What I Did on My Vacation

Leslie and I haven’t been to the beach since moving to Tacoma two years ago, so we decided to spend the last four days touring much of the Washington and Oregon coast. We would have been hard pressed to find a better time to do so as it was sunny and there were far less people than one would expect to find during the summer.

We started our trip at Ocean Shores, a resort I haven’t visited for nearly thirty five years. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, partially because we went to a state park/wildlife area and were greeted by a flock of pelicans that entertained us for nearly a half hour, catching far more fish than the fishermen on the shore.

We were told the pelicans had returned to this area about five years ago. I couldn’t remember ever seeing them before.

After a late lunch, we headed down the coast to Longview, stopping at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge where we were initially greeted by a hawk and Turkey Vulture,

Vulture or not, we considered it an auspicious beginning to what would turn out, however, to be a long, birdless hike. The few birds that were on the tideflats were so far out that even with a telephoto lens they were indistinguishable. Even the small birds that flew along the dike wouldn’t stay still long enough to have their picture taken.

After several miles of walking, we accepted that fact that we just weren’t going to see any birds or animals and started the long journey back. Reluctant to go back without a single picture, I kept stopping and searching for nearby birds. I never saw any, but while doing so I heard the bugle of a bull elk, and spotted a large buck at the wood line

who was soon followed by a small herd of cows. It would have been hard to imagine a better ending to a day where we had found new beauty in old and new places.

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