If you're going to stay in a condo, get one on the third floor for the best view. Some of the hotels and Quinault Beach Resort and Casino look out on the dunes and the beach, but we prefer to look out on the scrub pines, bushes, and tall grass of the dunes. I can still see a hawk floating through the falling snow as we walked across the dunes on a Valentine Weekend. Ocean Shores is made of memories.
Looking down from the third floor gives a great perspective and let's kind of figure out where you want to go and how you're going to get there.
The Grey Gull keeps their lawn trimmed and even mows a path in the high grass just a few feet from the corner of the building. I watched this cat patiently stalk a field mouse. Ultimately, the cat had more patience than I did. In this same patch of high grass, Peg watched the only deer that we saw on this trip make its own path by high stepping and gracefully walking through the sharp blades.
From our balcony I could see this pool. Although it looks like a mere puddle, the tall grass is laying over and covering up the depth. When you go walking be sure to look for wildlife. I was a second too late at the pool. As I raised my camera a garter snake slithered across the grass just inches from the water and disappeared into the bush to the right. As soon as you step onto the train and leave the manicured lawn behind, you will start to hear both quiet and the sounds of nature.
There are established trails through the trees and bushes, but once you start on the trail you need to keep your bearings. Walkers soon lose sight of the condos and hotels. There are trails that people walk on and you'll see trails that deer and other animals walk on. The bent grass shows the way. I wouldn't recommend these trails for unaccompanied small children. I'm just over six feet tall, but the tops of some of those pines are fifteen or twenty feet above my head.
If you're taking a trail to the beach during much of the year, you'll soon find out that trails sometimes peter out and lead you to its own little shoreline.
Once you get to the dunes, you can search out taller hillocks that let you plan a new route over and around hills and dunes and sometimes through the water.
Before continuing on towards the beach, take a good look at your homeward goal. For me the end condo on the top floor was our home for a week. Coming back from a walk to the beach may leave you wet, weary and facing a wind that will force you to keep your head down, but you still need to check out the return trail.
If you're lucky enough to come to Ocean Shores when clamming season is open you will want to dress appropriately. Slickers and rubber boots was the dress code when we stayed at Ocean Shores a year and a half ago as they opened clamming during Christmas week. It's worth the cold and wet for our Pacific Coast razor clams!