Recently we hiked out to the mouth of the Hoh River. I was hoping to kill a couple of birds with one stone; I wanted to revisit the mouth and see how much had changed since my last visit a few years back and on the way, I wanted to document some of the debris left from the remains of ‘Oil City’.
Behind the Photo
Once we arrived at the mouth I could see not much had changed other than a shifting of the river mouth bar. What really caught my eye was the sheer amount of logs and other debris on the beach. It all looked like utter chaos; but once I started to really look at it I though it might make an interesting photograph.
To give it a little juxtaposition I framed the shot so that the tranquility of the ocean (relative in this case) was in the backdrop. I’m happy with it.
The Hoh River is approximately 56 miles in length and originates at the Hoh Glacier on Mt. Olympus. It’s drain basin is roughly 300 square miles so that accounts for the massive number of logs I found at it’s mouth. In the photo you’ll notice all the smooth rounded rocks. That’s because the Hoh River is a glacial river fed by glaciers on Mount Olympus, such as the Blue Glacier. The glaciers grind rock into a fine glacial flour which turns the Hoh River a milky slate blue color. The river valley is generally broad and relatively flat, causing the glacial sediments to settle out, creating extensive gravel bars, river meanders, and the many side channels characteristic of a braided river.