of the highest kind, quality, or order; surpassing all else or others; supreme, extreme.
I love geography.
I am fascinated with landmarks.
I am always down for a good day trip.
And among the many extraordinary features of my little corner of the planet is that I live just a few hours drive from the Northwestern-most point of the continental United States.
These four facts came together in a perfect storm of superlatives last weekend when my fourth-born and I set off on a mission to revisit Cape Flattery, the upper left corner of this land.
^ Greyest Start to the Day:
Our eight a.m. ferry crossing was a monochromatic masterpiece in tones of grey on grey on grey. We snapped a few photos from our parking spot on the boat and otherwise snoozed through the crossing.
^ Springiest Seasonal Sighting:
These sweet harbingers of spring showed their pretty faces to us in Neah Bay, the small town near the Cape. Warm marine air from the Pacific washes over the land and teases out the first blooms of the season.
^ Friendliest Fish
Surprisingly, but also satisfyingly, the land on which the Northwestern-most Point stands is owned by Native Americans. The Makah Tribe - whose name means "people generous with food" - have lived in this area for as long as anyone has ever known. The town of Neah Bay, Cape Flattery, the trails and viewing areas are all maintained by these friendly, hard-working people. And they also love a good whale hunt.
^ Lushest Pathway and Loveliest Boardwalk:
Mmm, Few feats satisfy the nature lover in me as trudging through an Ewok Forest on a series of delightfully primitive planks.
^ Soggiest Trail:
Thank goodness for those boardwalks.The forest floor was fully flooded but my day-glo Nikes stayed almost perfectly dry.
^ Gorgiest Sea Stacks:
Just the south of the Northwestern-most Point, darling heaps of stone sport trees up top, and emerald waters swirl about their feet. Bald eagles perch here and there as they contemplate the hunt for dinner. And we took a whole lot of pictures.
^ Windiest Lookout:
Here we are on the absolute corner of the continent. On the raw edge of this rocky cliff, or more safely settled on the sturdy viewing platform, we hold our breath as the rugged beauty of this corner of the country unfolds in every direction.
^ Rockiest Technicality
Named for an old Makah chief, Tatoosh Island stands straight off Cape Flattery and serves most specifically though less accessibly as the Northwestern-most Point. The tallest bit on the island is an inactive lighthouse, Cape Flattery Light, which used to guard the nearby entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca,
Just to the north of the Northwestern-most Point, a series of inlets and caves undulate along the coastline. Waves crash against the rocks willy-nilly, creating a cacophony of sound and spray. This is where the Makah Tribe watched for whales, first sighted European intruders, and no doubt explored every inch of this wonderland.
And just when I thought our lovely day trip to the extreme corner of the country could not be topped, we stopped to stretch our legs on the way home, and encountered yet one more superlative sight.