Anniversary adventure: Ocean Shores
Saturday was our 12th anniversary, and, after my husband mowed our lawn in a lightly falling snow, we were Grunhilde Audi’s happy passengers to Ocean Shores.
The forecast called for unseasonably cold temperatures, rain, snow, and thunder. I dressed for a Bering Strait cruise, but alack, none of the dramatic weather arrived. The wind was cool and brisk as it almost always is on the coast, but no thunder clapped, and the snow was limited to the roadside and trees on the way to the coast.
As we left Tacoma, a woman driving a Toyota passed us. On the hatch of her car was a bumper sticker that said, “Make Gloves, Not War.” I knit gloves; I was knitting a sock in the car. I liked her immediately.
Aberdeen and Hoquiam looked more depressed than they did last year. Aberdeen is down to one Duffy’s from two; this is probably a good thing. A Mexican restaurant replaced the Duffy’s at the east end of town. Even the big junk store is closed. The only thing really going is Wishkah Mall. Logging towns don’t seem to be reinventing themselves amid economic change; they just get more downtrodden.
We stopped to walk at a bird refuge just west of Hoquiam. There’s a nice boardwalk that loops around for about a mile, so it’s a good stop to stretch your stiff legs, but we’ve never seen any unusual birds there.
Where we saw unusual birds, or at least usual birds in uncommon numbers and flight patterns, was at Griffith-Priday State Park, north of Copalis. More than a thousand geese flew overhead just as we hit the dunes. Several hundred flew in eight V-formations, and another several hundred flew in swirling formations suggesting an aurora borealis. I figured the swirling geese were of a democratic persuasion; the more orderly ones in the Vs more likely represented a goose republic.
A short boardwalk leads to the dune trail at Griffith-Priday State Park.
The surf was white but hardly stormy at Ocean Shores.
We chose Ocean Shores over Westport because it has the best restaurants. Alec’s by the Sea has to be the best of the best. The fare is similar to what you would find at Anthony’s, and the ambiance is that of a nice diner. The service is wonderful. We were there for lunch this year; last year we went for dinner and I loved watching the bartender polish glasses with a satisfied finesse. He seemed to me one of the last people in America who could do things and was glad of it.