Thursday, March 05, 2009


Hey, we're going on a boon-doggel. A day of meandering around, stopping here and there for pictures and the random fish 'n chips. Reid and Sheila are going, in fact Reid's driving today, but they said there was room enough for you. Are you ready to go? Quick, go pee and get in the car. We're headed across the river to southwestern Washington. First stop is the harbor on Shoalwater Bay in Tokeland, Washington. If your up for it, when we leave here we'll stop for a few minutes at the casino at the end of the road. Ja? Sound like fun?

A crab boat is sitting in the harbor, loaded and ready to go while stacks of crab pots sit on the dock, just waiting to be tossed into the sea. When they are pulled back up, hopefully they will be full of squirming red dungeness crab. Mmmm...The Pacific Northwest is such an amazing place. The tastes, sights and sounds are so unique and beautiful. I'm so glad you joined me for todays boon-doggel. Can you smell the bay and fresh air? Breathe deeply now...there...did you get it?

This old seawall at the harbor has seen better days. Strong winds and rough sea's have buffeted the pilings around, given them a beating until the straight lines have given way to the creaking and crookedness of old age. As you stand here, looking down, the wind catches your hair and a stray raindrop tickles your nose.

I have made it my mission to climb to the top of every lighthouse I find, but didn't hike up to the top of the Gray's Harbor Lighthouse in Westport, Washington. Just means another roadtrip is in order one of these days. Are you up for that? This lighthouse is the tallest in Washington state, but sits far back from the coastline in the tree's. My friend, Sheila, who used to be a commercial fisherwoman, assured me that you can see it from the ocean and it does it's job just fine. I still don't see it...Seems that it barely sticks up above the tip-top of the tree's, but apparantly it's enough.

When you get to Westport, make sure you drive down to the harbor. It's so much bigger than I had pictured with a huge commercial fishing fleet based out of there. Make sure you drive down to the end and walk up to the top of the observation tower. Make sure you have your raincoat. A little bit chilly up here this time of year. But beautiful sites all the way around - the lighthouse, the harbor, the bay and the Pacific Ocean all greet you. Incredible even on the cloudiest of days.
On your way back down the road, don't miss the USCG Maritime Museum pictured above. The museum is located in this gorgeous old Coast Gaurd quarters, which happened to be closed this Sunday, but we still walked around, rain sprinkling our noggins, and enjoyed the exhibits in the outside glass cases. The skeleton of the gray whale that washed ashore is an incredible sight, not to be missed. That guy was just a yearling but was HUGE! Can you imagine how big he would be full-grown?

South Bend, Washington is a beautiful little town sitting on the banks of Willapa Bay. It's a fishing town, full of oyster farms and sweet old houses. There's an oyster bar right down the road. Should we stop?

Built in 1911, the Pacific County Courthouse sits majestically on top of the hill in South Bend, reigning over this lush, green land. We walk around the building, looking up in awe. Oh, the suns out. Put your sunglasses on. The craftsman ship that went into these old county buildings is incredible and shows such pride. It's really to bad that work like this is the exception now and not the rule.

Leaving South Bend and heading home to Astoria, we stop along the way at Nisbet Oyster for some fresh shuckers. Riff slurped one down raw, but I prefer mine cooked. How are you going to eat yours? In a few days, I'll show you how we cooked ours. Very yummy!

Back home, the golden sun sets on a perfect day, beckoning us out to the deck for a hot drink and time to reflect. Come on Riff, lets go in now so these nice people can go home. Thanks for a great day. Good night!


Adrienne said...

Oh, I enjoyed the trip so much. I could smell the salt-sea air and hear the waves and the gulls. It was so refreshing to get away for just a bit with you. Let's do it again sometime, OK? ~Adrienne~

Tillybud said...

Thanks for a lovely trip. I like my oysters any which way.

Shelby said...

Loved it!!! you know I like taking trips, real and virtual alike. I like that YOU like where you live. ahhhhhhh happy friday t'ya!

Adrienne said...

Even with this stuffy nose of mine I could smell the ocean! Ahhh ... maybe that's what I needed to clear this head up!

Twisted Fencepost said...

I enjoyed this trip of the other side of the US, very much! Make room for me on the next trip, I'm already putting in my request.

Stacey's Treasures said...

You are making me to excited for the trip there. I can hardly wait!
The song is perfect.

Jodi Renshaw said...

I would love this. We do similar little trips throughout Maine (the other coast :)

tipper said...

Loved the boon doggel!! I always love your trips-and your pictures!!

Mary said...


Thanks for inviting us along for the trip. The photos are awesome. Yes, I would like to climb that lighthouse with you. I'm up for that. I may have to crawl the last half, but will do it just for the awesome view.

Love the sunset and the little village. I really HAVE to get to Washington state.

Blessings for a great weekend.

Susan said...

I know we are a ways upriver from you, but sometimes that old west wind brings with it just a bit of the sea and salt to tease me. The sharp tang of it in my nose makes the coast feel so close, and yet so far. Thanks for taking me along today, just the mini vacation I needed!
The sunset was gorgeous.

Britt-Arnhild said...

Such days are my favorite days!

ancient one said...

I'm so glad there was room for me in the car... such a fun time I'll climb to the top of the light house with you...

Love Bears All Things said...

I had a wondeful time seeing more of Washington. I was only there once before, in Seattle. We were there a few days but didn't have a car. We walked from the hotel every where we went but on afternoon, another employee of Honey Bear's company asked us to go down to the needle with him. I wishe we could have seen more of your state.
I love crab. In fact I had crabcakes and greek salad with crab just last night here in Houston.
You made the day seem so real to me with the pictures and descriptions.
I'll take my oysters fried, thank you.
Mama Bear

TC said...

oh gorgeous photos! I love road trips, and I simply adore your part of the country. Thanks for taking us along with you.

Anonymous said...

the picture at the bottom with the sunset is the one i want.