Coast at Cape Flattery

Musing about the serendipitous nature of photography (and travel), illustrated by a photo of a wooden railing around a viewpoint at Cape Flattery WA.


And so we travel this week from one ocean to another. This photo was taken, oh, about 53.7 feet above the Pacific Ocean, which was doggedly throwing itself against the base of the rocky cliffs at Cape Flattery WA. Unlike St. Andrews, halfway around the world, there is no gentle drop-off, no wide sandy beach. Even unlike Wreck Beach, just a few hours north, there is no sunbathing, nude or otherwise. This coastline is all sturm und drang.

Rough wood railing enclosing observation deck overlooking ocean at Cape Flattery WA

Viewpoint at end of trail, Cape Flattery WA

To get to this viewpoint, we have travelled far:

  • Driving mostly north from Forks WA (home of logging and not much else in those simpler days before it became the site of filming for Twilight) to Clallam Bay (home of the odd agate)
  • Hanging a left and meandering mostly west along a nausea-producing former logging road and now nominally two-lane highway along the Straits of Juan de Fuca (up down up down around around up down) to Neah Bay and just beyond
  • Parking at the trailhead for Cape Flattery and reading the sign-ful of safety tips for encounters with four-legged cougars
  • Walking uneasily through the cougar-infested woods, not to grandmother’s house but to a viewpoint high above the highly determined Pacific Ocean (Sturm! Drang!) at the northwestern-most corner of the contiguous United States

And the best picture I got was not of water smashing against rock at all – the very thing I had driven, and meandered, and walked so far to see.


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6 Responses to Coast at Cape Flattery

  1. Judith says:

    Beautiful, evocative photo! Photography does make us see the world differently.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – Many thanks. I wish I could always have the “eyes” that I get with a camera in my hands, but it doesn’t seem to work that way.

  2. Ralph Gibson says:

    Yes, very nice. A real accomplishment.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Ralph – Thanks! And all without having to implement any of the cougar-handling techniques listed on the sign. Bonus!

  3. Life can be like that — long drive, meander, walk with unanticipated outcomes. Your photo is lovely, nonetheless. And I can picture the Sturm und Drang part because my life is a lot like that, too.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – I hadn’t thought of the trip itself as a metaphor for life (Literal Thinkers ‘r Us), but I see what you mean. Glad you liked the photo.

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