At the jetty’s edge, separated by the long line of the horizon, the Pacific Ocean crashes below and storm clouds fill in from above. I look north to see a commercial fishing boat outrunning incoming weather for Westport harbor. I hear the foghorn buoys in the distance. To the south, a long stretch of shoreline finally disappears in hazy mist and the last few surfers catch a final wave and head back to their vans.
I drive through Westport just as the rain kicks up. A couple kids on BMX bikes ride down the pier for a few casts after school. Older men, maybe off work, maybe outta work, fish off the docks as well. They stand there, statue-like, unfazed by the dark storm approaching. A long stack of crab pots lines the street behind the town’s museum.
I follow the highway south, a scramble of forest and cottages to the west, a maze of cranberry farms and wooded hills to the east. The road opens up and hugs the coastal shore. Then, it curves past the neon sign of the Casino towards the protected port of Tokeland. The wind brings in the briny smell of oyster beds in Willapa Bay.
I look out west one more time, over the Shoalwater Bay coastline.