July 21, 2019
My excitement can hardly be contained. After the past couple of years, we have finally made it to the Pacific Ocean. Not close, not an inlet like Puget Sound, but the actual wide open ocean. For such a milestone in our travels, I felt it was worth a blog post, so humor me.
We are staying just north of Ocean Shores, WA in a small RV park whose property backs up to the ocean. The kind lady told us of a short pathway to the main paved road that led to a bridge to access the ocean. Then she also told us of the “other way”.
The “other way” sounded exactly the kind of adventurous walk my boys would run towards after being cooped up in a truck for the past half day. After a short stroll through a mowed grass area, we found an old gravel trail. We traced it through some shrubbery until we reached a 15 foot wide inlet channel. From there we climbed into an old fiberglass row boat that was attached to a nylon cord. The boys then proceeded to pull the four of us across the channel to the other side. After we climbed ashore and pulled the boat up on land, we made our way through scrubby grass and burrs weaving among the many sand dunes. My youngest was so excited, he ran ahead, following the trail of course. Finally, we spotted the ocean waves at the top of the last sand dune.
I was surprised at how firm the sand was when I first stepped foot on the ocean side. We were still quite far from the actual water. For so far away from water, I could hardly believe I was not sinking halfway up to my knees like I have experienced in every other beach in the past. As we neared the water, I noted how level it seemed, other than the ripple marks from either the wind or waves. I could envision my siblings going for their runs along this empty shoreline.
The shells were also quite different. The entire shoreline was littered with decaying crabs – legs, pincers, bodies, mostly dismantled and picked through by the birds. Scattered among that mess were sand dollar fragments. I was surprised when we finally discovered a couple complete sand dollars as most seemed to practically crumble in our fingers. I did spot a little hermit crab still wiggling inside its shell. My oldest found a couple other jellyfish like creatures too.
The ocean water appeared shallow as the waves began breaking up in layers beginning a little ways out. I had no intention on getting my feet wet as I remembered my whale watching guide tell me the inlet water remained in the low 50’s year round. If that water was that cold there, I had no desire to try out the ocean water. Besides, that’s what guys are for. They all got their sandals wet and easily confirmed my suspicion. I was content being like all those sandpipers that got close to the water and then ran away when a wave approached.
Our family took a couple hour walk along the beach. This place was practically deserted with no beach umbrellas in sight. Off in the distance other walkers were meandering back and forth like us. The sea gulls and the flocks of all kinds of birds were the true residents of the area. Being true to tradition, Joel shot a photo of the biggest sea gull he could find. The decision was tough as there were so many to choose from. My youngest, who has quite the eye for detail, spotted a bird with one leg. This little bird easily kept up with the others as it bounced on the one leg while the others ran along the shoreline. He was hard to keep up with for I would lose him when the entire flock would fly a couple yards away. What a wonderful life example that little bird reminded me of – that even with a disability that little bird had the determination to be like the rest, keep up with them, and not give up. We do not have to be perfect in our own minds to still be a beautiful part of God’s creation.
On the way back, we realized we made a little mistake on our walk. Where is our path to our campsite? Sand dunes were the only landscape we saw in the east. Which one did we come out of? We knew it was past a couple milestones, but where? We narrowed the region down and then noticed a green marker. Could this be it? Yes, it fortunately was.
On the walk back the boys teased that they were taking the boat across alone and leaving their father and me stranded. I pulled the ultimate “mom card”. I only had to remind them who makes supper for them and they quickly retrieved us to complete our Pacific Ocean beach adventure.
Until we meet again,