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By William Victor May
Published: 03/19/23 Topics: Agriculture, Breakwater Inn & Cottages, Grayland WA, Westport WA Comments: 0
The story of Grayland Cranberry Farming is well over a hundred years old, and the fields and berries are still a fascinating and beautiful addition to the coast of Washington State.
It was in the late 1880's, when a visitor from Massachusetts, Anthony Chabot, discovered native cranberries growing in bogs (Flooded fields) along the coast from Long Beach to Westport Washington, reminded him of Cape Cod where cultivation of the berries had been developed.
The first crop in Grayland, Washington was planted in 1912 by Ed Benn on his belief that the area's peat soil was idea for growing cranberries commercially. Some of those fields still exist all these years later.
Self Guided Cranberry Tour
To step back in time and see an agricultural phenomena little changed in over 100 years, you can take a self-guided driving tour of the cranberry fields. Proceed south from Grayland of Highway 105 then turning East inland on Cranberry Road.
Along the way you will find some of the 255 growers and their fields that are perfectly level because they are flooded regularly with water to nurture the plants.
There is even a "self-pick'" farm if you watch closely for the sign along the tour..
By 1939, the local population of industrious immigrants had laboriously built over 100 fields spread along what is now State Route 105. In that year they took time to celebrate and built the Grayland Community Hall to be the center of the small town.
You will drive right by it on the Cranberry tour. (It would be a wonderfully historic place to hold your family reunion or wedding reception.)
And for a comfortable ocean front resort, come stay at Breakwater Inn & Cottages
Just 2/10th of a mile south of the turn off to Cranberry Road, the Finnish community built a social hall that later became a dehydrating building for berries shipped oversees to servicemen.,
The goal was to keep soldier morale up during the war when stuck away from home at Thanksgiving.
In the 1950's, Julius Furford an entrepreneurial purchased the building and in 1957, invented the famous Furford picker, a unique picking machine designed to harvest the cranberry crop and prune the vines at the same time saving time and work on what was previously a labor intensive back-breaking job.
The Furford family turned their warehouse into the Grayland "Cranberry Museum" (Not to be confused with the similarly name Cranberry Museum of Long Beach located must further down the Washington Coast line.)
Ocean Spray Coopeative
Today, 99 percent of the grays in Grayland, are part of the Ocean Spray cooperative'a farmer-owned company of 700 families across North America. They grow over 220 billion berries a year.
The local Ocean Spray processing plant is 11 north of Grayland on Highway 105 at Markham, and on the road to Aberdeen Washington.
The plant does not offer tours, but another 1 miles north is the Westport Winery, Distillery and world famous Mermaid Museum.
Among their other great wines you will, of course, find Cranberry Wine made from the wonderful Grayland Fruit.
Author: William Victor May – Cranberry Connisseur, Breakwater Inn & Cottages
Blog #: 0945 – 03/19/23
Sponsor: Breakwater – Visit Goldener Inn's new Breqkwater Inn & Cottages on the rustici coastof WashingtonState at Grayland, south of Wesstport. Stay in the newly renovated rooms and cottages on expansive beaches of WashingtonS tate..
By Trina Flanagan
Published: 10/27/16 Topics: Advertising, Westport WA Comments: 0
It was an absolutely stunning day for an absolutely stunning kick-off. The new Westport Central Reservations service opened its doors with a party for local businesses and lodging providers on Thursday January 26, 2017.
But what made it special on this normally cold winter night was the bright blue skies, still wind and world wide views of the mighty Pacific Ocean just feet outside the house. Many local's had never been in the Cohasset Beach Community even though its right inside the Westport city limits.
The Sanderling's furnishings are top-drawer including giant windows overlooking that might ocean, gourmet kitchen, large bedrooms each with walk in showers, sitting rooms and comfort.
Westport Central Reservations, let's call it WCR is an online and telephone service from Plumbob Publishing. Trina Flanagan introduced the presentation which compared Westport to other great destinations around the Northwest United States.
Most tourism hotspots have a central reservation service where guests can find every lodging establishment in town, The goal is to make it easy for guests to find the locations, book a place to stay and earn about how the great shops, restaurants, events and activities.
That is the mission of WCR and to make a point - drawings were held for a vacation in Leavenworth Washington and a revolutionary High Dynamic Range photography session from Signatour Photo Team for a lucky Westport merchant. Plus everyone in attendance received discount coupons to visit one of the other destinations that Plumbob and tis related businesses serve.
