Tag Archives: Washington State

Tree of Life



Activity: Beach Hike, Sight Seeing

5.5 miles, 100′ feet elevation gain, 3 hour duration, rated Easy

Date: 6-8-22

My son Alec and I, on our adventure through the Olympic National Park, heard about the Tree of Life and it sounded quite intriguing.

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
YouTube Channel
The Tree of Life


But first things first, we had just come from our trek at Ruby Beach, which was not only stunningly beautiful, but the starfish were incredible. Now it was lunch time and my sister had mentioned that during her trip she had camped at the Kalaloch Campground and had a great dinner at the Historic Kalaloch Lodge, so we decided to check it out for ourselves.

The Lodge itself is pretty cool, but it really looks like a splendid old beach house so don’t be expecting anything like the Lodges at Yellowstone or Crater Lake. The Lodge is set back from the rough Pacific on a quaint little creek. You can see the ocean and the drift wood piles, but the Creekside Restaurant dinning room is not right on the ocean.

Alec and I love to sample exotic and local fare so we splurged on Elk Burgers, and wow they were so good! (Btw I was not compensated by the Creekside Restaurant at Kalaloch Lodge for this shoutout, but probably should be, lol!) Alec and I also have sampled our way across the PNW trying different clam chowder and this was one of our favs.

My beach hike began past the Lodge in the area of the cabins. I went down the bluff to the beach then I had to ford the creek I spoke of earlier. It seemed the best spot was up aways from the ocean where it was a little calmer in a wide section. It was about knee deep and chilly, but fun to maneuver through as part of my outing. Once across I had a big beautiful wide beach and a simply gorgeous day along the deep blue Pacific. There were stacks of massive gray drift wood and when I reached the bluff below the Kalaloch Campground the huge logs had been vertically placed as a protective barrier for the entrance to the little trail up to the campground making a pretty cool and attractive fence.

I hiked to Brown’s Point, this was the beach hike that I had selected. It was a wonderful 5 mile trek with an evergreen forest to one side and crashing surf to the other.

Beach hike along a Kalaloch beach to Brown’s Point.

I then hiked back stopping at the main attraction the Tree of Life. My son, whom had been “chillaxing”, having opted out on the long beach hike, joined me. Alec came down from the Kalaloch Campground onto the beach. And what to our wondering eye should appear, but a giant tree seemingly floating in space.

Alec stands under the Tree of Life also known as “Root Cave”.

The Tree of Life also called the Tree Root Cave is a spectacle to behold. We clambered over piles of enormous gray driftwood logs to gain access to this strange and unusual sight. The vision of a tree, bare naked to the world with no protection for it’s root system, fully exposed strikes all who gaze upon this tree as so odd and utterly unbelievable.

The Tree of Life is a Sitka Spruce, the largest type of Spruce Tree. Laying eyes upon this fantasy is awe inspiring. Defying all odds the Tree of Life flourishes where that is an impossibility. Isn’t this against the very laws of nature, science and even gravity? I mean the top is green and thriving, but this Sitka Spruce’s guts are basically hanging out. How does it receive nourishment? This certainly is a marvel of nature, this mystery of biology.

Trees along this rugged coast that are massive and well anchored are constantly being taken down by powerful Pacific Storms with gale force winds, and pounding massive waves. How can this freak of nature survive suspended in mid air?

The Tree of Life is a strange and wonderful phenomenon with a tiny waterfall running through it. This tiny stream obviously has eroded all of the earth from under this Sitka Spruce to the point that it should not be here, but year after year, decade after decade here it floats in space. Alec and I did something that should be impossible, stood directly under a massive tree. I don’t mean next to it’s trunk, nor under it’s shady branches, but right under it’s roots, truly magical.

“On earth, there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.” – Jules Renard

Thanks for joining Alec and I in the OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK on the enchanting and mesmerizing Washington Coast as we were ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’, but found ourselves dumbfounded instead, with our eyes wide and glossy, taking in something that simply cannot exist, but somehow Nature has found a way. It was like seeing a unicorn or something, pretty crazy. There are more adventures ahead so stick with Alec and I as we continue our journey through the outstanding Olympic Peninsula by doing this: COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. Go to the menu above and you will discover that PBTA ventures all over this great West of ours in search of that elusive Balance that we all need to get reacquainted with and through magnificent outings in nature this can be accomplished. Our lives are hurried and stressful, Nature can help, it certainly can’t hurt- well unless you are eaten by a bear or something. The menu is categorized mostly by location, but sometimes by activity. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. It is our hope that these stories of adventure will ignite something deep inside of you so that you will get off the couch, put down the video games and venture out on your own exciting excursion. While you are on adventure you will need to be properly outfitted and looking the part, so why not pick up a hat or shirt at SHOP APPAREL where you can checkout my line of top quality Adventure Wear adorned with the PBTA logo and mantra.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure


Ruby Beach


Activity: Beach Hike


Ruby Beach, on the rugged Washington Coast in the Olympic National Park, is a treasure. The beach is broad and long. There are natural rock sculptures, Destruction Island is off in the distance with it’s lighthouse warning of peril. The center piece for Ruby Beach is Abbey Island, at low tide it is a peninsula with some tide pools to explore.

Lighthouse on Destruction Island, just off the coast.

It is a scenic jaunt down a pathway from the parking area, (which by the way has a bathroom). There are stacks of driftwood adorning the beach in the splendor that is quite often so picturesque in the Pacific Northwest.

