WE SPENT INDEPENDENCE DAY weekend with our friends in Ocean Park at the north end of the Long Beach peninsula. Saturday, sister Renée and I went to Astoria, Oregon so I could find a gift for my niece and her husband-to-be at RiverSea Gallery, a very cool collection of local (Oregon, NW) artist’s works. We wandered around Astoria, bought some local (Washington) fruit (unbelievably sweet raspberries from Woodland and apricots from Maryhill) from a roadside stand in Chinook, and checked out an antique store in Klipsan Beach. By late afternoon the sun was shining and it was warm. We all had hopes of clear Fourth of July Sunday.

Our friends have oceanfront  property so it is a short walk to the beach and spectacle of Fourth of July fireworks. They have been hosting a potluck dinner the past four years that includes neighbors, family, and friends, and has now grown to about 25-30 people in all. After dinner most of us head down the beach like everyone else on the peninsula.

Late in the afternoon, folks begin staking their claim to spots on the beach for fireworks and bonfires and settle in for the evening and coming darkness. About dusk the fireworks show begins and goes on until midnight—for nearly thirty miles along the length of the beach! It has to be the most spectacular fireworks show anywhere.

A final look southward towards Long Beach.