Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Botanical Beach and the Minnesota Seaside Station

In 1900 the University of Minnesota opened the Minnesota Seaside Station on the west coast of Vancouver Island near the town of Port Renfrew.  Check the link for some history.
 http://www1.umn.edu/news/features/2006/UR_111719_REGION1.html
In addition you can read Postelsia, the annual journal of the Minnesota Seaside Station on line at:
http://www.archive.org/details/postelsiayearboo1906minn
Botanical Beach just south of Port Renferw is renowned for the variety of seaweed, and its amazing geology.
Gretchen, my very cool phychologist wife, and I spent three days exploring the beach last weekend with two good friends.  It was an outstanding trip.
The outer coast is very different from my usual haunts of Puget Sound and always is demanding a visit....usually I end up on the fabulous Washington Coast but it was finally time to do the border crossing and ferry rides to Vancouver Island just to revisit the beach of my school days....1975 that would be.  The beach is unchanged but the roads into Port Renfrew, 60 miles of gravel in 1975, are now paved in two directions....yippee.
While 1975 was a little depressing in that most of that side of the island had been recently clear-cut...today there are at least 30 year old trees in place of the ugly slashes....90% of Vancouver Island's old growth has been cut.
I have attached some images of the beach....now a protected park....yippee again.  Two trails begin at Port Renfrew....the Juan de Fuca and the West Coast trails.  The West Coast Trail is considered one of the premiere wilderness trails in the world and in places very challenging...to the point of dangerous.
So if you like hitting the low tide at a mind blowing beach, and even want to add a 50 mile challenging hike you need look no further.


Sea Palm brown seaweed


Gretchen and friends


Tide Pool


Botanical Beach


Red and Yellow sponges


Tide Pool


Green Anemone


Tide Pools


Sea Sacs


Botanical Beach


Lined Chiton


Mixed Seaweed



Woody Chiton and anemones


Shield Limpets on Sea Palm


Mussel Bed Botanical Beach


Gumboot Chiton



Red Sea Slug and Six-rayed Stars


Black Bear






Graceful Coral Seaweed


Black Katy Chiton


Weird Beach Bum



Black Turbans with Hooked Slipper Snail


Tide Pool


Spotted Dorid eating sponge


Tide Pool


Botanical Beach


First Nations War Canoe


Big Cedar and tree huggers


Botanical Beach


Coraline Algae


Eaten Purple Sea Urchin with Aristotle's lantern Gretchen F. image


Fragile Star


Gretchen F. image


Soule Creek B&B


Wrinkled Amphissa



Large black slug


Limpets on Sea Palm


Blood Star
Dire Whelk
Chalky Coral Seaweed

Mixed Seaweed

1 comment:

  1. That looks like 18 different types of fun. Great picks of some great finds. Way to go Gretchen and Buzz.

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