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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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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Beachcombing on the Hidden Coast

Beachcombing on the Hidden Coast; a favorite pastime for locals and tourists alike, has been going on for as long as things have been washing up! On the Washington Coast we have some great examples of salvaging items from the beach such as Dorothy Anderson’s Tourist Harbor. Crafted from reclaimed shipwreck and beach finds, starting with her own cabin in 1929 Dorothy built a collection of tiny cabins for tourists to rent. And long before Dorothy, there were indigenous tribes and settlers scouring the vast expanse of sand from along the whole Hidden Coast Scenic Byway from what’s now Ocean Shores north to Taholah.  Local Finds: Japan Tsunami (2011) Image from Washington.EDU On March 11, 2011 a tsunami hit the…

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Dorothy Anderson Cabin, The Story of a Girl Picker

A little backstory on the historic Dorothy Anderson cabin at Seabrook. Dorothy Antonnette Anderson In 1926, at the age of 19, Dorothy Antonnette Anderson, an immigrant from Nessa, Norway, along with the thousands of other city dwellers, poured into towns along the Hidden Coast Scenic Byway to take a break from the hustle and bustle. Many traveled by train from Seattle to Hoquiam and on to Moclips and Pacific Beach. Others traversed miles on unpaved roads in a Model-T or perhaps a newly minted Model-A, all in the name of rest and relaxation on the Ocean’s edge.  “On the Sands of the Pacific, 1914 Moclips, Wash.” (Image from Museum of the North Beach Collection) “Merchants Picnic at Moclips Wash.” 1910…

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