Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Anniversary Trip to Kalaloch Lodge

For years Tom and I had talked about Kalaloch, a beach we'd both visited as kids but had never been to together. It is on the only stretch of Highway 101 that runs directly along the coastline in Washington State. So for our anniversary on Monday we scheduled a 3-day trip to Kalaloch Lodge.

As one of the last frontiers to be explored in the contiguous United States, the Olympic peninsula was found to be breathtakingly beautiful and terribly rugged. In 1925 Charles W Becker purchased the 40-acres coastal plot that is now Kalaloch Lodge, and used milled lumber that washed up on the beach to build the original lodge and cabins. But it was difficult to access until the Olympic Loop, part of Highway 101, was completed in 1931. It has been a part of the National Park Service since 1978.

The main lodge is right on the highway with several cabins -- one-room, two-room, duplexes, cabins with kitchens, cabins with fireplaces, some with both -- sitting in two rows on a bluff overlooking the ocean. We overheard a man in the dining room say to his wife, "A real tsunami could wipe this place out." Yes, that's probably true, but it wasn't quite what we wanted to hear!

We arrived in the rain late Sunday afternoon. We had reserved a cabin with a kitchenette on the bluff above the beach. When we checked in we were told of a strong wind advisory. In case the power were to go out, we were told, we'd have no heat. Would we rather be moved to a cabin with a fireplace but no kitchenette? No, we would be cooking our own food so we'd stick to our plans.

Boy, was it chilly and windy as we unloaded the car. But inside our cabin we were toasty warm. It was a well-built structure with knotty pine paneling, tile floors, and a metal roof. The kitchenette was tiny but with some creative maneuvering you could prepare a meal in it.

You'd think it would be quite at the beach -- no TV, no internet, no telephone service. But it's not quiet at the beach. All night long it sounded a bit like we were home, listening to the train rumble by as we're falling to sleep. It was lovely.

We were awakened in the night by a torrential downpour, hitting our metal roof like the water in a drive-through car wash. It lasted only minutes, and then all we heard was the the wind and the waves.

On Monday, after breakfast in the Lodge, we explored Ruby Beach and the Rain Forest, but we returned to explore our own beach in the late afternoon. The pictures below are all of Kalaloch, with photos of our other adventures on this trip to come in a later post. I hope these capture at least some of the wild beauty and the joy we experienced on this, our best ever, anniversary trip.

Kalaloch Lodge from Highway 101

The back of the lodge, taken from the yard of our cabin

View of the cabins from the dining room window of the lodge

Cabin 7, where we stayed

Enjoying dinner on Sunday evening

Chef at work in our tiny kitchen

The beach outside our cabin

We walked way out onto the beach while the tide was on its way back in, out toward the seagulls on the rocks.

Reflection on the wet sand as we walked back
towards the beach

Cold and happy


Cami said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. That's where we went for our honeymoon ten years ago. Haven't been back yet, but would love to at some point!

Ginger Kauffman said...

It would be fun for you to go. I think the kids would love it. I don't necessarily recommend February as the best time to go, but it worked out well for us!