During a recent visit to see my dear friend and college roommate, I had the opportunity to explore one of the Pacific Northwest’s best kept secrets—Birch Bay, Washington. Five minutes after walking out her front door, the four of us (my friend, her two children, and myself) crossed over a rocky path and onto the wet sand only seen during low tide. She set down her toddler and off he went—straight into the ankle-deep water and immediately onto his hands and knees. A shriek of pure, muddy-boy joy escaped from his mouth and it was clear that this was his utopia. Nearby a man unleashed his dog who sprinted into the distance to chase the hundreds of seagulls poking around for clams. This place would be my dog Lady’s jam; I knew immediately that I would return.
The creatures that wash up on the shores of Birch Bay are both beautiful and perplexing. A purple starfish here, upside-down orange jellyfish there, and saggy, squirting sea anemones just about everywhere (insert inappropriate reference– you get me). It’s an explorer’s paradise where children’s minds race about, dreaming of what they will discover during their next stroll. Just remember to bring a towel for when the exploration winds down—little boys, dogs, and adults alike are impervious to the powers, and wet sands, of The Bay.