Years ago I loved to play the Myst and Riven computer games – they weren’t about shooting each other, or about collecting scores by being very fast. These games belonged to a different category: Strange riddles had to be solved, and mysterious islands had to be discovered – without hurry. Discovery happened in an almost meditative way. I remember virtually walking on shores or high on cliffs, with the sounds of distant seagulls and ocean surf in the background. There was always time just to stop and to look around.
The makers of these games came from the American northwest, I seem to remember. Now I know where they got their inspiration. The coastline of Washington and Oregon is full of these rocks and little islands. The beach of a tiny Olympic peninsula village called La Push – home of the Quileute Native American tribe – contains some little rock islands that look as if they had come straight out of these games. There were even some cables going to one of them, and some mysterious little machinery sitting in the water near one of them, just like in the games where there is mysterious machinery all around.
At this time of the year, the whales that live around here are already starting to move south – too bad, I would have loved to go out on a whale watching boat, watching them surface, maybe even recording their songs. Too late for this. On this evening, we did spot some very distant spouts of passing whales, so apparently they were still there, but much too far away for us to watch.
Pelicans kept flying along the waterline, mostly in straight line formations of one or two dozen. Hundreds of logs were scattered along the beach like dead giants. Reminding me of the strands of moss hanging from nearby trees, the little round fluffy pink clouds slowly turned into strange jellyfish shapes as the sun was setting and the moon was rising. The smaller distant islands slowly disappeared in the haze. Everything seemed to become more and more unreal as it got darker. What an impressive place.
During the next days, we discovered more amazing places along the coast further to the south.