Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ocean Shores Getaway - Ocean View

Gareth & I are working on a more official article about our trip, but I wanted to get a few thoughts down before time gets away from me.

Gareth arranged a great getaway for us this past weekend to Ocean Shores. We stayed at the Shilo Inn Suites on Ocean Shores Boulevard with an oceanfront view. I have to admit, I wasn't exactly thrilled with the weather on Friday, when we drove southwest to get to Ocean Shores. What could've been a beautiful, scenic drive was quite dreary, but for a Friday evening commute, it was quite hassle-free once we were south of Lakewood. Not a lot of beach-seekers this time of year.

It's been at least five years since I've been to Ocean Shores, but for Gareth it's been at least twenty-five, so it was practically a new experience for him. Now that he knows how accessible it is and exactly why I've longed for a trip to Ocean Shores since he's known me, I see a lot of trips to Ocean Shores in our future.

I'd forgotten how cold it can be by the ocean, but the fresh gusts of wind and the roar of the crashing waves called out like an old friend. The ocean has a way of jumpstarting your heart. It changes the rhythm of your pulse, literally taking your breath away. I didn't even have to see it to feel it's affect on me. I could smell the salty sea air and hear the seagulls and I knew I was where I needed to be.

The fresh ocean air is oddly invigorating and calming at the same time. I woke up Saturday morning wanting to take on the world...but slowly. Gareth had scheduled an electric boat trip, a lunch at Lake Quinault Lodge and dinner at the hotel restaurant. I was reluctant to get out of bed too early, but Gareth beckoned me to the balcony to see who was welcoming us to Ocean Shores. With bleary eyes, I could barely make them out as they blended in with the sea grass, but luckily, the digital camera has better morning vision.

A trio of deer made their way to the ocean on a well tread trail, passing below our balcony in the process. Off in the distance, early risers made good use of the ocean winds to fly their kites. What made the sight even more fascinating was the swarm of shorebirds forming around the bigger kite.

Apparently Grays Harbor County is a bird watcher's paradise. The region tends to attract birders from all over the country. Many come to search out sea birds on the open sea boat trip out of Westport, while others take in birding in Ocean Shores. Each Spring, hundreds of thousands of shorebirds stop to rest and feed in Grays Harbor estuary on their migration northward. We caught the tail end of the mass migration, where birds fly in beautiful formations, usually timed just hours before high tide came in and again after the tide lowered.

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