Adventures in clamming..

Last week I sent an email to my hubby asking if he wanted to go cross country skiing this weekend, “Sure” he said unenthusiastically.  It seems we’re in our winter rut – staying indoors, watching crappy TV…hibernating.  I’ve been trying to figure out what we could do to get outside and do something active on the weekends.

So it came to my surprise on Friday evening when he said that there was a change of plans and asked if I would be interested in going clamming, razor clamming to be specific.  I also responded with unenthusiastic “Sure.”  It could be an adventure especially given that there wasn’t a lot of snow for cross country skiing. It seems we’re also in a bit of a warm spell (55 degrees in January!) – also not good for skiing conditions.

I’ve never been clamming, never really had the desire and didn’t even know what a razor clam looked like.  The hubby started laying out the details – first we’d have to get a license  ($13 at the licensing place) and then we couldn’t really dig until low tide which was around 9PM.  Oh and we’d have to leave several hours early to figure out where we were going in the daylight.  OK – let the adventure begin…

We loaded up the truck around noon and headed into the big metropolis of Rochester to the licensing place. It was easy enough to obtain the license.  We discussed going back to the house to hang out but then decided that we might as well head to the coast – we didn’t know how long it would take and I needed to pick up some rubber boots.  Turns out the drive only took about an hour.

Once we got to the coast, we started scouting out the beaches where we knew we could dig.  In WA, you can drive on the beach which was pretty cool.  We even saw what I’m guessing is a whale carcass – I don’t know what else could be this big.

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OK – we found our spot agreed we’d come back to this spot before low tide.  Since we still had several hours to  kill, we went to the marina area for food.  I’m sure this place is hopping during the summer months but it looked like ghost town – I’m not sure how anyone could live here full time.  It was so depressing.  After a quick meal of fish & chips we headed back to the beach.

We sat in the truck for a bit and played games on our phones respectively waiting for low tide.  I occasionally looked up and noticed the fog rolling in over the water and down the beach – beautiful yet eerie.  All I could think of is the movie about The Fog

Anyways, it came time to get “suited” up – the hubby dressed in his full waiters and shoes – me in my cheap Walmart rubber boots and rain paints from about 20 years ago – clearly this isn’t a fashion show.  I began asking a lot of questions since I had never been clamming before – Are they easy to find?  “Yes, just look for little holes in the sand.”  How soon will we reach our limit (15 each)? “Jeff said he limits out in 30 minutes”  Do I have to use that strange tool? “Yes, you have to dig your own clams.”  Will we be out here all night? “I hope not.”   What if we don’t get any?  “Then we will tell people we did.”  (I mean it’s kinda like a fishing story.) Have you done this before? “No, not razor clams but other clams.” etc etc

The hubby and I walked along the beach with our buckets and lantern close to the waters edge what seemed like forever.  Luckily, it was warm. If it had been cold I would have been done after 10 minutes especially given that with the first wave that rolled in, water spilled in the top of my boots (and yes, my rain pants were over the top – which I thought would be helpful but it wasn’t).   He had told me to be looking for little holes in the sand – like the size of a pencil.  We saw nothing.

We saw the shells of some so I said well maybe they’re just not here at this beach.  I was told that wasn’t the case…we just had to keep looking.   Maybe we should do this in the daylight – I was hopeful he would agree and we could go home.  No such luck, keep looking. I had noticed that another couple had come and gone and I started to think we weren’t doing it right.  What could we be doing wrong?  We’re walking around on the beach in the pitch dark looking for little holes in the sand.  I even started calling for them “here clammy clammy” because this technique has worked for our friend’s daughter.  It didn’t work for me.  I did however find a beautiful sand dollar.

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More people started showing up and the tide was going further out and I was starting to get hopeful. Finally the hubby said “there’s one, you see that hole!?!”   Um, not really.  So he dug the hole and released the sand from the tool and there it was! It was kinda gross. Have you ever seen a razor clam?   We kept walking and looking and before too long we were spotting them left and right.  I tried using the tool and realized this was going to be a good workout! And with all this walking on the beach, my fitbit numbers would be skyrocketing (they didn’t).  It was starting to get fun.

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I’d say it probably took and hour to get close to the limit although when we finally got back to the truck, we had been out there for 3.  Three hours walking along the beach with my hubby.  I wouldn’t say it was romantic.  Different, yes.  Adventuresome, sure.  Will we do it again, maybe. Although I don’t want to do it in the dark.  Today, the hubby is cleaning them and will be frying the creatures up later for dinner – I sort of think it our version of Bizarre Foods episode .  I’ll keep you posted if they’re good.

What do you do on the weekends to get out of the winter rut?


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