April 24, 2019
It’s said the first time you set eyes on the Pacific Ocean is a moment you’ll remember forever. Something about its vastness lifts the spirits and gives cause for quiet contemplation. So it makes sense to plan the perfect spot for a bit of ocean gazing, and I think I’ve found just the place.
It was one of those unexpected moments. Driving down Highway 101 in the U.S state of Washington, along the 73-mile coastal section of Olympic National Park, I came across a sign to Ruby Beach. How could I not investigate our namesake stretch of sand? It turns out Ruby Beach is one of the most dramatic, wild and beautiful beaches I’d ever seen, the perfect frame for our biggest ocean.
Even on a chilly and overcast spring day it made me stop in my tracks. Offshore were giant sea stacks, common on this part of the coast, but no less impressive for that. Brightly coloured starfish hung out in easily accessible, nutrient-rich rockpools, and a closer look at the sand revealed some tiny pieces of the ruby coloured stones that give the beach its name.
And littering the beach were hundreds of tree trunk sized pieces of driftwood, displaced by glaciers and washed down by rivers. It’s a photographer’s dream destination.
Ruby Beach lies in a fairly remote spot on the western shore of the Olympic Peninsula, 27 miles south of the town of Forks and a three-hour drive west of Seattle.