This post is by my husband, Dwight, who recently spent a few days on the Makah Indian Reservation in the Northwest most tip of the contiguous United States, along with his two daughters, Leigh and Katie. All are in the selfie below:
The three of us went on this trip to spend time together and to experience the spectacular Northwestern coastal scenery, the Makah people in Neah Bay, and their amazing Makah Museum. The museum houses over 55,000 artifacts excavated from Ozette, a whaling village of six longhouses that was covered by a landslide over 500 years ago. While only a small fraction of these artifacts are on display, they show what pre white man Makah life was like over the cycle of the seasons. They had sophisticated technology for netting salmon, whaling at sea, making art, boxes, boats, and homes out of cedar, and weaving clothing from the long hair of their dogs! The museum entrance tells you their lives were centered in fishing:
The deep sea going whaling vessels they hollowed from cedar trees are stunningly beautiful:
In the museum you walk through a reconstructed longhouse built with boards split from cedar and see how the ancient people made many of the objects used in their daily life. An intimate experience that made you want to go out on the beaches where they lived.
So we walked out to the tip of Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point in the contiguous United States, through the incredibly dense rain forest that is nurtured by over 150 inches of rain each year. Here there is no beach, but caves in the cliffs
and sea stacks off shore.
There were many birds, a bald eagle, an osprey, and lots of oystercatchers.
There were puffins too, but too far away for our binoculars.
The next day we hiked out to Shi Shi Beach, a more typical home for the ancient Makah with typically variable weather and wonderful fog effects. To get to the beach you climb down a very steep 150 foot cliff assisted by ropes.
Whoo, we made it! Though the beach is 2 1/2 miles long we could only see part of it due to the fog. But where we came down to the beach was worth the trip:
The Bullman Beach Inn where we stayed along the Strait of Juan de Fuca overlooking the mountains of British Columbia had a wonderful beach as well and much more sunshine which we enjoyed on our final day in Neah Bay. And a great sunset!
Traditional wood carving lives on in the Makah Nation and takes nontraditional forms as well:
Another opportunity to