Abbey Island is a peninsula of Ruby Beach at low tide.

Once out on the beach I discovered that I was cut off from gaining access to Abbey Island, by Cedar Creek. This little freshwater stream was flowing pretty good and straight out to sea. It was knee deep and probably could be walked through, but should you take the chance at being swept off your feet and cast out into the frigid and turbulent Pacific? There was a thin, long and rickety log across the creek, and after searching for a better alternative I finally decided to go for it. I made it, but after watching the ordeal I saw a few others decide against it.

Wonderful beach just wonderful! Wooded forest to one side, big beautiful beach, rock formations, Abbey Island, tide pools, gorgeous day and that big beautiful Pacific. Wow… just wow!

I went on beyond Abbey Island which as you can see is from the attached map is about a half mile stroll. The beach is so nice I could have just kept right on going. I had heard about this beach being good for seeing starfish, but I really hadn’t see much sea life at all. It was low tide so Abbey Island was accessible. It was cool to explore up close to see it’s vertical cliffs and the vegetation and trees that crowned it perhaps 100 feet above sea level.

I did some rock scampering being careful not to fall as they were crusted in razor sharp barnacles. The waves lapped at the rocks as I ventured out along the Northside of the island. Once I got well off shore of the beach, about half way on the little island, I spied the treasure that I was seeking. I first observed a few orange starfish tucked in amongst the rocks that we mostly submerged then I also noticed the darker colored ones. The further I made my way along the more difficult the journey, but the more rewarding the finds. The wonderful starfish were at this point quite prevalent. I thought of how lucky I was as this was simple stupendous and most people aren’t going to get to see this when they come to Ruby Beach. As I carefully picked my way back towards the shoreline I was rewarded with yet another wondrous sight. A sea otter seemed to be just as interested in me as I was him. Be sure to check him out in my video.

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure
YouTube Channel
Ruby Beach
“To escape and sit quietly on the beach – that’s my idea of paradise.”
– Emilia Wickstead

Thanks for exploring Ruby Island with me on my amazing journey uncovering a treasure trove of stardom whilst I was ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ on the Olympic Peninsula. You might be wondering where was my son Alec? Wasn’t he with you on this exploration of the Olympic National Park? Well, teenagers… what can I say? They certainly like to sleep in so he will have to enjoy this article along with my readers I am afraid to see any starfish. He did climb out of his sleeping bag and the rig for the next adventure so I invite you to continue in the Olympic Rainforest with us by doing a couple easy tasks: COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. If you peruse the menu above you will discover that PBTA ventures not only to our wonderful National Parks, but all over this great West of ours in search of the Balance in our lives that we all need and cherish. Adventures in Nature can help restore that needed Balance so get out in it as much and as often as you can. The menu is categorized mostly by location and each is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. In the video you will see that I am wearing one of my ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Caps. They are for purchase along with other Adventure Wear at SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Shi Shi Beach Trail


Makah Indian Reservation

Activity: Day Hike

11 miles, 625’ elevation gain, 5.5 hour duration, rated Moderate

Date: 6-6-22

Starts out with a lovely forest- green and plush, wooden walkways and bridges, really something out of a fairytale and the forest never deviates from that beauty. A walking stick, (Some muddy places such as this have numerous ones available to choose from, which I though was most kind), I think it is a must as much for support and balance, tip toeing across limbs and logs in the mud, as testing just how deep the mud is. However, the trail gets muddier and muddier…  Sometimes it is so muddy that it is better to find an alternate course.  If you are alert and searching you might find a side trail that’s up higher and out of the wetness.  However, sometimes the side trail is just as bad, with the side trail being quite the obstacle course stepping over roots, navigating slog, going over downed trees, limbs and decay.  But, it is an adventure right?

I kept thinking is this really worth it?  This mud sucks! Then I emerged from the woods to the beach and I was rewarded with a splendid Washington wild and rugged coastline.  Then all the way to the rocks, tide pools and the sea stacks at the ‘Point of Arches’, one of the most photographed spots on the Washington Coast.  It’s simply mesmerizing, enchantingly unbelievable, and fascinating.  It makes all that mud worth it. Until you start coming back… but then you remind yourself to just keep concentrating on how beautiful the rocks were.

Be sure to check the tide table as although this is a broad beach there was a warning sign that it could be impassable at high tide and you certainly would not want to get stuck.  You will need a Makah Tribe Pass, which can be purchased at Neat Bay and if you will be backpacking over-night an additional permit is required as well. That can be purchased at the Olympic National Park Visitor’s Center in Port Angeles.  

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure YouTube Channel. CLICK THE PIC to watch.
“The heart of a man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths, it has it’s pearls too.” —Vincent Van Gogh

Thanks for joining me, and I would say along with my son Alec, but he opted out of a trail of mud and instead caught up on his teenage beauty sleep, back in the rig.  I will say, he missed out to be sure… For more on our trek through the Olympic National Park and beyond be sure to do this:  LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE.  If you go to the menu above, each location or activity is a separate Website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. The menu will verify that PBTA seeks that elusive BALANCE that we all hunger for, to put our busy lives in check, all over this great West of ours.  I hope it will provide some insight and inspiration for your next adventure.  At SHOP APPAREL you will find top quality Adventure Wear with the PBTA logo and mantra.  

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure