The GraveYard of the Pacific

Mileage today: 151. Total: 1,452 miles

We left Lake Quinault at around 930 and made one stop before leaving town. The Quinault tribe shop selling fresh blueback and king salmon which was just down the road from us, opposite Dinos pizza. We were lucky too. Not only did they have a fabulous large fillet of the Quinault fresh salmon for about $9 but they also had a massive hunk of line caught fresh halibut from one of the seacoast tribal villages. That was more expensive at $20 but it’s a massive piece. If we weren’t so greedy, it would probably make 4 good portions.

It began with the woods, and ended at the Pacific Ocean.

On we went taking Rt. 101 south, through the last of the peninsula to Aberdeen. Aberdeen, on the coast, is probably best known as the place Kurt Cobain, the tragic lead singer of Nirvana grew up and began his career. I can’t say it had an awful lot going for it and we saw it on a sunny day (31C). We stopped there to visit Walmart and pick up a few more supplies for the next 4 days when we will have a full kitchen.

Then we left 101 for a brief detour to Westport, to have lunch looking at the Pacific and also to view the Gray’s Harbor Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in the state at 107 feet. Some days you can climb it, but not on a Wednesday!!! From Westport we headed on down the coast road, a very pretty drive as far as Raymond. Massive lumber yard there. Quite the biggest I’ve ever seen. We stopped in Raymond to visit the Willapa Seaport Museum

What a brilliant place!! Not huge but crammed with maritime related items and most interestingly arranged. You could spend hours in there examining all the exhibits. The labelling and grouping is good but you are also offered a tour. There is no charge to visit but you can make a donation if you like. We had a good stop there. It’s well worth visiting.

Our road rejoined 101 and we followed it all the way south to our accommodation at Ilwaco on Long Beach We passed so many oyster farms along the way all growing and harvesting the famous Willapia oysters. Looking forward to sampling some.

I guess I should explain the title of this piece. The stretch of coastline from Destruction Island to Astoria in Oregon has been called the Graveyard of the Pacific because its treacherous coastline and huge seas have wrecked so very many ships over the centuries and it is still a formidable coast even with modern technology. And yet despite this, fishing and maritime industries havs always played a big part in the life of the coast.

Long beach is a narrow finger of land sticking out into the Pacific and forming a barrier to the mainland. It is an old fashioned “land that time forgot” area that has strong Lewis and Clark connections as it is the place from where they first viewed the Pacific Ocean after their epic journey. We are going to visit some of their places tomorrow.

Love our little studio cottage. It’s a heatwave here, which is very unusual, so no a/c, but the breezes blowing through from the sea are brilliant. It’s not at all hot.

So, tonight we had our sumptuous salmon, lightly poached for dinner with fresh asparagus and tiny new potatoes. It was so soft, like silk. Absolutely delicious and certainly lived up to its billing. Only wish we’d bought some more!!!! But then… tomorrow we have the halibut!!!

We’re going to have a nice time here in Long Beach.

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