Florence, Oregon, holds a special place in our hearts. It is one of the first places that we stopped and spent time in on our first month on the road! It was where we first heard of, and tried, sand boarding, it’s where we spent days and days clamming and crabbing, and it’s where we first discovered toy haulers after our kids asked if we could just keep on trucking instead of going back ‘home’ to build another house.
The first year that we visited Oregon, it was unseasonably warm and dry. This year, not so much. lol.
It rained and rained this time, but we still got out to either north or south jetty, near Florence, nearly every day.
The guys like to crab from the south jetty, and clam at the north. Crabbing this year wasn’t very profitable, but we did get a few like the one above. The little kids didn’t always go but because both jettys were so close to the rv park we were staying at, the little and I could pop over and visit for awhile and then go back home when they got tired or cold or wet and sandy. always sandy.
This is the north jetty, where Vaughn and the kids went to clam during low tide…
The littles, in this case, were mostly just Caleb and Molly since Savanna is a outdoorsy, energetic, clamming machine.
Who also likes to climb rocks. Even these odd, intriguing sand-encrusted rocks.
They weren’t crabbing and clamming ALL the time we were there – we did spend some down time when the weather was bad, and we did take time out to celebrate Caleb’s 3rd birthday!
The girls made him cupcakes…
and he had a fireworks birthday candle…
and his favorite present was a set of Western themed Playmobil, which I should have known since every one of our kids have loved them!
And afterwards we watched Planes Fire and Rescue because Caleb LOVES ‘Dusty GrassPopper’!!!
We did have a few nice days on the Oregon coast…
And the whole family got in on the clamming…
Vaughn found a metal gardening tool at the local hardware store, and Caleb loved to dig through the piles of sand that Vaughn dug up with the clam shovel (this is the one we got, but it is cheaper onsite in the coastal towns – just linking to Amazon so you can see better pics and specs if you want to check it out).
In Oregon, kids 14 and up must have their own shellfish license in order to crab and clam. Licenses for non-residents are only $20.50, and Thomas, Jacob, and Vaughn all needed them. I did not get one as all I like to harvest anymore are photos.
The big kids go off and find their own clams…
The kids would throw any dead clams to the waiting seagulls, who would chase each other around trying to steal the prize.
Every nice day, and some not so nice days, the tribe was out digging clams and catching crabs.
Clamming was the favorite as crabbing was slow for us this year. Even the kids that don’t like clams enjoyed digging them up; they are pretty much a guaranteed harvest while the crabs are not.
Dad would shovel up the sand for the littles to sift through.
Everyone enjoys digging for them, but not everyone likes to eat them (Thomas does!).
And some of the kids really get into their work…
North Jetty at low tide…
The clammers would watch the tide charts, and head out for the jetty about 2 hours before low tide. They would clam until a couple hours after low tide, then it was time to go home, get some sleep, and do it all over the next day.
They did have to take some time off to put up their harvest!
9 limits is a lot of clams!
After digging the clams up, the crew would bring them home and let them soak in ocean water for 24 to 48 hours. Then they would boil the clams up. When the clam dies in the boiling water, it could no longer hold the clam shell closed so all the shells would come out open. Once out of the boiling water, it was easy to scoop the meat out of the now open shells. Most of it was eaten before it had time to cool off, but we do now have a few bags of clam meat in the freezer waiting to be saute’d with butter and garlic!
Another day, another limit (or 9)…
Vaughn and the big boys would rotate using the clam gun (tip: we got our aluminum clam gun cheaper on the coast – just putting this link so you can check out pics, specs, and reviews if you are curious; we recommend an aluminum gun for durability and weight).
It takes some effort to run the gun as you push it down into the sand, cover the vent hole to pull it back up trapping the sand in the cylinder, then when you have pulled it up, full of sand, you uncover the vent letting the sand slide out. Now that the sand is on the surface, it’s much easier to find clams in it.
Caleb loved to go through the piles of sand that dad and the boys would pull up. He would get pretty excited when he would find a clam; especially if it was a Gaper Clam – they are bigger than the others, and sometimes they would spit water out at him, trying to scare him into not eating them. 😉 He thought that was hilarious!
The seagulls would hang around my clamming group waiting for a handout like this ghost shrimp…
All the kids had a good time playing on the sandy flats…
Sometimes, depending on the timing of low tide, we would even stay until sunset.
Then it would be time to take our clams home and put them in salt water to soak and purge.
We loved our time on the Oregon coast. It is one of our (many) favorite places in the United States.
But between the rain and humidity, the nights turning colder and colder, and other commitments, it was just finally time to hit the road once more.
After all, one adventure must end for a new one to begin!