Sunday, February 03, 2008
The bluffs between Point Partridge (OCT2006,FEB2006) and Ebey's Landing consist of a thick pile of gravel left by the retreating glaciers. The lack of cohesive sediments, complex stratigraphy, or forest cover result in uniform angle-of-repose slopes that are distinctly different than others on Puget Sound. Net drift is to the southeast - where the gravel eventually winds up in Keystone Harbor, where it must be periodically dredged to allow the ferry to get in. A couple of miles north of Ebey's Landing, the beach splits from the coastline, forming this large lagoon before reconnecting with the bluffs farther south. The result, with help from the National Park Service and the Nature Conservancy, is a 3+ mile loop that is the best shoreline hike on Puget Sound.
The gentle waves breaking on the beach today were about 10 seconds apart, suggesting they began as much bigger waves out on the Pacific. Occasionally a big storm comes over spit, recharging the lagoon and creating gravel washover fans on the backside of the barrier.