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Beachcombing on the Washington coast

Beachcombing on Long Beach was very pleasant this morning. It was nice and sunny again, about 55 degrees, and the wind wasn't blowing at all. We went south this time, toward Beard's Hollow. There weren't too many people on the beach, but despite that it never really felt like it was just us and the dogs. In the sand there were washed up jellyfish (not too many), two dead birds (well, just one today, a mallard; yesterday there was a cormorant, just a head, a spine, and some feet), these fascinating little fishy egg sacs that looked like free-floating embryos (about the size of the last two joints of my pinky finger), and almost no shells at all. My only find was a shell that looked like a volcano - there wasn't even any trash, really.

I had forgotten how where the creeks hit the ocean, the seawater turns all brown, but after Friday's rain the creek was still really up and the ocean rolled in coffee colored. We got our feet pretty wet crossing the creek. All in all it was about an hour walk on the ocean, charging up our orgone and vitamin D and enjoying the great seawater smell. Not so great later was the wet dog smell, which had just a touch of rotting fish in it. Unfortunately we didn't get in any pinball in town, although we did make it to Marsh's Free Museum to stock up on Jake the Alligator Man merchandise. I also had Estrella tell my fortune (Jack the Pirate being too expensive) and we picked up high quality engraved shot glasses for Puerto Rico Play.

Our trip was very nice overall after our sodden arrival Friday night (good for pinball and encouraging for eating all of the Thanksgiving leftovers I brought). Saturday morning, after a breakfast of leftover cheddar cheese biscuits and gravy, we walked the dogs in the sand all the way north to Long Beach, playing fetch and watching the incredibly high waves. On the way, we stopped to visit with an 89 year old WWII vet and look at a washed-up whale's skeleton. After buying fudge (at Anna Lena's), books (at Sandpiper books), and chocolate chewies (at the Cottage Bakery, where I got hit with some anti-homosexual invective that took me quite by surprise - guess I'll be getting rid of that boy scout jacket if it makes people think I'm homophobic), we hit the thrift store in Ilwaco, then went to Astoria. Downtown has plumped full of businesses since we were there last, but I'm sad to report that it's pretty much a bunch of upscale tourist crap, and not the kind of organic development that would show that the town had actually made an economic turnaround. (Apparently they're gearing up for the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition, but I'm mystified as to how that fits in with $40,000 bronze clown statues.) We wound up hanging out downtown for a while, and getting caught up with some people singing Christmas carols from business to business on main street. When we finally left, we had two freshly brewed bottles from the Wet Dog pub in hand ... a nice little outing overall.

Tonight we came home to no bathroom and no water in the house, so we went to my brother's and hid out for the evening (it was too damn cold to shower in Long Beach). We got in a game of Puerto Rico and showers, and now it's late and I need to go to bed. I think my one bottle of water will get me through until the plumber shows up tomorrow, but I'm curious about how I'm going to handle any bladder issues ...

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