Nothing better than growing up on the Oregon Coast!!
I may live in the heart of the Willamette Valley, but growing up on the Oregon Coast is something that will always be a part of me. One amazing perk is the fabulous array of seafood available. One can’t get any fresher scrumptious seafood than going out digging or fishing it yourself!!
On many occasions my dad has called me up to see if we were coming for a visit. He watches and waits for the best clam tides. He is beyond experienced and the expert go-to-guy when it comes to clam digging, fishing and crabbing. At a very young age he became a commercial fisherman. Now being 75, he has the years and experience that I depend on being so green. Yes, he was awesome as a father, taking all seven of us out with him to show us, guide us and just letting us find our way. As I grew older, went to work, went to college and moved away I have found that I have forgotten the many details, no matter how small.
Now, after moving back, my dad calls often to see if we would like to out with him. Last Saturday was one day that our schedules worked perfectly. I drive on Friday night, with my son (one of those Mommy and Me times), three hours to the home where I grew up. My dad tells me we need to leave around quarter to 5 in the a.m. the next morning. I actually asked him, jokingly, if it is light out at that time!! He chuckled, but not in a good way. He has been up every morning around four nearly his whole life due to his work. He gets more things done before noon than most people get done in two days!! He has always been that way. The only day of the year, every year!, when he willed himself to stay in bed was on Christmas Morning. Talk about doing his best to be the most major buzz kill ever! Seven kids doing everything to get this man out of bed…starting around 4 in the morning…finally getting him out of bed around 9! He would always come out with a major smile on his face. Meanwhile my mother would be shooting daggers with her eyes!! Gotta just love that holiday!!
So… After talking with my mom until midnight I set my alarm for 4:15 am… I wake before the alarm several times that night thinking I might oversleep and not hear the alarm. Then just as I getting that oh so awesome comfy sleep, the alarm goes off! It took me a little while to actually wake up but once I did I hopped out of bed and then had to get myself ready as well as my son. We were ready by 4:40. We actually had 5 minutes to spare!! Yea me! Next, we loaded a clam gun, shovel and buckets with handles into the back of my dad’s truck. My dad then drives us to the beach which is about 3 miles away. By the way… There is another perk about growing up on the coast. My parent’s home is a little more than a mile away from the ocean. For some, putting a sea shell up to their ear, the sound of the ocean is very clear. For me, walking out my front door was always like that. I could hear the ocean and what a glorious sound it was.
Once my dad found the best spot to dig, he let us out to find our own clams. My son and I walked out and immediately found a clam hole. I now use a clam gun, but when I was younger I used a shovel. First hole found, first of my clam limit that day. The limit is 15 clams. There used to be a time when there was no limit, but as the sport of clam digging has grown and is so popular on sunny warm days on the coast the limit was created and even lowered a great deal. The next clam to be dug was my son’s. He had the shovel… Then used the clam gun. Out comes a six-inch razor clam… I can already taste its yummy goodness. I am so grateful for this time with my son and so grateful for my dad. I hope he knows this. I tell him, but I am not sure he truly gets it.
My dad is so good… He knows the perfect spot!! We each get our limit within half an hour. The ocean has an amazing quality. Being on the beach, wind whipping my hair, I find peace. Even though I know in should feel dog tired, I feel full of energy! So many emotions! What a great morning!!
As I get ready for the long drive home, my dad asks if I would like to add the previous days catch of his to our limits. Who would say no? I never want to take his dinner… So I say to him only if he wants to give them up. In the end I bring back with me several limits of Razor Clams. Yea me, yea for our family!!
I hope you get a chance to go yourself. At times it is hard work, but so worth it!!
Please go to Popcorn in the Pan on my site later today to get recipes for yummy razor clams you can make with your children!
Have fun, families! Remember to always make the most of every moment!