Nature: March 2009 Archives

Astoria and Long Beach Razor Clamming

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We had a free night at a Red Lion Hotel to burn before the end of March, so we booked a night in Astoria, Oregon—near Long Beach, Washington where we'd do some razor clam digging.  This is all in the very northwestern corner of Oregon and southwestern corner of Washington.  Some pretty cool geography you can see in our route map:

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We drove down to Oregon on Saturday morning—the weather was horrible.  Nothing but wind and downpours.  So our trip to Fort Stevens State Park (marked B on the map) was a bit of a bust.  On a nice day we would have had great seabird viewing and even quite possibly whales.  For the most part it was too treacherous to even take out the camera—but we braved one shot with rain on the lens from the Astoria Column.

Making up a bit for the foul weather, lunch and dinner in Astoria were both home runs.  Bowpicker Fish & Chips served up fried albacore tuna in a batter much like the fried taro you get at dim sum.  Without any discussion we proclaimed it the best fish and chips we've ever had.  And for dinner we hit up the Columbian Cafe—this place holds maybe two dozen people in four booths and a lunch counter.  It's classic Pacific Northwest stuff, with a funky decor and a chef/owner you can watch in action cooking up all sorts of fresh and local fare.  We were in a piggy mood, so Lillie enjoyed their special blend of cured bacon and homemade fettuccine, and I ordered up some pork cheeks.  Wowza.  This is really a must go restaurant when in Astoria.

We then retired to our room at the Red Lion—which had a pretty nice view, actually.  It sits right on a marina overlooking the 4.5 mile bridge that takes you over to Washington.

View from the Red Lion Astoria

By 8:30am the next morning we were on the Long Beach Peninsula looking to find some razor clams.  We were shocked to realize it has been almost four years since we last did this.  Perhaps that showed as we only got five clams—two of which we mutilated during the dig.  Big props to Lillie who spotted four out of the five!  It was horribly windy out making for some poor conditions—and the clams were staying pretty far down making it difficult to find any of their shows.  Oh well…good times.  Plus Zizou got to munch on various ocean debris.

Always kinda cool just to park your car on the Pacific (Zizou looks like an Ewok or something):

And here's our relatively sad looking results at home before cleaning.  Must say they weren't so sad when fried up for dinner—delicious.  So delicious that I forgot to take a photo of the final product.