Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Grayland, WA

We arrived in Grayland well after nightfall. It was actually a beautiful drive, cruising along the coast of Washington, the ocean audible beyond the lush greenery, the rain drizzling down, with beams from the lighthouse cutting through the sky.

When we reached Grayland, naturally, the first thing we did was scope out the reason we'd come, the Sea Spray Motel,* and from what little we could see in the dark, we liked.

As this trip was being performed on the cheap, we didn't have any lodging lined out, planning to sleep in Strontium, like we had on a previous trip to the coast. Sleeping in the back of a Honda Element is amazingly comfortable, after some trial and error on our first trip. I'm around 6'2" and have the proportions of a yeti, and my wife is just over 5' and quite small, but we've created a pretty nice little setup for sleeping in the rig. We have an inflatable twin mattress that runs on a little battery pump, and we leave it laid out in the bottom of the Element. Then, layered on top of that is a full size pillowtop mattress cover, plenty of blankets, and around 6 pillows. Then we just pile our luggage and cooler on top of that. When it comes time to bed down, all we have to do is slide the seats forward, stack our luggage in the driver's and passenger's seats, inflate the mattress, and tuck the pillows into the odd crevices around the doors. I was shocked how comfortable this was the first time we did it, and it's incerdibly nice to be able to just pull to a dark place, inflate, and sleep. We've slept behind Safeways, in isolated campsites, construction zones, on the sides of roads and hotel parking lots, all with little to no problem. The first time we used Strontium like this, we made neat little cardboard and cloth window covers, which were nice, but a huge pain. For this trip, we just went bare windowed, and hoped no one wanted to peek in. Eventually, I plan to come up with some sort of clever window covering system, but for now it seems like we do a pretty good job of fogging up the windows by sleeping in it!

Anyway... we drove around the area for a while looking for somewhere to sleep, and were shocked to discover the campground, which had well over a hundred spots, full up! Eventually, we just found a dark, semi-private road, and parked on the side for the night.

Camping, Element-Style!

The next morning, we headed to the beach, desperate to see the ocean, and walk off some of the nervous energy we had. The first thing we noticed, was something we'd forgotten, that you can drive on Washington beaches. This is something we are not fans of. Lindsay and I are usually the people giving you dirty looks as you cruise past us on your four wheelers and dirtbikes on the trails of Idaho, and we figured that the beaches of Washington would be no different.
Luckily, even with tire tracks, the beach was gorgeous. Grayland is part of the Cranberry Coast, and they have 18 miles of beach. The beaches in Washington are a different breed, very cool and stromy, they definetly have a different feel to them than beaches in Oregon and California. More of an untamed, rebellious ocean. We loved it.
An old stump on the beach in Grayland, WA

After wandering on the beach for a while, we ate some decadently greasy chicken fried steak at the Local Bar, and drove around Grayland, finding it intriguing how many vacation houses were for sale, and how many other houses seemed to be slowly melting into the land. The cranberry bogs were also very unique, and we've sworn to eventually find out more about them, and hit a harvest, because they're very odd, and cool.

Eventually, it was time to meet Mabel, and take a tour of the motel... A place we were really hoping would become ours, especially after the charming morning we'd spent in Grayland!

The Sea Spray Motel* (Not it's real name)

1 comment:

The Grows said...

You need to put up more pictures of the hotel and more details about it. I want to know!!!