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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thar’s Gold in them there sands……

We are down at the beach for a few days.  Actually, down at Cape Disappointment near Long Beach, WA.

I’ve had a nasty cold for more than a week.  It actually really hit me hard during the second quarter of a semi-pro football game.  So bad did it hit, that I took myself out of the game at half-time.  Spend the next 4 days in bed and have been getting better in small increments since.  Today, about 11 days later, I finally feel near, but not quite, 100%.  Which is just in time, as I have another game this Saturday.

The beach air is turning out to be curative too which is helpful.  We have been getting exercise each day, gradually getting back up to our normal 60 minutes per day.  The first day we were here (Monday), we walked along the boardwalk in Long Beach.  Then we stopped in Ilwaco on the way back and did a short walk along the Marina.

Yesterday we went back to Ilwaco and walked out from the marina to a point near the harbor opening.  We have had nice weather all days so the walks have been really enjoyable.

Today we decided to do a beach walk.  As we walked north along the beach, we came to the cliffs below the lighthouse.


A small cut in the rocks where the surf can come in.


A surfer girl sheltering in a cliff cave.

As we walked along we came across something we really didn’t expect to see at all.  There were a number of parties sitting in various places on the beach with buckets, wagons, and other paraphernalia.  We decided to go up and check them out to see what they were doing.  We had never seen anything like this in all the years we have been visiting this beach.  Turns out they set up a small gold mining operation!  Gold Rush – Cape Disappointment Edition!


One miner setting up his sluice box.  He has batteries ready to power his water pump.


Another couple with their system up and running

Turns out the state of Washington has opened up the beaches to prospecting for small operators.  You have to get a permit from the state to prospect on this beach, but it is free. 


No, the above is not a ghost town from the Cape Disappointment Gold Rush days.  It is just a bunch of driftwood that some enterprising individuals made into a beach fort.  Not sure I would trust the construction though.