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Outdoor Addict: A day at Copalis Beach


Make Copalis Beach your playground for the day. Photo credit: Whitney Rhodes

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Sometimes you just want to get away. Not in an epic, across the world adventure way. Just in a run off to Southern California for the weekend so I can run on the beach way. Ya feel me?

And then the credit card bill from Christmas comes. Womp womp. Let just say, I ain't going no where for a while unless Pappi Swarner decides to become Sugar Daddy Swarner. Never fear though. I have a solution. Two of them, in fact.

Out on the Washington coast there lies a beach of glorious sand. The kind that is so wide you can drive on, host a beach volleyball championship on, or perhaps drive around wheeling in the sand like a maniac. You know, what ever floats your boat.

What is this mythical place? Copalis Beach. Located north of Ocean Shores, south of the land of Stepford Wives known as Seabrook along Highway 109, this unassuming sign is easy to miss. It's really just marked as "beach access" and has a driveway with a single pit toilet and a sign about beach rules. No campgrounds. No frills. But what you are rewarded with is miles of sand, glorious sand. The superfine, blows with the wind kind. The kind that gets in every crevice. The kind that you will still be finding in the car three months later. I like that kind of sand.

You can drive right out on to the beach, so take the opportunity to stake out your own area away from other people. It's rarely crowded. Even when there are other beach-goers it's easy to spread out a little. Take a picnic, the dog and a volleyball. Convince a few friends to join you and set up a net for a beach volleyball tournament. I highly recommend a ridiculous trophy for the winning team. Hit up Goodwill for a forgotten childhood sports trophy and add some frills to make it your own.

Wear your sunglasses. Sit in a beach chair and bury your toes in the sand. Close your eyes and let the sun soak into your skin. I know what you are thinking. Sun? Here? At this time of the year? Head west to the coast, young one. While it may be cloudy at home, often times the ocean breezes clear out the cloud cover. The only thing interrupting your Southern California fantasy will be the Patagonia Better Sweater you are huddled in for warmth.

Well yes. There is a slight catch to all this fun-hogging described above. The temperature isn't exactly the same as Southern Cali. Be sure to take some layers to combat the wind. But in my experience, a barefoot walk with sunglasses and a down coat on still makes the soul happy.

There is nothing worse than being in a rut. Instead of needing to take elaborate and expensive trips, think about making the most of your weekends. Alastair Humphreys ( is an adventurer, speaker and blogger who has a fantastic idea he's been championing: microadventures. Be as deliberate in your planning of your weekends as you are with your week. Plan day trip adventures and stick to it. If you don't the pull of the couch will overwhelm you and you'll sit up on Sunday afternoon wondering where the weekend went.

So why the escapism? Because it's good for you. Getting outside does a mind, body and spirit good. So mix it up a little. Do something ridiculous. And don't be afraid to brag about it on Monday morning. I mean really, what DID you do with your weekend?

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