Businesses can support this assertive new marketing tool by subscribing for membership and advertising. Lodging operators can pay a commission for getting extra bookings.
For more information about listing on WestportCentralReservations.com visit the Website or telephone Trina Flanagan at 360-284-7010.
Author: Trina Flanagan – General Manager, Westport Central Reservations
Blog #: 0514 – 10/27/16
By William may
Published: 06/01/16 Topics: Sports, Westport WA Comments: 0
The world-class "Grayland Open" free style Jet-ski competition is again scheduled for August , this year it is scheduled for August 11th through the 14th. All competitors, volunteers, and spectators are welcome. Lodging is still available at BeachyDay.com Vacation Rentals.
This is an awesome event that you don't want to miss. There is no charge for watching the spectacle that includes serious aerial action at the beach. Some of the top riders in the world will be there throwing down some amazing maneuvers. Back flips, barrel rolls, precision surf riding and moto surf racing are just some of what can be expected all weekend.
The event sets up on Wednesday August 10th, with a Freeride clinic on Thursday, followed by water training in small groups. There will be an evening hang-out at Cranberry Winery & Bog Water Brewery in Westport.
Competitions starts on Friday at 10:30am. Main competition is Saturday and finals on Sunday for all classes. Competitors and spectators will recap the day at a bonfire on the beach.
The freeride competition is a tournament style head-to-head timed event that is marked with 14 foot tall red flags on the beach. Every ride gets a minimum of 2 heats and possibly more, depending on where they end up in the bracketing.
There is a $60 fee per class entered. The Stand-up Classes include masters (40 years and older), Rookies (Beginner surf only), Amateur (Main event surf and air), Pro - for the big ballers.
Runabout Classes are Sport Class (Sit down waveblaster and spark)
Pro Jam - After competition is over, the top 8 riders will have a 15 minimum heat all at once, to go as big and crazy as they can, to win over the judges and be crowned King of the Pro Jam!. No entry fee for those invited.
Special awards for Gnarliest Wipeout, Broken Ski, Sickest Trick and Pro Jam.
There will be food to feast on. Music will be playing and, if you buy a few raffle tickets, you might just get some goodies to take home with you. There are custom designed event t-shirts and sweatshirts as well as posters available at the main booth while supplies last. Bring your family, a lawn chair, a camera and enjoy the free entertainment.
Attendees are asked to respect the beach. Rules are governed by the State Parks Department and are in effect during the event. Everything packed in should be packed out. Help minimize the impact on the Grayland beach. Avoid soft beach areas with your vehicles as a tow can be very costly. Park clear of the ribboned off area and leave room for cars to get through.
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DETAILS: This event is held each year and organized by Westcoast Surf Riders. It is sponsored by these great organizations at Grayland-Open.com. Lodging is available at BeachyDay.com Vacation Rentals.
Author: William may, Beachy Day Vacation Rentals
Blog #: 0503 – 06/01/16
Sponsor: Beachy Day – Cabins, Condos & Lodges from Westport, to Grayland and Tokeland on the cranberry coast of Washington State. Great rates. Hospitality clean. Friendly service. Call today. – BeachyDay.com
By William May
Published: 08/01/09 Topics: Comments: 0
A truth in advertising disclaimer is required first.
Although I haven't lived in the area in almost 40 years, I must admit that I did grew up in several towns on the Washington Coast. Up until 4th grade the town of Raymond was where my parents lived along with my two brothers and I. After that we moved to Aberdeen the "Big" town some 25 miles up the Coast and it was here that I became aware of a place called Ocean Shores.
Both Raymond and Aberdeen are located on major waterways in from the Pacific Ocean. Raymond on the pristine Willapa Bay and Aberdeen on the equally large Grays Harbor.
From Raymond the drive is an idyllic 25 miles to the villages of Tokeland, Grayland and the Westport Harbor. BeachyDay.com
Located on the ocean south of Grays Harbor and area designate the South Beach for easy categorization. Later in high school my buddies and I would drive the byways of the South Beaches looking for Seattle girls who we were told, were anxious to meet local boys.
