Sea Creatures

I’ve been spending a lot of time at Washaway, but have been a poor beach correspondent. There has been a lot going on.

Lois and Ray Miller

My neighbor Lois died July 27. She and her husband Ray are very dear to me, and help further my theory that if one is truly cool, age has no effect. Lois suffered terribly from Crohn’s and other ailments, yet somehow always kept her sparkle and spunk. Watch her steal the spotlight on King 5’s “Evening Magazine” about Washaway Beach. Lois was a true star.

A sign on their porch reads: “We hope our ship comes in before the dock rots.” They were married 44 years, my lifetime. As Vern, who works at Grayland True Value, put it, “That’s gettin’ along.”

There was a beautiful memorial service in Hoquiam and then Ray threw a big barbecue for everyone. He was a gallant host, as always, but his grief was palpable.

Roberta Starkey

In other bad news, Roberta Starkey’s brand new gypsy wagon food truck venture got shut down, despite her getting a permit. This is the work of the guy in the RV at the end of Whipple Ave who, as I understand it, is squatting there and has no right to be carrying on.

I am especially peeved because I never got to try the homemade soups, reputedly excellent burgers, or a Washaway Beach sandwich, AND this was the only food alternative besides the convenience store and the casino, AND Roberta is a good lady and the gypsy wagon is cute. Very lame, Mr. Squatter.

    Speaking of dumb, it is summer, and the true locals are afoot. I very nearly hit one as it wandered in front of my car in Grayland’s business district. I get a lot of flack for Warranted Use Of The Car Horn, my gift to the West, but here, as ever, it is a tool of progressive change for the bold but stupid.

I sent Marcy a text message to tell her of my dramatic and dangerous near-brush with Nature.

“I think they’re called white-tailed, not jackass,” she replied.

Fort interior

Summer is always good for forts. This one is especially deluxe.

There are sand bars that form this time of year, creating warm inland waterways.

These are popular for bird conventions.

Vanishing turret

The sand rises and moves around a lot in summer. The World War II gun turret has been filling up for awhile.

Now it’s invisible.

I keep seeing people surfing with paddles like this. It looks easier than regular surfing. All I know about surfing is that it is hard. And dangerous.

Sandpont froth

I especially wonder about surfing at Washaway because of the submerged metal pipes, known as sand points. A popular way to get free water is to drive a 20 ft. cast iron pipe down into the ground. After your house falls in, the sand points remain on the beach as an ever-changing sculpture garden.

Point / counterpoint

Bird head sandpoint

Gooseneck mussels

There are all kinds of sea creatures around right now, indigenous and imported.

When I was twelve my parents sent me to horse camp in West Virginia. This is a great way to cure a young gal of wanting a pony. After a week of mucking out the stalls at the crack of dawn and trying to get the bridle behind big ol’ scary horse teeth, believe me I was over it. Yet, on the beach, it still looks like  fun.

     At any rate, critters are funny. I get a kick out of them.

Highland terriers

Dog 1/3 the size of my cat

Ray on beach

Ray is such a big-hearted guy. I’ve been encouraging him to get a new dog, if only because a dog will keep up with him on the beach better than I can. His previous dog, a cute Pomeranian named Skipper, was stolen out of his yard, and he was devastated. But now, with Lois gone, I would like to see a nice creature keeping an eye on him.

Hugo Montenegro

Like the best traveling companions, mine doesn’t say much, yet somehow manages to be both amused and amusing.


About washybeach

Washaway Beach This Week is a blog by photojournalist Erika Langley. See more work at
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2 Responses to Sea Creatures

  1. ronda harrison says:

    Please keep it up-I love your postings and pix! thanks for telling us about Roberta’s Nardo-and the squatter! She’s a fellow Pirate-maybe we could get the Pirates after the squatter. THANK YOU, keep it up!

  2. Tom says:

    Wonderful text and photos as usual. Thank you Erika.

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