Fried prawns on Christmas Eve are a family tradition. And some years, when we’re lucky, there’s a clam dig. Then we have fried, fresh razor clams too.
There were two days of clam digging this year. The first you’ll see here where Bob, Keith, Cindie, and Zach easily dug their limit for a total of 60 clams. The second day, Ron, Beth, Justin, Conor, Edwin, Lori and Zach (again) did not catch their limit. After braving the elements and digging for hours, they came home with 3. Sometimes the clams are crafty and don’t spit their little air bubbles up through the sand.
If you want to dig for clams, come to the beach in your big rubber boots; you may have to dig in the surf. You’ll need your bare hands to operate the clam gun, so plan on icy fingers. Plunge the gun in the sand over the air dimple you’ve spotted and scoop out tube after tube of sand until you see a wriggling neck poking from an oblong shell, you’re trophy. Plop it in the bucket. Repeat until you reach your limit – in number or patience.
When you get home with your bucketful, it’s time to clean. As you slice and scrub while they wriggle, squirm, and shoot out strange organs, remind yourself of how great they’ll taste in their hot, crunchy coating.
On our way home from visiting Ed and Mary, we stopped at this canyon.
Since we stopped there last, a new bridge is in place. They left the old bridge intact which allowed me to take the above photo.
The last time we stopped here, we were with Rob and Cindie when their dog, Cali shocked and terrified us all by jumping up on the canyon guard rail (she skidded to a stop and we enjoyed her canine company for many more years). This sign wasn’t posted back then – apparently some weren’t so lucky.
But back to the visit: they’re family, they’re friends, and they invited us to come for a visit. Who could resist?
Here’s pretty Mary. She cooked up all kinds of deliciousness for us: homemade cookies, beef and mushroom kabobs, a fancy quinoa salad, scrambled eggs and banana bread. The girl can cook! And Ed picked out the reddest, juiciest, sweetest, watermelon I have ever eaten.
We relaxed and chatted on their big porch in the warm summer air.
I took this photo on the way to Pendleton where we planned to have dinner at a pub. When we arrived, just the sign “closing at 2pm today” hung on the door. But a quick trip to Papa Murphy’s and, voilà!; evening restored.
Did I mention that their yard looks like a golf course? Look at this! Thank God they have a riding mower.
Happy times in Hermiston…
We took a little side trip to Crater Lake on our way home. On the road in to the park we stopped at this little gem to get sandwiches and chips.
I admit, I wasn’t prepared for how incredible Crater Lake really is – I choked up. A nice passerby clicked the above shot for us…
Here are a couple more…
Thanks to EVERY ONE of you for a wonderful trip!
XOXO Keith and Marissa
Spending the afternoon at Spring Lake Regional Park in Santa Rosa.
Taking turns kayaking around the little islands.
The next day we had so much fun and food that I forgot to take any pictures! We ate dinner and played games at Suzanna’s place. Dori and Dave made Dates stuffed with Blue Cheese and Almonds, Tiny Caprese Salads, Crunchy Chicken, Homemade Plum Jelly….We stuffed our faces then played Balderdash and laughed until tears rolled and stomaches ached.
Before dinner and games it was a 7-mile hike at Mt. Saint Helena in the scorching sun. Beautiful views along the way but giant cell towers and a warning about high radiation at the top.
Just a little smooch.
On our last full day in Sebastopol, we enjoyed the sights and sounds at the Sonoma County Fair. We ate some excellent spaghetti – I’m still in awe of how they made a VAT of pesto coated pasta and kept it al dente for hours! Followed by vanilla ice-cream bars hand-dipped in chocolate then rolled in almond toffee.
Oh yeah, and the rides,
Everest practiced acrobatics, then was spun and squished on the Sizzler with Summer and Maria…
the flower pavilion,
And I must remember the Zing moment of Red Hot Chili on our first night (delicious and, in fact – red hot!), then seeing this in the fair’s fine art pavilion.
And an oh so sweet ending to a wonderful trip.
to see the whole album…
Let’s be honest about Redding in late July – It’s hot. Really hot. But, despite the 105 degree days and 77 degree nights, we had so much fun!
Two of our favorite people in the world. (They’re sweet aren’t they?)
I’m kind of attached to that guy on the left too…
We started our visit walking around their incredible yard and garden.
The next day, to escape the heat and get our hearts pumping, we drove out to Crystal Creek road beyond Whiskeytown lake to the Whiskeytown Falls trailhead. Along the 3-mile hike, little lizards skittered across and to every side of the trail; cute. A large snake napped alongside the trail – my mom and I both missed it but heard about it later; not cute.
Hike payoff! Couldn’t miss this photo-op.
We also got to hang out with our buddies Bryan and Jenn for a while to catch up and check out their amazing kitchen remodel!
See the whole album here…
The sun shines bright on us driving down highway 97 from Bend to Redding. We stop once along the way at our favorite rest area near Weed, CA – Grass Lake.
We take a little walk around, admiring the art (ahem.) and the wispy grass swaying where water stood two months ago when we made the trip down to celebrate my mom’s birthday.
I send my dad a text – “We’re on our way and ‘Road Trippin’ by the Red Hot Chili Peppers just came on the radio!” Reply, “I’m making Red Hot Chili for dinner tomorrow night!!” ZING!!
There’s Mt. Shasta – almost there!
The day before Bob’s birthday – Happy 69th! (again) – we took a little road trip to see the Metolius River and scout campgrounds north of Sisters in hopes of some August camping trips.
The Metolius River is unique in that you can take a short stroll down a path and see it’s mouth – where the water flows right up from the Earth. Here is a picture of the river that I swiped from Wikipedia.
And here are a few pictures of us, I’m sure from the same bridge where the above picture was taken, at the fish hatchery that we visited.
We found some great campgrounds/sites to try out next month…Anyone interested in joining us??