Saturday, June 04, 2005

Birch Bay, WA

After a morning walk to check out the campground, exploring the clubhouse for amenities and the size of the pool for water aerobics, we decided to check out the Birch Bay State Park. The web site refers to it as a "camping" park and basically that's what it is, a large wooded area of campsites with several thousand feet of shoreline along Birch Bay. It was our first experience with tide pools and rocky shores covered with barnacles. You certainly don't walk these beaches in your bare feet! A close inspection of the rocks showed mussels of all sizes clinging tightly to the rocks and tiny, thumbnail-sized crabs skittering about under the kelp. Hmm, now I'm going to have to research tide pools and information on barnacles and the various forms of animal life to be found along the shore. Since there's only a short hiking trail within the park we decided to follow the road bordering the shoreline north to Blaine.

The houses along the route varied greatly, from tiny cottages to large, glass-fronted homes facing the water. Of course, the really large homes were hidden behind electric wrought-iron gates, winding drives and tall trees but we were able to catch glimpses of some gorgeous abodes. We decided if someone gave us one of the houses, we'd take it-ha! It appears that the area is starting to grow as there was a lot of new construction going on, both in town and along the road away from town. The clerk in the local convenience store says a lot of Californians are moving into the area.

Arriving in Blaine, we drove around town and located the post office, which is standard procedure for us as sometimes we have to have our mail delivered in care of General Delivery if the campground won't accept mail for its campers. While driving through some side streets attempting to get back to the main road we discovered a small cottage with a very unusual chimney;it had a giraffe painted on it! The giraffe follows the form of the chimney and I wondered what the owners were thinking when they first saw the house and its curving chimney; "oh, this looks like a giraffe!" I think they must have a wonderful sense of humor. Finding a gem like this is precisely why we like to get off the main roads.

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