Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Sitka Spruce Burl Trail

We have recently returned from our trip down the coast of Washington and Oregon, USA. We left the Vancouver area, headed south of the boarder down the I-5 as far as Tacoma. After crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, we went north on hwy 16 to begin our drive around the Olympic Peninsula.

Our first glimpse of the open Pacific Ocean. No more Juan de Fuca. No more islands to block the view or tame the waves. What a wonderous experience to smell that fresh ocean air and hear those crashing waves! But this location was too high up on the cliffs to even attempt accessing the beach from here!

A short distance to the South, we pulled over again to walk to the beach. A short hike through the Sitka Spruce Burl Trail to Third Beach. I have never seen burls this big! They are thought to be a benign sort of tumor. The cause is not truly known, but is thought to be triggered by something wafting up from the sea on the wind. Perhaps a virus?Once they get too heavy, the burls sometimes fall off, or if they develop on a limb, it will sometimes cause the branch to drop off.
Add Image After a short walk, the trail ended at a gorgeous, misty beach!
A bit of a magic forest, if I do say so!

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