Monday, January 4, 2010

Clamming in Oregon

      Linda and I just returned from a week visiting the Kangs in Forest Grove, OR.  It was a great trip. I can't say I got to do everything I wanted to do with the kids, but we did a lot.  I love their ward and it makes me happy that they have such good friends there.

      Linda flew to Salt Lake during the middle of our trip to attend her brother Steve's funeral.  While she was gone I drove over to  Garibaldi on the Oregon coast to dig clams with Rachel and Chris. Rachel brought along a friend, Emily Woodward, and four of Emily's brothers came along in a separate car. The clam digging went relatively well.  We mainly dug butter clams, with a few gapers and cockles thrown in for good measure. We didn't all fill our limits, but we had enough clams for a large pot of chowder that lasted for a several days after we got home. The trip turned into a little adventure as it had just started to snow when we left Forest Grove on highway 8, heading for Tillamook.  By the time we were through digging clams there was about two feet of snow on the pass. Someone (either Sarah or sister Woodward) made a phone call and found us a place to spend the night and wait for the pass to clear up.  We ended up taking refuge with a nice Mormon family living in Netarts, OR. The Espelin family was very gracious and kind to us.  They were well stocked with cots, kept their wood stove well loaded all night and we all slept warm and dry.  I had lengthy discussions with the husband, John Espelin, about a variety of subjects, to include beekeeping, raising beef cattle, dairy cows, Siberian Huskies, and the health benefits of unpasteurized vinegar. They even fed us a hearty breakfast the next morning.  We drove back by heading north along the coast towards Seaside, then headed back over the mountains to forest Grove on highway 26.

      As much as I love the Oregon coast, I don't think I would like to actually live there.  The annual rain fall near Tillamook is about 92 inches per year.  That is about twice the rainfall that we get in Snohomish.  I don't mind our wet winters, but 92 inches sounds like a lot. The upper picture was taken as we drove north from Netarts towards Seaside.  The lower picture was taken driving over the mountains on highway 26.

     Other highlights of the visit included sushi with Chris, two days at a beach house in Lincoln City, OR, ice skating with the Kangs and friends, and scoring a big bag of hazel nuts from a local grower.  We also went clamming in Lincoln City, but that experience can best be described as a "fine and pleasant misery" to quote Patrick McManus. High winds, driving rain, and not many clams.  Linda and I drove back to Forest Grove via highway 18 through McMinnville, OR.  We both really love that part of Oregon and the proximity to the coast.

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