Jer and I spent three days last week on the Washington coast, just north of Astoria. Friends own a house about halfway up Long Beach peninsula, a couple of blocks from the beach, and when they offered we couldn't resist. Getting to the coast hadn't been a big priority since we moved to Oregon, since we lived at the coast for almost ten years. But we really missed the ocean -- the sight and the sound of it, and the proximity -- simply knowing that it was there.
Off-season, mid-week, Long Beach is a sleepy place. This sign about sums it up.
But we checked out pretty much everything that was open, from the sublime -- that would be Leadbetter Point, where a flock of shorebirds, literally hundreds of them, wheeled over our heads -- to the ridiculous, e.g. Jake the Alligator Man at Marsh's deeply weird and mildly depressing Free Museum. Found quite a few interesting objets rusting in the marsh grass along Willapa Bay, some v. cool driftwood and an astounding abundance and variety of mushrooms in the woods. Oh yes, and some of us (i.e. moi) ate oysters. Advice to oyster-philes: Counter-intuitive as it might seem, when it comes to Willapa Bay oysters, "extra-small" is what you want. These puppies tend toward the, ah, big-boned end of the spectrum, oyster-wise. To use a cat metaphor, they are the ragdolls of the mollusc world.
On the way home, we stopped at Cape Disappointment (that, along with Dismal Nitch (sic), has to be one of the best place names in the Northwest) and the excellent Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. L&C bicentennial-mania was just peaking when we moved here last summer; at the time, unpacking and settling in was a much higher priority than satisfying any incipient curiosity I might've felt about those guys and what, exactly, they'd accomplished. Now I'd like to learn more. Good job, Interpretive Center!
Jer and I aren't lighthouse freaks, but we do make a point of climbing every legally-accessible iconic tower-like structure a new place might offer. I took a bunch of arty closeups at Cape D's North Head Lighthouse, on view in my Washington Coast set on Flickr.