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Aug 31 2011

Pacific Northwest: Day 3

Blogging, Pacific Northwest Edition – Day 3!

On Saturday I started the morning with a little Twitter in bed. That sounds dirty because the word “bed” is in it, but I guarantee it’s less exciting than it sounds. The call of coffee became too strong to resist, and so I moved into the living room. The unbelievably relaxing, peaceful, never-want-to-leave-it living room. 

My sister and brother-in-law rent the bottom floor of a two-story house and it’s just incredible. There are two huge nearly floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room which look onto the expansive, woodsy backyard. They have a wood deck that’s probably the size of my entire living room. It’s gorgeous. The view alone is worth their paltry $850 monthly rent, and they also have a huge kitchen, a washer/dryer, two bedrooms and they get to have a dog and cat for no extra fee. Jerks.

That morning me and my sis went out to the roadside ditch in front of their house to pick blackberries. Blackberries grow everywhere up here. Apparently they’re a real pain in the ass for people who want to cultivate manicured lawns, but if you like the natural woodsy look you can just trim them like hedges to keep them under control and then enjoy fresh blackberries for the entire season.

Our morning blackberry harvest.

After a breakfast of gluten-free blackberry pancakes, the sister and brother-in-law unit took us to Larrabee State Park to walk along the beach and visit the tide pools.  When we arrived we parked in a lot and walked across a cleared area that looked a lot like a normal midwestern park – a kid’s playground, a picnic pavillion, the usual. But we knew we were in for a treat after crossing through about 20 feet of forest; we started hearing the sound of waves washing across sand and we passed this collection of signs:

Gee…only a five dungeness limit? What harsh lives these Washingtonites live! And that pink sign to the right is a warning to not approach seal cubs. Seal cubs! Well, spoiler, we didn’t see any seal cubs, and the only dungeness crab that we found had already been picked apart by the ocean-dwelling competition. But we did see a ton of starfish, sea anemonae, hermit crabs, snails, limpets and barnacles. We also found a heron and a bunch of pretty large seagulls.

Chuckanut Bay from Larrabee State Park

Purple Ochre Sea Stars anchored to rock during low tide.

Snails in a rock crevice in the tide pools. 

A great blue heron stands on a rock outcropping in the bay while gulls fly overhead.

Two seagulls fight over a clam.

We spent a couple of hours at Larrabee then drove a few miles down the road to Clayton Beach. This time we hiked about half a mile to get to the beach. We passed through a moss and fern-filled forest, over a train track and finally emerged onto a new beach. Our big finds here were hundreds of sand dollars, the carcass of a dogfish and the ruins of an old railroad.

The Sister and the Hubby in the woods en route to Clayton Beach

Clayton Beach

A small collection of the sand dollars that we found within a few steps of this spot.

Dogfish carcass

The Hubby in front of railroad ruins on Clayton Beach

We stopped for lunch at a little diner called Winn’s in Fairhaven. It turns out that hiking through the woods, tromping over sand, and breathing fresh salt air for about four hours will stimulate the appetite. We had burgers, fries and milkshakes and then headed home to recoup. It turns out that recoup in this case meant nap for two hours. We were crazy exhausted and we didn’t even realize it until we woke up at about 5pm.

That evening we drove up Mount Baker. This is all I have to say about Mount Baker.

1 comment

  1. 1
    Paula Bilyeu

    Lucky stiff. When I was there in JULY! Picture lake was shrouded in fog and covered in ice. However, I have to say, I took some kickass pictures anyway. Love this shot.

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