Had a great weekend in Long Beach Washington. I had always wondered what was across the bridge from Astoria. This weekend I went exploring. After driving from Oregon over the Astoria-Megler Bridge I wound my way through the town of Ilwaco – past some cool murals – and arrived in Seaview where I stopped at Skookum Surf Co. to rent a bike. I got a rusty green cruiser and headed out for the Discovery Trail – a 9 mile paved trail that runs along the beach and features Lewis & Clark interpretive stops like whale bones and a bronze tree. This is a lovely, flat, relaxing ride through along a beach grass shore. Long Beach, known for its annual kite festival, was in true form — there were almost as many kites out as there were people which is not many. <p>
Tree along the Discovery Trail in Long Beach Washington
After my slow rusty ride I stopped in the Depot Restaurant. Its a spendy place to eat but it is very cozy inside and you can get a good bowl of chowder and a salad for $10. They have more gourmet options if you want to spend the money and I’ve heard good things about the food. After dinner I checked into my Falcon Airstream which was my sleeping accommodations for the evening at the historic Sou’wester Lodge. The Sou’wester is classic Seaview, WA. A bohemian lodge run by Mr. and Mrs. Atkins who offer rooms or lodging in a collection of old trailers. More about Sou’wester here. I stayed in the Potato Bug – a vintage Falcon Airstream with a little bed and bathroom — cozy in a dank, musty, yellowed pillow sort of way — bring your own bedding if you go. Below is a pic of what potato bug might have looked like in better days:
Vintage Airstream Falcon
And here is Potato Bug in present day – interior shot:
I curled up in Potato Bug for the night with a trashy novel and got a good nights sleep. In the morn I headed to 42nd Street Cafe for breakfast. YUM. This place is good! Fresh food, good bread and jam. I cruised down to the tourist pit strip in long beach where there are ice cream, tshirt, taffy and kite shops and the crown jewel: Marshes Free Museum featuring Jake the AlligatorMan. I’d seen this guy’s mug on the back of a lot of bumpers in Oregon — his sticker is all over the place. Ah ha – now I see, he is a small reptilian half breed gathering dust behind glass while sharing shop space with a taxadermic wonderland, a ceramic menagerie of costumed animals, bins of taffy, creepy dolls, tshirts with howling wolves, shells of endangered sea life and vintage dime slot porn machines. Awesome. More pics of the of Marshes Free Museum in a later post.
Having had my fill of stuffed animals, I headed to the historic town of Oysterville where the prized Willapa Bay Oysters are harvested. Oysterville has a collection of cool old homes & buildings — including the oldest post office in the state of Washington. I checked out Leadbetter State Park – the desolate forested tip of the peninsula just past Oysterville that offers amazing bird watching. Also, took a trip to the pioneer cemetery in Nahcotta where there is a tombstone for Chief Nahcati who passed in 1864. The highlight of my jaunt to Oysterville was visiting Oysterville Sea Farms and meeting 3rd generation oyster farmer, Dan, who treated me to some shooters and a spin in Willapa Bay on Shannon Rose, trusty oyster boat. Thanks Dan!! After a spin on the bay, including a up close look at Long Island, we stopped by Dan’s neighbors’ home to check out their amazing Rhododendron garden – a beautifully done garden & pond. More about Oysterville in a future post.
Oysterville Sea Farms & WillaBay
Overall, this was a great trip. I plan on going back soon with my roadbike. This area lends itself to just my kind of bike riding — flat rides with little traffic near water with lots and lots of little nooks and crannies to explore. Plus, I want to go back and explore Cape Disapointment, fly a kite and take some surf lessons. I love this place.