Christmas at the beach

I have a rather odd Christmas tradition.  Almost all of the folks I’m
related to live far away, and I’m not big on going to other people’s
houses for Christmas, anyway (I always felt rather like a sort of
superannuated college student when I did), so what I’ve been doing ever since I moved to western Washington, on the Christmases I haven’t gone elsewhere and when the weather cooperates (which it has been this year, far more than it should be), is to drive to Westport, on the coast, and walk their wonderful three-mile dune-top
promenade.  I always take a special picnic, since nothing’s open on
Christmas Day, and I always have a wonderful time.

Anyway, I just got back, and here are some photos I took:

The dune-top promenade at Westport.
The dune-top promenade at Westport.
Birds on a pond behind the dunes.  Mostly gulls, I'm sure.
Birds on a pond behind the dunes. Mostly gulls, I’m sure.
A view of the dunes, ocean, and the resort town of Ocean Shores, across Grays Harbor from Westport.
A view of the dunes, ocean, and the resort town of Ocean Shores, across Grays Harbor from Westport.
From the viewing tower at the marina in Westport, at the very end of the peninsula.
From the viewing tower at the marina in Westport, at the very end of the peninsula.

After I left Westport, I drove south towards Willapa Bay, where I turned  east and drove along its northern shore.

At the very mouth of Willapa Bay.
At the very mouth of Willapa Bay.

Raymond is a small town at the head of Willapa Bay.  Otherwise
pretty much like any other logging/fishing town in the Pacific Northwest, it has distinguished itself in a very special way.  Local artists (according to the sign, which doesn’t name names) created many beautiful and whimsical mostly two-dimensional metal
sculptures twenty years ago, and installed them all over town.

Welcome to Raymond, Washington
Welcome to Raymond, Washington
All kinds of critters along the main drag in town.
All kinds of critters along the main drag in town.
A lady in town.
A lady in town.
Birds in a wetland (a real wetland, if not real birds).
Birds in a wetland (a real wetland, if not real birds).
Two children and a dog.
Two children and a dog.

Another interesting thing about these sculptures is that they’re
mostly people in the center of town, and as you go out into the
countryside they change over to animals.

Anyway, I think they’re nifty.

After I left Raymond, I drove east on state route 6, which is a lovely, winding country road, fifty miles to Chehalis and I-5, and north on home.

It was a lovely day, and a Merry Christmas.  Everyone I met on the dunes promenade, and there were a number of us, had holiday
greetings for each other, which was the icing on the cake.

I hope everyone has had a good holiday, and I hope we all have a good 2014!

(some rain would be nice — we have had a very dry winter so far)