Why I love it here: by Erik Larson

A day in the life of Aberdeen’s newest mayor.

Story by Erik Larson, Photo by Kyle Mittan | Published: July 15, 2016

It’s 4 a.m. and my alarm goes off. The sun is still two hours from rising as I hurry to get dressed – my dad and brother will be outside waiting soon. It is a chilly Sunday morning and we are heading out to our favorite duck hunting spot. Once we arrive I work to untanglethe decoys, my efforts hindered by my numb fingers as I place them into the water. The sunrise is just beginning to appear on the horizonas I get into the blind, and I think to myself how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.

I have lived in Aberdeen my entire life, and every day I become more convinced it is a place like no other. Aberdeen is surrounded on allsides by world class outdoor recreational opportunities and scenic landscapes, all within about a half hour drive of its small urban core.From the coastal beaches to the Olympic Rainforest, and all of the salmon-bearing rivers and tributaries that run between, there are manyplaces for a person to get their outdoor fix.

(Kyle Mittan | The Daily World) Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson and brother Grant from a duck-hunting blind near Grayland.

(Kyle Mittan | The Daily World)
Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson and brother Grant from a duck-hunting blind near Grayland.

It is now 10 a.m. and we have our limit of ducks. We work quickly to pick up our gear so we can move on to our next endeavor. My dad has several crab pots that have been soaking in Grays Harbor bay since Friday and we suspect they may be full of Dungeness crab. It’s just a short drive to the Westport Marina before we are headed out in search of our buoys among the other hopeful crabbers. As we pullup the first pot, we look on in expectation as it nears the surface. Four crab … a decent start, but we will need to do better if we are toget our limits. The next pot fails to improve our luck, with only three more to add to our total. My brother suggests maybe we move the pots to another part of the bay, as so far the results are underwhelming, but we have one more pot to check and there is still hope. It slowly comes into view as it reaches the surface and … success! A full pot! We round out our limit and rebait our gear before heading in.As we reach the dock I check my watch – it is now just shy of noon.

“Perfect timing,” I think to myself as we head back to town.

I walk in the door and head straight for the shower. I imagine I am putting off a strong scent between the wetlands and the salty breeze of the bay. I get out of the shower and put on my blue and green. It is now a quarter past 1 p.m. The doorbell rings and a few of my friends walk in. From the fridge, I grab a growler of locally brewed beer I picked up earlier in the week, along with a few ice-cold glassesfrom the freezer. We all grab a spot on the couch as we turn on the game – Seahawks vs. Cardinals. This is why I love living here.