Saturday, September 3, 2016

a Pacific Northwest road trip, part III: Third Beach

La Push, Washington is famous for one pretty silly reason: the Twilight series. Chances are, even if you think the whole plot line is ridiculous, you have at least heard of the whole vampire and werewolf thing. Second Beach and Third Beach were featured in the series, and when you enter Forks, Washington, you will notice a lot of allusions regarding the books & films. 

Third Beach is a really important place to us, but thankfully not due to the whole Bella & Edward & Jacob love triangle. And yes, before you even start to wonder, of course I have read the books. I am a middle school teacher for crying out loud. I read every YA book I can get my hands on because it helps me put books into kids' hands, and it's really helpful to understand the analogies your kids make in class about Team Jacob and Team Edward. You can rest assured, though, that when I make analogies, they are all about Harry Potter. 

Anyways, I am rambling. Why is Third Beach so important to us? 

Because this is the spot where we got married! 

You read that right. On July 25, 2009, my soon-to-be-husband and I hiked through the forest and down to the ocean with our parents, brothers and friends. A thick blanket of fog enveloped the beach and water and we could hardly see more than 20 feet in front of us. It was misting a little, and it was just perfect. We cracked open some champagne before the festivities even began and had a mini-party on the beach. I was wearing a hot yellow dress and no shoes. He was wearing beige shorts and a white button up shirt. Finally, once everyone had some bubblies and some fun, we got down to business and said our I do's. I'm pretty sure it was the most perfect wedding in the histories of weddings, and I'm pretty sure that it was also one of the cheapest weddings in the history of weddings. 

As we went to La Push this summer around our anniversary, it was extra special. This time, the fog rolled in and rolled out, so occasionally we could catch glimpses of the ocean and the trees. Sean had a lot of fun climbing on rocks, and I had a lot of fun wandering the shore and listening to the waves crash ashore. 

I've said it once and I'll say it again. For me, white sand tropical beaches just cannot hold a candle to the rugged beauty and wilderness of a Pacific Northwestern beach. They are cold, they are rocky, they are full of downed logs and wind swept trees, and they are immensely intriguing and captivating. 

They are my absolute favorite kind of beach. 


  • It is possible to camp on Third Beach. Study the tide lines carefully and make sure you pitch your tent well above the high tide line. 
  • The hike to third beach is quite short (1/2 a mile) yet pretty steep. It also requires climbing over and around huge (and sometimes unstable) drift logs and downed trees. 
  • There is a clearly marked parking lot at the trail's entrance. 


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