Friday, December 02, 2005
One of the least known shorelines on Puget Sound lies only a mile or two west of I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma. Thanks to the Northern Pacific Railway, the Army, and the legacy of munitions manufacture at Dupont, the bluffs aren't lined with houses as they are just about everywhere else on the Sound. The cookie-cutter gray and beige houses of Northwest Landing are getting awfully close and it was their public pathway that brought me to a wonderful overlook of the Nisqually Delta. If you walk a mile north on the lane between the fence and the bluff edge, you catch views across Nisqually Reach toward Anderson Island and the Olympics. I scrambled down the bank and across the tracks to the little cuspate beach that has formed where an odd breakwater-tombolo like feature occurs. I've seen it from the water and in aerials - but am still not quite sure of its origins (it was built, although waves and time have reshaped it). At low tide, one could walk probably walk out to the barge that's grounded at the end. At high tide the beach ends pretty quickly. Both north and south, the beach vanishes beneath the riprap that holds up the railroad as it climbs south into the Nisqually Valley.