My wife and I have lived in Discovery Bay, Washington, for 20 years. We live right on the waterfront in a craftsman home that I designed. Being on the water with an awesome view is something that we now take for granted. That is why ‘Yurt on the Beach’, on Kilchis Point in Bay City was a wonderful surprise. I’ve always envisioned building a yurt of my own. I have books on their design and have watched videos of their construction. But I have never slept in one staring at the star filled night sky through the apex ring dome skylight, listening to seabirds, a stone’s throw from the water. The front lawn on Tillamook literally abuts the water at high tide. What you experience is not the wild ocean and waves breaking on rocks of the Northern California coast. This bay is very shallow and protected from the Pacific waves by a mile-long cape. Your experience at the yurt is more like viewing a large lake that abuts the Pacific on your horizon facing West.
The yurt is wonderful! We’ve gotten accustomed to a pattern in our lives. Our home has many rooms designed for a specific use. We love our home. The yurt broke this pattern. My revelation was how enjoyable that would be. One room. All sounds reflect off the domed roof. Our Portuguese Water dog’s toe nails click on the wooden floor. You can literally hear where she is by the clicks. The center island divides the yurt into sleeping, bathing and living areas. All typical kitchen amenities (minus a stove) are available. The antique furniture and decorations reflect a seaside motif. The Internet connection is fabulous! Much better than available in our country location in our home on Discovery Bay. There is a tall rack with a splendid variety of DVDs.
It was on our first night that we were provided the second splendid surprise. The Gods Must Be Crazy, a 1980 movie by South African director Jamie Uys. The plot is remarkable primarily because it defies categorization. When a primitive Bushman finds a coke bottle, he sets out to return it to the gods and encounters the insanity of “civilization" for the first time. This slaphappy collection of goofy pratfalls and culture-clash gags became an enormous international smash and made a sort of star out of the Bushman selected to play the central role, the completely ingratiating N!Xau. My wife and I rarely find a movie that we have both enjoyed so much. We were constantly laughing. What a joy that rare experience was.
The first morning of our stay we took the short walk (one block) to the Kilchis Point Reserve. We had read about it online and so expected something special. It was a treat. The loop distance we walked was 3.53 miles, however, we included the bird watching trail extension. Neither my wife nor I am bird watchers. That said, we brought binoculars on the walk. Glad that we did. The bird walk terminates in an estuary of Tillamook Bay. From there we watched a giant heron walking slowly in the tideland, and while we watched… a very large hawk swoops in and attacks a small white bird, smaller than a seagull. What ensued was an aerial battle that went on for many minutes. What excitement. A happy ending for the small white bird culminated in it escaping the hawk, and the hawk going back to a large fir branch to survey for its next potential victim.
For dinner, we tried The Fish Peddler at Pacific Oyster, an unpretentious seafood store & eatery offering oysters, clam chowder & other classic dishes. This restaurant is ranked number four for seafood in Oregon and is less than a mile from the Yurt. We learned that if you go in the morning for their clam chowder, you can observe the fish processing business in operation through large viewing windows in the food serving area. My wife has eaten clam chowder in Massachusetts, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, and Vancouver Canada. She claims that the inexpensive $3.95 bowl of chowder at Pacific Oyster is the best she has ever eaten. Hard to beat, less than a mile from the Yurt is the best Clam Chowder in the country. I tried their Cioppino fish stew. While I like the spicy Caribbean fish stew at Scampi (see my review) better, the Cioppino uses a tomato base with the freshest fish you can imagine. The crab leg it contained was marvelous. The table next to us had a whole group having ‘all you can eat’ fresh steamed clams for $10.95. Their waitress kept bringing them more until they had whole plates full of shells.
On our second morning, we woke to the sound of rain on the yurt roof; delightful. It feels inside like you are in tune with the outside; like being in a tent with all possible amenities. We made coffee and sat on the covered front porch with our binoculars. This bay is not as abundantly populated with wildlife like a Florida wetland, but we had plenty of sea birds to watch. Flying by and feeding in the bay right in front of us. The great blue herons are the most fun to watch, with their long legs and seven-foot wingspans.
We stayed two more days. The summer weather was fantastic…compliments of global warming. We had so many thing that we missed doing we’ll have to come back again.
We called this spot home for about 4 nights during the month of July. if I were to asked for a negative comment it got a little toasty around late afternoon for a couple of hours. Recall this is a yurt. A screen door might help keep the flying critters out when the door is open to catch a breeze. Both of my negatives do not for one second offset the positives. Very relaxing with a great lay out to kick your feet up by the fire pit and watch the sunset or an evening soak in the hot tub. Well stocked with supplies and very clean. I do not like to look at the hotel parking lot when given a choice. The view from the living room door was spectacular. For us this was the right choice for a home base during our exploration of the northern coast. I was hesitant to give this review in fear the place may be booked should I get the opportunity to visit again. But that would be selfish.