I walked to Hole-in-the-Wall at Rialto Beach, 4 miles roundtrip from the parking lot. I’m used to sandy New Jersey beaches and an uninterrupted view of the horizon looking out into the Atlantic. So the sights of the Olympic peninsula’s beaches were foreign to me, with rock stacks along the shore, and flat stacks off into the distance. Driftwood and logs were strewn along the full length of the beach. Kelp with bulbs as large as fists had washed ashore.
In the rock crevices, there were anemones, vibrant pops of green and purple.
We arrived at Hole-in-the-Wall during low tide. There is a large rock, the wall, that starts from the forest and extends into the ocean. And there is a hole in this wall to get to the other side. To prevent people from being trapped during high tide when the hole gets flooded, there is also a path farther inland through the trees that affords a higher vantage point of the coast.
From the description of the beach that I read on the internet, I was expecting more wildlife and fewer humans. Where were the starfish, the eagles, the otters, the breaching whales? Why wasn’t nature entertaining my whims? And so, I adjusted down my expectations. Besides, as the cliché goes, I enjoy long walks on the beach.