With a break in the grey weather, it was the perfect time to pack up the camera and head out to the ocean for the afternoon.
At roughly 2.5 hours away from Seattle, Ocean Shores is about as quick as one can get to the coast. It's a peaceful beach town with not much else going for it. In fact, it seemed like half the homes on the cape were empty. With moped rentals and beach trinket shops filling out the strip centers, I would guess things really start to jump in the summer. So until then, the only thing we needed to look out for were all of the black tail deer grazing on the roadside.
Our first stop was actually before we even got to Ocean Shores. Wanting to check out the campgrounds and pick up a geocache, we pulled into Ocean City State Park.
As we walked out to the shoreline, I thought I was looking at a really fat seagull. But it was actually a bald eagle just chilling at the waters edge. Note the massive flock of shorebirds in the background.
Bored of my sneaky tactics it took off once it decided I was too close for comfort.
Seeing the massive flock of shorebirds in the distance, we hiked up the coast to get a closer look. Surprising, to me, it was a mixture of sandpipers and sanderlings.
And I use the word surprising because I've never seen different kinds of birds flock together. Let alone the synchronized swarming they were doing.
Now that I am re-reading this, I'm sure there is a proper word for it other than "synchronized swarming". That's kind of redundant isn't it...
My friend Jen commented that they reminded her of a bait ball and expected a sky marlin to come cruising through at any moment. I was hoping for a sky whale.
Having felt like I had harassed the birds enough we turned our attention to the sole obstruction on the beach, an old tree stump with a tide pool around it.
A lone starfish was embedded to the top of the stump.
And hanging out in the tide pool around the stump were a handful of hermit crabs in peanut shells.
Almost ready to head back, I finally spotted what I was looking for.
Camouflaged under the sand was this fist sized dungeness crab. I pulled him out for a couple photos before placing him back into the sand where I found him.
Headed back, we made our way along the dunes edge.
Some super tiny footprints found near the oats edge.
The setting sun made for some beautiful patterns in the once submerged sand.
Back at the entrance and on top of the dune, the sun was now shining through the oats.
Shooting directly into the sun, this is probably my favorite photo from the trip.
Without much time left till sunset, we jumped back into the car and headed south towards the jetty.
Along the way we pointed out various hilariously decorated beach homes. Obvious beach rentals, they either had miniature light houses or life-size wooden fishermen posted out front. And depending on how much beach-combing the owner had done, the property was covered in crab buoys and fishing nets clinging to anything that would hold them.
As mentioned before, most of the homes were vacant. And every now and then you would find a small group of deer grazing in the front lawn or out along the roadside. Sadly, we didn't have time to stop and take photos. The sun was almost down, and that I did not want to miss.
Not needing (but definitely wanting) to drive my car out onto the beach, we parked and walked our way up the large dune. We were just in time to have a look around before the big orange ball dropped from view.
While Jen enjoyed the sunset, I ferreted around in the grass and tried to come up with a shot. However, she ruined my plans when she promptly turned around after I managed to get only one shot in. Out of respect for her, I am abstaining from posting the photos that contained the confused and surprised expression on her face. Actually, it was more cro-magnon than anything else.
With the sun now out of sight and darkness taking over, we made our way to Bennet's Fish shack for dinner. Having stuffed our faces on Fish-n-Chips and fried clams strips it was time to say goodbye to the little beach town and make our way back to Seattle.
The drive back was almost more enjoyable as the drive out. We got to enjoy a little bit of star gazing and the roads were clear enough to enjoy the driving through the twisty bits. And best of all...no traffic on I-5.
Having checked Ocean Shores off my list list of cities to visit, I'm not sure I will be back too soon. It's a nice relaxing coastal town, but aside from the shops and the shore there isn't much else to see. I guess if you are into gambling and taking it easy, then this is right up your alley. I prefer a bit more ruggedness to my shorelines and will opt to head north when time permits. But until then, this was exactly what I needed.
Oh Hello there! You've made it to the secret track at the end of the album!
You've done well to scroll this far, and for that please enjoy this animated gif of Jen gracefully jumping over a creek. If you do not see the image above, it's because it's something ridiculous like 4mb and probably hasn't finished loading. Or your connection has had a heart attack and given up.
Either way, I wanted to see what it was like to stitch 12 photos together and then mess around with the animation timeline in Photoshop.
I've now learned that I wish I did this with a tripod. Maybe next time, that is only if Jen doesn't know I posted this and continues to go along with my suggestions the next time I have my camera in hand. 😉