WASHAWAY NO MORE: The eerie story of North Cove

In 2018, before settling on the North Beach we put an offer on the most adorable, small, round-ish house we’d ever seen. Stocked with remnants of a simple mid-century modern life, Phyllis whose husband hand-built it, lived there until 2017 when she passed away at the ripe old age of 91. It’s a red zone for a good reason Never before had we ever considered making such a large investment in something that was undeniably doomed from the start. But there, perched on a grassy knoll just off WA-105, Phyllis Egberg’s beach house sat in the “red-zone.” It’s an area between Grayland and Tokeland that despite growing up here, we’d never heard of.  As you can probably imagine, a “red-zone”…

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Secrets from 1977; Finding Glass Floats on Grays Harbor Beaches

From time to time, we find and buy small hoards of glass floats for the shop. They sell fast and visitors are always amazed when we get into conversations about the abundance of glass floats on Grays Harbor beaches still being found, to this day. If you know when and where to look, you might be the next luckiest beachcomber around! …Ready? Set. Go! OK! But first – a little – history While we mainly refer to the glass floats as “Japanese” and for good reason since Japanese fishing boats are famous for releasing the majority of them that end up bobbing their way to the west coast. But. If you take a quick peek at the history, glass floats…

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Talking Crows on the Washington Coast? Who said that!

Over the summer, I was chatting with Boaz Backus, the chainsaw carver guy who built Ocean City Marketplace in 1995, and son of woodcarving pioneer (and my friend) Judy McVay.   Boaz doesn’t live along the Washington Coast anymore but his legacy lives on in stories; about saving Dorothy Anderson’s cabin, drunk adventures, travel, carving, and his Dr. Doolittle relationship with animals. Which is where this story really begins. First, let me say that hanging out with Boaz is a hoot. He’s a master storyteller, but you have to be weary ‘cuz everything he says must be taken with a grain of salt. And if you’re thinking “naw, I’ve got a fantastic BS barometer,” he almost always wears sunglasses which…

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Signs are Art: The Silent Impact of Judy McVay

My dad, Jim Mason (1943 – 2014)  was a self-taught cartoonist who practiced drawing Mickey Mouse and other characters in the margins of his homework starting in Kindergarten. Later, he put himself through graduate school as a sign painter and eventually he became one of only a handful of Art Therapists in the State of Montana. At age five, Dad started taking me on sign painting jobs. Often he was on a ladder and I was tasked with handing up brushes, rags, and tubes of colors, or helping clean up. It was fun and from my child-eyes, what my dad did was art. The silent impact of Judy McVay I was first introduced to Judy McVay’s work in 2018 when…

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Dead Crabs all Over the Beach at Pacific Beach & Moclips

All sorts of people wander into the shop on any given day and many of them ask interesting questions and we get into conversations about history, pickin‘ and the North Beach. But recently I was asked an odd question and surprisingly — I knew the answer! A couple came, shopped around and at checkout they asked, “How come there are so many dead crabs all over the beach?” I explained they weren’t dead, it was molting season and the little critters literally walk out of their shell, leaving it behind. They laughed but had never heard of or seen that before. photo courtesy of Chinook Observer For those who’ve never heard about molting crabs, it’s probably shocking to see what…

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