Adrift in Long Beach, Washington – Part Three: Hiking Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and Kites, Kites, Kites!!!

20170812_094016Hiking Willapa National Wildlife Refuge – Saturday was the last day of my trip, and I set off early for the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. I’m not really one for “drives,” as I tend to hate sitting in a car, but this was a fairly short, 20170812_094005extremely scenic one. This landscape is like no other I’ve seen in the Pacific Northwest. There’s a wildness to it, a starkness, that’s nonetheless deeply beautiful. As should be the case with a wildlife refuge, there was an abundance of birds, not always seen, but always heard. There’s another art walk (denizens of Long Beach love their art), and that leads to a longer, steeper hike called “Cutthroat Climb.” It wasn’t particularly cutthroat, but it was a climb. I’d been told more than once to bring mosquito repellent, but a) I didn’t have any with me, and b) I tend to not take good advice, even when I should. The downside of that is, I left the refuge with about 25 mosquito bites. The moral of that story is, bring repellent, or don’t stop moving! The upside is, I was bitten about 50 times this summer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and am apparently immune to the itching. Woot woot!


A beautiful picnic table at the refuge, poetry by e.e. cummings.

This trail is representative of the typical Pacific forest, with spruce, alder, hemlock, salal, huckleberry, deer fern, sword fern, and oxalis.


Will I ever tire of the beauty of trees?


Can you believe it? A labyrinth right in the middle of the hike.  

The forest was alive with bird song. And at the top of the hill there was a labyrinth. This was particularly fortuitous for me, as my trip coincided with a ladies’ labyrinth walk I was missing in Portland. How lovely to find this special treat, just waiting for me. Not for nothing, I was completely alone on the hike; something I really appreciate, and something that is increasingly rare around here…



I got back to the hotel in time to pack up, eat my delicious leftovers, and say goodbye to Dusty, the lovely, friendly, helpful gal at the front desk, and just because I wasn’t ready to leave Long Beach just yet, I decided to stop at the Kite Museum. Here are some super cool kites featured at the kite museum.


And here are some super cute posters from Long Beach International Kite Festivals of yore:


So many amazing posters.

Don’t be like all, “now that I’ve seen all this on Leila’s blog, I don’t need to go to the kite museum myself.” Trust me, there’s still plenty to see, not the least of which are the many kite flying videos shown from around the world. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.


It was hard to choose just two.






So there it is, my weekend stay in Long Beach, Washington. So glad I went. If you’ve never been, check it out, and when you go, say hello to my new friends at the Adrift!



About LeilaPiazza

I am a wife and mother. I am an Orthodox Christian. I am a Syrian American with family living in Syria. I am a also a yoga teacher and freelance writer. I recently described myself in a job pitch as "a person who's lived in Portland, Oregon for over 20 years with a passion for writing and a passion for all things Portland. I'm a foodie, knitter, wine and beer lover, bee-keeper (yep, I said it), mead and fruit-liqueur maker, organic gardener, home-canner, hiker, biker, runner, and occasional skinny-dipper. I’ve camped all over the state, I sail a sailboat that’s moored on the Columbia (o.k., I'm the first mate), and I spend a large percentage of my time at our beach house in Seaside." That about sums it up.
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