Let me start by saying I have some amazing friends. Seriously, I do. Look at those beautiful animals! I’m almost positive they were supposed to be at work and called in sick because I was in town. So, yea, that’s a boat behind the truck and off we go!
The dude in the picture actually loaded my broken, bleeding self onto a stretcher to the hospital after a particularly memorable day back in 2007, but that’s a story for another time. In this story, we are talking about how epic the Pacific Northwest is.
I have been extremely fortunate to be able to travel for my job. With the whole, “I’m a pilot thing,” comes the “I can jumpseat all over the world for free thing too.” It works out great for someone like me who loves nature and just being part of this little slice of heaven, earth. Every so often, I am able to get out to one of my favorite spots called, “Neah Bay.” It is situated at just about the tippy top of the North West, of the Pacific North West. It is remote, but has a beautiful road that weaves along the rugged coast. The whole drive is magical to me. You pass old growth rain forests, huge snow-capped peaks, and can often see entire mountain ranges on the way there. From my friends house, you have to endure 3.5 hours of those tortuous views that just leave you breathless and humbled before you arrive at your equally magical destination.
Because of how remote this area is, not to many people make the trek, so I was surprised to find this beautiful scene here on the shoreline, miles from anywhere. It made me really happy to think that two people found this little beach, took the time to gather up all the shells and leave these hearts for someone else to find. It was a sure sign that it was going to be a killer day out there.
Our mission out here is generally to partake in some nautical pursuits which frequently involves spotting whales, seals, and hopefully catching some fish. Today was a day of free diving the forests of the sea, the kelp beds. The water was clear and cold (52 degrees), krill were everywhere and we even had a couple stellar sea lions check us out. They were beautiful and peaceful, and also large and terrifying. We were relieved they kept their distance, although you could tell they wanted to get closer. We of course had a great time in the kelp, and even nabbed a few fish for dinner. But the unique treat of the day (aside from the sea lions) was an ocean scallop I spotted on a rock. After a few dives, I was able to stuff him in the wet suit and add him to the dinner list.
We of course had an amazing drive home, through the same stunning views and arrived back with time to cook up dinner. These are the best pictures I got of the adventure, next time, I promise to take more.