Bottle Beach State Park

This place is less than interesting on paper, and even more bleak once you arrive at the parking lot. All you see is a marsh landscape and a sturdily built outhouse. But there it is taunting you, an elevated pathway to the beach. Coaxing you to leave your valuables in your car and head off to the unknown; I ofcourse assumed it was going to be a death march. Before we headed off we read the plaque telling us about the history of the park and why it was important to save the land. Then off we went down the grey Boardwalk of Doom. Once we reach the end of the elevated walkway they provided us with this lovely bench, as though the less than a quarter-mile walk had destroyed all hope of making it to the beach.

Bench

Then we pressed on using the paved pathway. Finding our way to what I had decided was going to lead us to treasures untold. Because after all we had already survived the Boardwalk of Doom. The journey was uninspiring to say the least. Nothing but pesky birds jeering me on, and more marshy landscape than I could shake a stick at.

Speaking of birds, that is the point of this state park. It is a refuge for birds, a place for them to gather and plan their evils on the world; it is apparently the first place to be “state approved” as a refuge.

Marsh

After what seemed like miles of the same boring landscape we came to a structure that as a builder I was very intrigued by. It was designed by every imaginable left over item one could have lying around their house from projects abandoned. From huge over sized timber posts to retaining wall blocks for foundation. It impressed me so much that I took a picture. Ofcourse, in this picture you won’t be able to see the awesomeness I’m talking about, but you’ll still be impressed I’m sure.

Shelter

Here is where the experience can be vastly different; at high tide, it would end here basically, but if you get there at low tide, the options will abound. We happened to get there at low tide, maybe even a very low tide, and were able to walk deep out into the beach. There we found all kinds of things to look at. Old docking posts, huge open views of the Olympic Mountains, crabs, sea weed, algae, rusted strange objects, even sand! It was all there for our viewing pleasure. There was no treasure to be found though, so don’t bother heading there with hopes of striking it rich. Unless you like failure, then I highly recommend you seek this place out for treasure hunting.

Sand

The strangest thing we came across was this “pit.” After much thinking and mind bending thoughts I’ve come to the conclusion that this spot is possibly where the Ninja Turtles were really turned. Beside the green “ooze” being some strange algae, there was the pipe of never-ending water. So if it wasn’t where the turtles came into the contact with the ooze, then clearly I have stumbled upon the fountain of youth.

Fountain

Ooze

There you have it. The fountain of youth is near Grays Harbor and Aberdeen, and you must be there at low tide to find it.

The conclusion of the matter: 2 out of 5 stars. HOWEVER, if you are there at low tide, and get to see all the cool stuff out in the sand, you may just get lucky like us, and obtain the 4 out of 5 star experience. This is a nice place if you are on your way to Westhaven or Westport, but as a single destination, it’s probably not worth your time. Also, the walk to the beach is not miles, like I implied. It’s very easy and short.

Grayland Beach State Park

If I say the word, “beach.” What would come to your mind? If your mind lacks imagination and you have never browsed an article called, “Greatest Beaches in the World.” Then the likely conclusion is that all you’ll come up with is wind, waves, and sand. Welcome to Grayland Beach State Park. It’s not that it isn’t pretty here, or that there isn’t ample activity going on by the hustle and bustle of people. It just lacks any real wow factor. There is sand to your left and right for about as far as the eye can see.

Grassland

Straight away we were rushed by a rabidly happy golden retriever. Following closely behind was its owner who saved us from his slobbery intentions. We skipped the option of flipping a coin to pick a direction of travel and headed left. A slightly poor choice since that put the wind into our face, but once our mind is made up we couldn’t change it. Not true ofcourse, but more likely we just didn’t put enough thought into it after the pleasant interaction with the dog.

Dog

And so we wandered. Slowly, methodically, decisively. Crushing the various shells under our shoes we marched down the beach with great purpose. The purpose was not actually known though, we just wanted to be confident people walking down the beach. Who wants to be the embarrassing city folk at the beach? Not this group. Speaking of group, we were fortunate to bring along my mother to this barren landscape. Infact, we could blame her for the destination, as it was her idea to go to the beach. I may make it sound like she beat us with a willow tree branch, but we actually consented in a free will sort of way. And we did say “All” state parks didn’t we?

shell

There was actually plenty of things to see on this beach. Dead carcases from crabs and sand dollars where every where. Finding a whole sand dollar was near impossible, but my mom kept picking them up as though it was a challenge that must be overcome. Success was granted to her mission after a mile or so, and a childish smile of happiness glistened in her eyes. No reward beyond satisfaction though; as it just led to even more walking.

crab

What do you find at the end of the beach? probably another beach. We can’t know for sure as you can’t bring your legs to continue when there is no hope on the horizon. Coming up to a small river, we decided it looked like a solid place to end our journey and turned back towards home. This time we stayed up away from the beach and followed a small water bog that lines the upper edge. It was eerie to walk beside it, I could feel my feet sink about two inches as the ground literally caved under my feet. All I could think was a sinkhole could form any minute. I’m actually shuttering alittle bit just thinking about it.

edge

The normal birds were out around the beach as well. Some seagulls, crows and some other tiny birds. They are there to both collect your drops of food and crap on your car. Drive with caution, they are of vicious intent indeed.

Crow

So what is the conclusion of the matter? You’ll be shocked to see a 3 out of 5. But this beach has trimmings you need for a lazy beach vocation. This beach allows driving on the beach, and has ample wind for your kite. I didn’t go with 2 stars, cuz I know there will be more barren beaches than this one. (I’m looking at you Long Beach!)

~Me.Greedy