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!
Posted by Paula at 9:35 PM