Yesterday we decided to get out of town for a bit, and head to Ocean Shores for the day! I actually hadn’t been there in about 13 years (horrifying, I’m sure) since it’s a 2.5 hour drive from where we live, and longer from where we used to live. The forecast was for mid-50’s with the clouds burning off in the afternoon, so it seemed like a good day to head off to the ocean. For those of you from warmer climates, the Pacific Ocean off of the Washington coast isn’t exactly swimming temperatures, or a good place to go sunbathing, but it makes for a nice walk in the beach, looking for shells, beach glass, and pretty rocks.
I picked up a little “sled” kite at a shop on the way to the beach for $6, very similar to one I had when I was little, and had fun flying it a little. And no, I’m not standing in the ocean to fly my kite… the sand was just still very wet from the receding tide!
Parts of the beach were completely covered in these tiny squishy (and slightly crunchy) things to the point where you couldn’t help but step on them. I’m not sure what they were – a type of jellyfish perhaps? The biggest were about the size of a quarter, and were clear when they dried out. Does anybody know what they are?
Edit (4/4/16): After a quick Google search that I was too tired to do yesterday that lead to a CNN article, it looks like these creatures are called Velella velella.
The tide was going out when we arrived, and it left some really neat patterns in the sand on its way out. We saw quite a few crab shells – the only thing left was the top of their shell – and a lot of broken sand dollar shells. I seem to recall a lot more shells being intact on the beach when I was little. We had a good walk on the beach – and the tide being out made the walking much easier – lots of firm, wet sand to walk on!
After a good walk, we drove up to the jetty to do some more exploring. I was dry until this point… in exploring the rocks, a wave came in faster than expected, and as of this morning my shoes were still damp!
It was really cool that the tide was still out while we got to explore the jetty – lots of barnacles and other sea-critters to check out on the rocks!
It would be very cool to have seen these rocks partially submerged – I think the squishy looking things on the left are some sort of sea anemone, all tucked in on itself waiting for the tide to come back in. We also saw some snails and mussels attached to the rocks. If you click on the picture to view it full size, you can see some snails in the rock above, too.
We climbed on the rocks a bit and stood around watching the ocean and listening to the waves as the tide came back in.
Even though I’d only seen it once in the last 20 years, I was able to figure out which house along the beach used to belong to my grandparents. It didn’t have the two decks on the front or the garage when I was little, but I have some fun memories of Easters out there with the entire family, and spending time on the beach. There were enough rooms and beds to sleep 16 of us without anybody on the couch, and walking distance from the ocean. I had a hard time recognizing the area, and not just because of how long it has been, but because there are a LOT more houses along the ocean than there used to be.
Here’s my little haul from the beach. For size reference, the sand dollar isn’t much bigger than a quarter! One piece of beach glass to add to my collection, and a few cool looking rocks.
On our way back through Aberdeen, we stopped at Duffy’s for an early dinner – and some blackberry pie, which was the entire point of stopping at Duffy’s. If you’re ever in that area, they make an excellent blackberry pie!
I managed to stay awake on the drive home long enough to get some pictures of the cooling towers from the Satsop nuclear reactor that-never-was in Elma, Washington. Even though they were never used, it’s a little bit of an eerie sight on the horizon! I wonder if you can tour it?
After that, it was nap time 🙂 I’ll have to make sure we don’t wait another 13 years before going back to the ocean!