All Work and No Clams: Cape Disappointment, WA

After a perfect evening in Astoria, OR, we headed across the bridge and back to the great state of Washington for an Easter weekend of clamming and camping {or so we thought}.  The clamming actually took place in Long Beach & Oceanside, and the camping in Cape Disappointment State Park.  You’ll see why Cape Disappointment fits this blog title.

We met up with our friends, loaded up in their truck, and hit the beach.  We watched as successful clammers walked away with their catch, and got excited.  As long as you have a clamming license (obtained at various sporting goods & fishing shops), you are allowed 15 clams.  The rule is, you get what you get.  If you dig up a small clam, and think, “I can do better than that…”, you are out of luck, you’re stuck with it as part of your 15.

With clam guns in hand, off they go to catch dinner…

After a few practice digs (Slaed doing most of the digging as I was carrying B in the ergo), we started to get the hang of the technique.  However the clams were not showing up. Maybe this part of the beach has already been clammed enough? So, we loaded back into the truck, and drove North. We tried again…

No clams.

Back into the truck a third time.  Maybe just a little further North will do the trick.  Along the way, we ran into a fish and wildlife police officer, and we asked him for advice.  His advice was the come back the next day, bright and early.  Disappointing.  We stayed positive though.  We wouldn’t have clams that we dug up ourselves for dinner back at the campsite, but at least we’d have clams to cook up in our own homes when we got back.

On Day 2 of our clamming adventure weekend, we did like the wildlife officer said, we were up at the crack of dawn, and drove much further North this time with high hopes.  Apparently, everyone in the entire state of Washington was thinking the same thing.

Washington’s Easter Egg Hunt

We found what looked like a good spot for digging, kept our eye on some experts (in my mind, an expert is anyone who actually has clams in their bags), and got down to work.

Our friends Tim and Alina working hard.

We searched and searched for the clams to “show”, supposedly a small dimple in the sand indicates their presence, but little was revealed.  We dug in spots where we thought a clam might be showing.  We observed experts, and even asked them for advice.  Their were 6 of us, which means if everyone got their allotted 15 clams, we’d have a grand total of 90 clams.

Wondering how many we were able to dig up? 2.  Yes. 2.  Better luck next year, I guess.

Despite our lack of clams, we still enjoyed a beautiful weekend.  We couldn’t have asked for better spring weather, our friends got to really bond with Baby B, and we learned that we can camp with a baby! {sort of…more on that in another post.}

The Clam Digging Family

Who had the best time clamming?

Norman, of course! So much fun that I couldn’t even get a good picture of him.

Info to Know:

  • To find out all there is to know about razor clamming in Washington, check out the WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife’s website.
  • Cape Disappointment State Park is a great choice for camping.
  • Not a camper? Check out the Sou’Wester in Long Beach, WA. Stay in their funky lodge, one of their cabins or “tch! tchs! (trailer classic hodgepodge).  You can even hook up your RV there.  We stayed in the lodge a few years back and loved it, and you’ll be just steps from the beach!
  • Don’t forget all your clamming tools & necessities: a clam gun, rubber boots, clamming license, gloves, bucket or net to hold your clams & lots of patience.
  • Check the tides; clamming is best at low tide.

5 thoughts on “All Work and No Clams: Cape Disappointment, WA

    • Thank you! Definitely disappointing, but I’d do it again! I think it was just combination of bad timing, and small “shows” from the clams. We just kept saying, “At least we are spending a beautiful day at the beach!”…until we were hit one to many times with waves, and had enough water in our boots 🙂

  1. Pingback: Camping at Cape Disappointment State Park (with a baby) « Wild Tales of…

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