|Travel Photography Pacific Northwest
Neah Bay, Washington
There are parts of America so elusive, so far from anywhere, that they seem hardly to exist, like ghost civilizations.
Neah Bay is that other America, the most northwesterly place in the continental states. It is a small fishing village, seemingly forever shrouded in a thick fog and a light drizzle, as if from a plane you could never know it was there. Just a few miles beyond it is the tip of America. Cape Flattery, a rugged natural outpost against the sea, settled by puffins and deep-diving birds.
What makes Neah Bay especially unusual is that it is the unofficial capital of the Makah Tribe, and this land - this very tip - is the Makah Nation.
The shroud of fog lifted off Neah Bay just twice. For a few moments in the early 1970s and in the late 1990's, two rather strange, if not related episodes unfolded. People who had never heard of the Makah came to protest against them. But the fog crept back in, and the world again forgot about Neah Bay and the Makah Indians of the Olympic Peninsula.