Day 2 Road Trip

This morning is another brilliant day and I have to meet with the manager for a tour. The grass is all frosty and the lake looks very cold. Breakfast service was lousy and the food came to the table cold. I ordered tea – I just haven’t wanted coffee lately – and the water was barely warm!

Met with Fred the manager who doesn’t really have a grip on things I don’t think. Went on a tour of the property which he says is going to get renovated and improved. We’ll see. I really had high expectations for Quinault.

Got out of there around 10 and took a side road to Moclips on the coast. I thought it looked like a third world nation but Chris said it was “just me.” There were old trailers and run down, boarded up stores and it just look lousy. But the beaches are beautiful – long, wide expanses of flat sand. It was low tide so the sea was way out and there were basically no waves.

On the other side of Aberdeen we headed over the hills and back down to the water – tomorrow, Saturday, we’ll do the beach route but decided today to make tracks and get down to Long Beach. The road meanders along Willapa Bay, a vast expanse of calm (at least today) water where there is a huge oyster farming industry. In fact, you can’t pick oysters on the shore as all the tidelands are leased to private companies. But there are lots of places you can stop to buy fresh oysters and the oyster packing plants have mountains of shells piled beside the plants. Raymond is a cute little town that I think has potential to grow – it has a sculpture wildlife corridor that is very intriguing. Metal sculptures line the roads – some are of people and these seem to be 3-dimensional and the animal ones are flat metal cutouts. Very cool! And the first of many murals we found along the way. South Bend hugs the river and we watched an oyster boat come in an unload – the oysters come shooting out of the conveyor into the hopper for transport. All these little towns have antique stores which would be fun to explore and there is always a crab restaurant.

Close to Long Beach and inside the bay there is a huge wildlife refuge island. We wondered if you could actually get out there by boat and whether you can land there as there are boat ramps. The wind was howling in the bay, actually whipping the water up into plumes. I’ve never seen that before. I think if we were out on the ocean the water could become a water spout. There is water everywhere here. So many rivers and wide expanses of flat land with sloughs meandering through. Bogs, actually! And this is cranberry country.

Long Beach is kitsch tourist town. An extended Balboa Island, Chris says. Hot dog stands, bumper cars, ye olde gifte shoppe etc. But we are to stay at the Shelburne Inn which is on the Historical places register and is beautiful.

It was about 2:30 by this time so we decided to stop and have a snack – Chris’ snack was an enormous burger at the local tavern and I found the smallest thing – fried mozzarella sticks – so that tided us over.

I had an appointment at The Depot, a restaurant in a converted railway station. So left Chris at the tavern and went on my own. Cute place! Lots of history and really nice people, Michael and Nancy. Then I checked in at the Shelburne and they have us staying out at the B&B at China Beach. I picked Chris up and we went to find the place. Drove around a bit before asking! The sign had been knocked over in the storm so we had driven by the place twice! Anyway, it is really a delightful spot, right down on the water across from the approach to Ilwaco Harbor.