- Posted August 27, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Natural wonders in the 50 states
La Push Comes to Shove on Scenic NW Coast
Ten miles off the northwestern-most point of Highway-101, and 14 miles from the tiny town of Forks, the setting for the wildly popular Twilight vampire series, the traveler is treated to the magnificence of a Washington State gem, and an American treasure, La Push, and its accompanying expanse of wide, sandy beaches.
Five scenic beaches necklace Quileute Indian Tribal land and Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge along the Olympic Peninsula, a four to six-hour car ride from Seattle, depending on potential long lines at the ferry docks near the Emerald City.
Folks fish, collect rocks, snap photos, body-surf, and build bonfires on the beach. Some spend the night roughing it, camping out in basic tents. Others who are, as comedian Jim Gaffigan describes himself, "indoorsy," may opt for luxurious cabin suites at the Quileute Tribe's Oceanside Resort.
Unique features of these beaches include the stark beauty offered by bleached trees that lost their leaves due to their thirsty roots drinking salt water, and their cousins, logs scattered along the beach, some eight feet in diameter, that rolled in from parts unknown.
Then there are those islands, most of them considered "seastacks," that are among over 800 such natural off-shore formations in Quillayute Needles National Wildlife Refuge along Washington State's rugged coast.
"Rialto" is perhaps the most scenic of the five La Push-area beaches, and its name, meaning a theatrical square, was given by its most eccentric settler, Alexander.
A world-famous magician in the early 20th Century, Alexander-"The Man Who Knows" certainly knew how to make a buck and built an enormous house just above the beach. He is said to have made millions by performing a magic act in which he answered questions "mentally sent" to him by audience members. However, his real fortune was made by doing private readings for large fees.
Story & all photos by Steve Shay, Seattle