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Cockles, mussels, alive alive-oh (and Isabelle’s first birthday)

It’s our youngest grandaughter’s first birthday, and we’re taking off this weekend for a small celebration with the whole fam damily!!!  Most everyone will be staying at Alderbrook Resort on the Hood Canal in Washington State while Thom and I will be taking Myles the motor home and staying down the road at Twanoh State Park.

Hood Canal is a unique and beautiful area of Washington state.  One of the reasons being that you can harvest fresh oysters right on the beach.  It is one of the only fjords in the United States and is a long, skinny tongue of oyster nirvana tucked inside Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Pacific oysters love it here. They grow wild everywhere.  Hard-packed gravel bars form wherever the countless rivers of the Olympic Peninsula pour into Hood Canal, making this an ideal home of the intertidal beach oyster.

Twanoh State Park has a good beach for Manila clams, native littleneck clams, small butter clams, and cockles. All four of these clam species can be found in a narrow band below the oyster beds in the park. It’s also an excellent beach for oysters.   It’s required that oysters must be shucked on the beach in order to preserve the native oyster population.

The only problem being, this time of the year, the harvesting of both clams and oysters is closed because the water quality does not meet public health standards for recreational shellfish harvesting for portions of the year.  Typically May through Sept. is closed to shellfish harvest due to potential pollution from boats and swimmers.

Please be sure to check with the park daily to determine if it’s safe to harvest any shellfish and that you have the appropriate license.  

But anyway, it’s Isabelle Jane’s first birthday, and it should be an exciting weekend. With good food, good family, good games and good times. We’re really looking forward to it and looking forward to taking Myles and Larry out for a short trip before our long trip planned in August.