Winter in the Pacific Northwest
Part 1: Long Beach Peninsula, WA
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I’m thrilled to have so many new readers this week. A quick note to you and anyone who may have missed the previous photo essays… The 4-part Seattle series is available on the TGIF page. Links to individual installments are listed at the end of this post. And finally, you can find all recent and past articles in the Archive. Enjoy!
Winter in the Pacific Northwest is considered off-season for some pretty good reasons. It’s gray. It’s rainy. It’s cold. The days are incredibly short—and dark. We arrived in Long Beach Peninsula in December 2017 to discover there was no daylight before 8am, and it gets dark at 4pm.
So why were we there? Also for some good reasons.
We were house sitters, and homeowners typically leave their homes during off-season to spend those less-pleasant-weather weeks and months elsewhere. Hence, opportunities arose for us when the weather turned and residents vacationed.
But since tourists also vanish during the off-seasons, it makes it easier and more enjoyable to visit an area’s prime attractions and places of interest without the height-of-season traffic.
And finally, being somewhere where it isn’t inviting outside encouraged us to stay in and get some work done. We felt less guilty about not taking advantage of sightseeing. (Well, yeah, the Pacific Ocean is just a block away, but the rain is blowing sideways, so I’ll pass on that beach stroll today.)
Cape Disappointment, Long Beach Peninsula, WA
An interesting state park with two lighthouses, many trails, and great scenic lookouts, Cape Disappointment doesn’t seem live up to its name. I discovered the name has historic significance. In 1788, English fur trader John Meares mistakenly thought he had reached a bay instead of the mouth of the great river he was seeking. So, he gave the northern side of the entrance to the river the name Cape Disappointment. His error was corrected several years later by American Robert Gray, who then named the river after his ship, Columbia Rediviva. We went to the park several times, visiting in clear and stormy weather and always found something new to discover.
Driving cross-country, we discovered almost every town has a historic district. Sometimes it’s blocks long and wide, and other times it’s a street or two. Here’s what we found in Historic Oysterville near the northern end of the peninsula.
We were on Long Beach Peninsula for four months. Despite its tiny size, the peninsula is home to nine villages, six state parks, museums, historic sites, and all sorts of recreation, plus, plus. Not everything was available in the off-season, but the abundance of varied and unusual visuals everywhere kept Joe out shooting almost every day.
I’m working on a photo page for the many images that don’t make this email series as a thank-you bonus for paid subscribers, and I’ll send out the link when it’s ready.
In addition to all there was to do right in our backyard, our proximity to the Oregon coast made for a number of fun and exciting day trips. Next week, Astoria, Seaside, and Cannon Beach!
Until then…my best, Shelley
Catch up on the previously published Spring in Seattle series.