach. While we’d heard on recent newscasts, both local and national news, about blue jellyfish, aka “by the wind sailors” (Velella velella) washing up by the billions on west coast beaches from California to Washington State, we didn’t realize the sheer scope of how many had washed ashore until we saw them on the Kalaloch beach that afternoon. As it turns out, this mass beaching occurs periodically as the Velella velella have absolutely no control where the winds and tides take them, including being beached by the hundreds of thousands. The jellyfish in the inset image had just been washed up by the tide and unless the tide returned it to the sea quickly, it will die in place.
With the exception of areas cleared by the tide there was nowhere on the beach that you could walk that was not covered by blue jellyfish.
As we walked further down the beach, we were amazed at the crazy ways the jellyfish had been juxtapositioned around objects on the beach in an almost artistic touch by nature. None-the-less, it was very disturbing to see all these poor creatures strewn along the beach.