the place used to be a granite quarry about 150 years ago, until it was abandoned in the first half of the 20th century. the quarry, now filled with water, looked like an inland pond with deep sloping rock walls. that was all very interesting, but we were here for the tidal pools, and made a beeline for the rocky beach, negotiating through paths overgrown in waist-high thorny thickets. the few groups of people who encountered either seemed to be fellow nature fanatics like ourselves (most likely birders) or families with kids. renata noticed that most of the families there were foreigners, speaking either portuguese, spanish, russian, or chinese.
good news, we found the tide pools; bad news, it just happened to be high tide at the time. most of the remaining exposed tide pools we saw were empty, not even seaweeds were growing in them, nothing but clear salty seawater. we hopped around from rock to rock, searching for signs of life in these tide pools,
we went a little bit further down the beach before we saw these rock formations, an obvious homage to andy goldsworthy. they seemed dangerous though, a child injury waiting to happen, although there were so many granite rocks of all sizes and shapes strewn about that a small child would probably be injured in so many other ways besides being crushed by toppling rock statues.
we found a large empty tide pool (N 42°41.533' W 070°37.925') and sat to rest, enjoying the shoreline, drinking our ginger ales, eating our trail mix. eventually we got cold enough that we had to go back inland, where it was warmer.
we walked up the side of the hill to a scenic overlook above a mountain pile of large quarried granite blocks. in front of us as far as the eye could see was the atlantic ocean. it was hard to gauge how far up we were except for the small pinpoints of people walking on the rocks far away down below us. renata remarked how great it'd be to come here at night and watch the stars or a meteor shower, i mumbled in agreement.
we went to the visitor's center tower to use the bathroom, but not before we saw something that scared us a little bit. in the distance up in a tree, renata spotted something big and black. i took out my monocular to get a closer look: it was a large black bird, looked like a crow but was the size of an eagle. a raven! i've never seen a raven before, and i hope i never will again. although ravens are only 6" longer than crows, to see a "crow" of that size is kind of scary. it didn't make a sound, just perched on top of a tree, surveying the landscape. after we used the bathroom (composting toilets! yuck!), we left halibut point.
half a mile down the road heading back home, we parked briefly at folly cove landing. a tough love father smoking a cigarette was leading 4 little girls down the rocky shore. here the tide pools were different. because they were closer to the land, ocean life mixed with terrestrial life to create this layer of green primordial ooze on a lot of the pools. in one clear pool however we saw small shrimps hiding between the crevasses in the rocks. this part of the beach also had a small rock shoreline, where clumps of different seaweeds had washed up onshore.
we made it back to town. since neither of us had lunch yet and renata had an hour or two to kill before she had to meet up with her brother, we got some food in the porter exchange at the ramen shop. i had the pork miso ramen, renata ordered the chinese vegetable miso ramen. minutes later, the waiter served us our cauldron of hot ramen. neither renata nor i could finish our portions. afterwards, renata got a red bean mochi from the ice cream shop while i had a double scoop of green tea ice cream on a cone. renata drove me back to my place before going home.