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Category Archives: Washington coast

We enjoyed walking to both of the lighthouses with a tour of the North Head Light. As we walked through the woods, we could hear the noise of a nearby helicopter. Once we were out on the bluff we could see that the Coast Guard crew was practicing rescues off of the cliff. There was a child wearing ear protection along with a couple of adults. When we asked if he always walked with ear protection, we were told that his dad was part of the helicopter crew and he was there to watch him work. Pretty cool.

The North Head light has been restored and is open for tours. The Cape Disappointment light is in a state of disrepair and while we could walk to it, no one is allowed in. We also visited Fort Columbia State Historical Park and the town of Long Beach.

Earlier this month I spent a few days at Pacific Beach on the Washington coast. The weather was mostly unpleasant with powerful winds, lots of rain and high surf warnings. This is the second year in a row I’ve experienced bad weather in December on the coast. Hmmm. Next year, let’s not plan to do that!

There was one partially sunny break in the weather and I took advantage of it and hurried outside with my camera and tripod and the dogs to watch and photograph the waves. I got maybe an hour out there before it began to rain again and I took my equipment inside. Too bad. I learned that I missed seeing a magnificent rainbow over the little community of Seabrook. A friend, Sheila Siden, has a place there and she was on the beach at the same time I was and she captured the photo of me and the dogs. I saw her from a good distance away in her orange raincoat. Later that day I saw on facebook that she was in Seabrook and saw her photos. You can see her image of the rainbow here.

Well, of course we took the dogs! And of course they had fun!

I’ve never been very good at identifying shorebirds. It used to be that I birded with some experienced birders and I could muddle my way through the peeps and such but not anymore. And this time of year, the birds are in winter plumage so very few clear ID marks stand out for me. Someday I’d like to go to Alaska in the late spring and see the breeding shorebirds decked out in all their fine feathered plumage. But for now I will have to settle for wintering birds on the Washington coast once in a while.

We had a week away from home and got to spend a few days on the Washington coast at Grayland. Digging razor clams was our goal but the weather interfered with that. The locals warned us that high winds and heavy surf cause the clams to not ‘show’ and they were right. The first night of digging Ken and I got our limits but it wasn’t easy. The next two nights we did not get anymore than a small clam appetizer. It was pretty silly. At one point the wind was blowing about 40 mph and the rain was coming down sideways, in sheets. The beach had a steady stream of water running down to ocean. It was one of the dumber things we’ve ever done. I asked the owner of the place where we were staying, how often does it blow like this and he said it had been at least a couple of years. The next day it blew even harder! Clam digs were at night because that’s when the low tides occurred. Hopefully we can return in the spring when low tides are during the day! We did manage to get out and enjoy the beach a little bit even with the wind and rain and one afternoon the sun came out. I drove down to Tokeland to buy some crab and got to watch the waves from a better vantage point. A day or two after we left, some homes between Grayland and Tokeland fell into the water as a result of the high surf. The place is called Washaway Beach.

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