Grays Harbor

Down along the coast we moved slowly through small towns, getting groceries in markets with one aisle. In Quinalt we stopped in at the lodge—a gorgeous building built with grounds that immediately had Ali and I both thinking of the movie Dirty Dancing. We camped down around the corner where the kids discovered a creek running into the lake. For a while they raced scraps of paper down the creek, before changing course and building dams to stop the paper instead.

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I actually tried to use this phone. Had there been a dial tone it would have been my first phone call in months. Instead, my streak is intact.

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We swung through Hoquiam in need of some groceries and possibly a stray wifi signal after being out of touch for a few days. We didn’t find the signal (admittedly the supermarket parking lot wasn’t a very good effort at it) but we did find a nice new park for the kids to burn off steam. The place was packed with dozens of kids, and only about three adults. That seemed weird until the school district’s free summer lunch van pulled up. I thought that was a pretty nice thing in the midst of a town that looked like it could really use it.

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We circled a few miles back to the NW up to Pacific Beach—a cute two block town with a state park right on the beach. Friday. Full. It was worth a try. Back down the beach we went in search of one of the many grubby looking RV parks we’d passed on the way up, eventually settling in somewhere around Copalis Beach. We had a prime spot sandwiched between two RVs with small yapping dogs. The hallmark of a certain generation of RVers.

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The next day we moved on again. Both of my maps showed a ferry crossing between Ocean Shores and Westport. A short hop across the mouth of Grays Harbor which would save us forty miles or so. Ocean Shores was a full on holiday maker town. After all the small towns and nothingness along the coast it came as a bit of a surprise when the fast-food and drink-special restaurants popped up. At the end of road I expected to see some signs for the ferry—nothing. When I stopped to ask directions I got a sort of funny smile and, “The ferry stopped running six years ago. Our side of the harbor silted up so much they couldn’t get through any more.” I suppose I better write to Rand-McNally and let them know that their old paper atlas’ are out of date. It’s almost like people have been using something other than an atlas to navigate for the past few years. I can’t figure it out.

We eventually circled around to Westport and visited the lighthouse, which was very nice. It started life just three-hundred feet from the beach, but now sits back four-thousand feet with an entire condo development between it and the sea. That’s how much the area has silted up.

This is what happens to you along the coast of Washington without reservations.

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