Less developed than the North Beaches of the Ocean Shores area, these little towns boast a real sea side ambiance and miles of undisturbed beaches. In recent years Westport has become a surfing Mecca. Having grown up in the area and later come to love the warm climes of Hawaii I haven't seen any good reason to venture out in to 50 degree water but surfing has been a boom for the area
Ocean shores is another 25 miles due west of Aberdeen on a pleasant and easy road to drive. BytheseaBythesea.com
In grade school, living just east of Aberdeen my friends and I loved to go up to the highway on Friday afternoon to watch all the crazy tourists from Seattle flock to the beaches. It is through this single road that all travelers must venture to reach the Westport and Ocean Shores destinations.
This was before a four lane highway was built and traffic was stop and go, bumper to bumper all afternoon. The only bad part was even our parents couldn't drive the five miles into Aberdeen in less than about an hour. We were relegated to make the trip late other times, except Sunday of course when the problem repeated itself in reverse.
Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Moclips, Copalis and Pacific Beach compromise the North Beaches with each town differing from the next and all scattered with lodging, camping, restaurants and little shops.
So what was it that all those Seattleites loved about the North and South Beaches so much they would sit in traffic for hours to reach their destination? The answer to that has changed over the years.
Once known for its huge Salmon Charter industry, Westport has seen that business taper off due to over-fishing and governmental limitations. But adventurous visitors can still catch Salmon and Halibut. Or they can opt for whale watching trips now a mainstay of the economy.
On a recent afternoon, sitting on the deck of one of the prestigious new homes at Cohasset Beach in Westport (CohassetBeachCottages.com) I was started to see a majestic gray whale breach repeatedly only 50 yards off shore. I am used to seeing humpback whales in Hawaii but this bugger was bigger and much closer.
Later that day over at the Westport At the Sea Resort I was engaged in a lengthy conversation. As it started we noticed a huge rush of small birds flying just off the Coast headed south. It is hard to explain how many birds there were. Perhaps a thousand at a time rushed past our view of the ocean. Perhaps a thousand every 2-3 seconds.
As our conversation continued, the bird flow never stopped. When we left a half hour later it was still continuing. Deep in the heart of Grays Harbor, just north of Westport, is Bowerman Basin a stopping place for many species of birds on their migration from as far north as the Arctic to the warmer south.
Having grown up in the area I knew something of Bowerman Basin, and anyone who watched the nature channel knows that bird colonies can be enormous. But not until that meeting did I understand there could really be millions of birds passing through my child-hood neighborhood. Did we see a million that day? It is entirely possible.
The South Beaches have the usual beach visitor attractions like restaurants, go-carts and fudge shops. But the best reason to visit there is to enjoy the ocean. In summer it moderates the heat and in winter, throngs of visitors come to watch the storms and get closer to nature. And, I might add, away from the hordes of city dwellers.
The North Beaches are somewhat the same as the South with many visitor attractions but Ocean Shores, in particular is more developed. In the 1960's some ambitious developers bought the entire peninsula that runs south between the Pacific and Grays Harbor. To the existent beauty they added canals running north and South, lakes and a harbor. In the center of town they erected resort like hotels and a golf course. Check out (OceanShores.com)
Although not a golfer myself, I can tell you that my golfer friends love the place. Not too pretentious and apparently a lot of fun to play. A convention center was added in recent years and the city has plans for updating the golf course.
In the center of Ocean Shores is a kind of retail center where you can buy souvenirs and some fancy shops like Fling Cats Flyingcats.com) where you can enjoy a pleasant stroll among sophisticated goods. Plus you will find a wide variety of eats, activities and adventures.
But remember people come to Ocean Shores for the Beaches. Unlike most places in the world, visitors are allowed to drive their cars down the beach which is more firm than that fluffy white sand places you see in travel brochures. And the beach runs for miles north and south. Plenty of room for bon fires, kit-flying and lazing away the time.
On a recent trip to both Westport and Ocean Shores, allowing myself a little bit of time to look around and reflect on my youth I gained a better appreciation for the place. The air is different I think. Crisp and clean and altogether enjoyable. With more time I think I could sit on the deck and devour a lot of books without an ounce of guilt.
Author: William May – Manager, Sunspot Vacation Rentals
Blog #: 0115 – 08/01/09
Sponsor: Flying Cats – The gifts you would not expect to find here. Unique and unusual. Creative an crafty. Meet your always gracious hosts Mike and Jennifer. – FlyingCats.com
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