Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Trip to the Ocean

My sister Laurie and brother-in-law Arnie invited us to go razor clam digging with them on Tuesday. They go frequently, when central Washington beaches are open for digging. We are novices, having gone only once in recent history.

Tom and I decided to make a bit of a vacation out of it, so we rented a hotel room in Ocean Shores for Monday night and set off Monday morning to do some touring. 

For those of you who are not familiar with the Pacific Northwest, the map below shows Puget Sound in the upper right hand corner. Seattle is north of Tacoma, up I-5, on the east side of the sound. 
We drove south to Olympia, and then west to Aberdeen. 
Road trips always call for stops at Starbucks, which we did in Aberdeen. 

We also Googled antique shops and found one open on a Monday. 
Tom added to his watering can collection, and I bought another piece of McCoy pottery. 

Then we drove along the north shore of Grays Harbor and down the peninsula to the town of Ocean Shores, where we stopped to "wave" to the Pacific Ocean. 
Farther south, we stopped at the north jetty of the inlet to Grays Harbor. 

The large bay is pictured above, and below we are looking out to sea. 

Inside the harbor, along the bay we found this lovely beach. 

In the distance, below, you can see the jetty where we were earlier. 
We explored Ocean shores and about 4:00 we checked into our hotel, and after getting settled, we tried to follow a path across the dunes to the beach, but were thwarted by a bog, 

So we got into the car and drove to the beach, and out on the beach, where we went for a windy walk. 

If someone can identify these shore birds, please do. 
We had dinner in an Irish pub, the Galway Bay Irish Pub, to be specific. Pub tee shirts decorated the ceiling. 
Police and fire crew patches adorned the bar. 
We enjoyed a shared glass of Guinness and warn Irish soda bread before our meal. 

Back at the hotel, I went out on the dunes to capture the sunset over the Pacific. 

The next morning we were up and ready to go when Laurie and Arn met us at our hotel, and off we went to Ocean City Beach to join the other clam diggers. 
I had never done this before. The last time we came, two years ago, I was recovering from back surgery, so I mostly minded the bucket. But now, after Tom tried and failed several times, he gave me the clam gun, and I soon had the knack of it. 

Yay! Another clam!
I needed a bucket minder later on though, when I got caught by a sneaker wave that almost knocked me off my feet. I had to plant my clam gun and keep myself upright while ahead of me I watched the surf tip my bucket of clams. Fortunately I was behind the bucket, so when the wave receded, I was able to grab the loosed clams on the way back out.
I counted to make sure I got them all. 
After the four of us had our limits of 15 apiece, we walked the beach a while and then set off to find a nursery Laurie had heard of. Cedar Falls Nursery, kind of out in the middle of nowhere, was lovely. 
We both came away with a box full of plants. 
We made a lunch shop in Hoquiam at a brew pub (thanks, Google!) and then stopped at a small antique shop where we had a fun search for treasure and a visit with the shop owner, who is an in-law relative of Laurie and Arn's son. 

It was 5:00 when we got back home to Seattle. I unloaded the car and put stuff away while Tom cleaned clams. 
It was late then,and we were tired, so we just made a quick lunch for our dinner.

Today was a this, that, and everything day of catching up.

But for dinner there were clam fritters. 


  1. Uh No, I'm not going digging clams. I'm very anxious to get a day trip to the ocean soon but I won't be digging clams. First of all, it looks like work. Second of all, I would not like cleaning those critters. I might enjoy eating them though. This was a very interesting post and I learned a lot but no, I don't want to do this. There's very little about the Pacific Northwest that I don't love but this is one I'll enjoy from a distance. Loved the nurseries and antique shops and the walks on the beaches. Glad you had a good time.

  2. What a lovely little holiday you had. Many of the places you visited we also enjoyed in the past. One time we were parked on the beach in our camper van ( quite legally parked, I will add) and a sneaker wave hit us and gave us quite a shock as it rocked the entire van. Glad you didn't lose any of your clams though.

  3. Awesome new header!The coast offers all kinds of sights: beaches, skies, waves clams... So this was a good place to visit.

  4. Gorgeous wisteria header! Can you dig it? Sounds like you had fun at the beach. I certainly enjoyed seeing your adventure.

  5. Sounds like a great trip, something that I have never done digging for clams but worth it when you get a delicious meal at the end of it.

  6. What a lovely little get away! I've never had razor clams. Bet they are tasty! The larger birds with the blackened bellies are Dunlins. Perhaps later, I can study the picture more closely and ID the others! Have a great day! XO

  7. You certainly make the most of every day.

  8. Now that sounds like an interesting day! So nice to live within reach of the ocean. And a beautiful new header photo too.

  9. It does sound like a fun day. I think those birds are dunlins, but I could be wrong. I am not a fan of clams but digging them up looks like it was fun. :-)

  10. Nice outing. I could not believe all of those birds on the water, something you don't see in Hawaii. I have never eaten clam fritters, but they look good.

  11. You always manage to get so much fun stuff done in one day. Those fritters look tasty.

  12. What a lovely trip. That is the way I like to vacation these days. Not too far from home. New sites to see. A little shopping and home again the next day. Wish I had been there.

  13. how fun, looks like hard work catching the clams...but tasty. I love clam chowder!

  14. What a great trip. And amazing weather. I haven't dug clams for years, good for you and so delicious!
    I too think those birds are Dunlins. A kind of Sandpiper.

  15. Lovely photos, Linda! Your clam digging experience was much more productive than our most recent one! We stayed with our daughter in Olympia, then drove over to a beach called Copalis. I had never seen so many people on the beach in my life. The first place we went to was not driveable, and there was no parking whatsoever. Our daughter had a head start, and we were trying to find her. Finally she sent me a map and we found her, after they had already dug their limits. There were cars and people as far as the eye could see! I decided not to dig, as the idea of taking all those clams home and cleaning them myself wasn't appealing. Glad you were successful and enjoyed your fritters!

  16. Terrific photos! Clamming looks like so much fun! I can just imagine how delicious it must be. I saw a lot of wild strawberries there. I'm wondering if you were able to pick some for dessert.


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