Thursday, October 20, 2005

Oysterville and Sand Dollars

My friend Magot, from Kansas, is visiting, and I thought we ought to do a few of the must-see touristy things. So I took her for her maiden voyage across the Astoria bridge to the Long Beach Peninsula. She's had knee replacements, so trudging up to Cape D or down to North Head was out of the question. So I decided to take her to Oysterville and Nahcotta.

In Nahcotta I saw the sign for the Port of the Peninsula, turned down the road, and brought the car to a screeching halt. I have not seen big piles of oyster shells like that since I was a child on the shoreline of CT. It was an almost visceral nostalgia jolt.

I pulled all the way in and just stood there, staring at the oyster shells. It was the strangest thing ... almost like a homecoming. An oyster boat was out on Willapa Bay gathering oysters, and that was a huge treat, too. It was a lovely gray day, and the water was very calm. I was so interested in how they did it, with a big basket sort of thing. In CT the oyster boats lowered huge rakes over the side to gather the oysters.

Fortunately, I had my camera with me, and got lots of interesting shots, which I will be working on for the next week or two.

Up in Oysterville, there were three raccoons just plopped on the front steps of the oyster sales place. One of them stuck his tongue out at me, and I had my camera in my hands at the time. It's a fun shot.

Oysterville is very beautiful, but so desolate. I can't decide if the desolation makes it more beautiful, or makes it a little creepy. Whichever it is, it's an interesting spot, visually, and I need to go back there more often.

The whole peninsula is like a throwback to the CT or MA shoreline in the 1950's. I hope it flourishes, but not in the same way, or it would be as ruined as those two shorelines are. Although neither MA or CT has tidal wave evacuation route signs all over the place ... a big drawback for investors on the peninsula, I would imagine. I find the tidal wave threat a little menacing, but interesting at the same time, in a weird way.

Today I took Margot down Lewis & Clark Rd. to Seaside, then back up the 101, where we stopped in Gearhart for her "ocean fix." I only have a 2-wheel drive car, so I had never ventured out on the beach.

I parked at the edge of the beach, got out, picked up a sand dollar for her, and wandered around a little. Margot wasn't sure if she could walk on sand, so I felt a little guilty. I kept thinking that she really needs see the water up close, as she hadn't heard or seen the ocean in years. So finally I said to hell with it, and drove out onto the sand. I drove the car about a mile up and down the beach just above the tide line, and she loved it. So did I!

Every time I think I've settled into a little rut here, some sight or sound just astounds me. There's something new and wonderful every day.

Astoria Photografpix

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