This is the video I promised (at least, it should be the video, if it works, since it's still uploading). Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point in the contiguous United States, is also spectacularly beautiful. I took three videos on my digital camera, from three different lookouts, as we walked out to the very point where the country ends. The roar you hear is not my camera... it is the constant, load, explosive roar of water against rock.
Most of you have probably spent time on a beach, with waves pulling in and out, the smell of fishy, sandy ocean in your ears, along with people smells like sunscreen and restaurant food. That is not what you will find on this point. The weather, even in summer, is likely in the sixties, and the air is wet and spitty, always misting into your glasses and sticking your hair against your head.
The wind is unbelievable, but it pales against the sheer power of the water hitting the rocks below you. The roar of water is unending, rushing back and forth with the power of a sea god. I can see how the Native Americans in the area (several tribes have lived near here for centuries, including the Matak) could believe that the ocean was the place holding both life (food) and death. Honestly, standing out on this point, I could not recall the calm of the beaches in Florida, California, and South Carolina, for this sea was a different beast entirely, ready to eat me, to pull me under and splatter me against rocks.
And yet the cold and power drew me in more strongly than I thought possible. A small island out off the coast holds a lighthouse. The building is most likely no longer inhabited, but it once was lived in, by some solitary man and his family, alone except for a few days each year when a boat could make it from the shore. All alone, with the sea. I could think of worse ways to live.
If you are EVER up near Seattle, you must come out here. It's worth the drive through nearly uninhabited rainforest, if only to realize how small and breakable you are.