Jan 172013
Wolfe Property State Park beach

Wolfe Property State Park beach, Mt. Baker in distance

During the first week of the new year, I took my daughters for an overnight trip to the Kitsap Peninsula just to get away for a couple of days. Every so often, it’s nice for them to spend some time together without their brother. We had some good weather and favorable tides during our trip so we crossed the Hood Canal Bridge to do our first clam dig of the year.

Wolfe Property State Park is a small but fertile beach where you’ll find some decent populations of Manila and other clams. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife seeds the Manila clam population on this beach which explains their abundance.

Wolfe Property State Park Manila clamsWolfe Property State Park Manila clams

Wolfe Property State Park Manila clams

The clams on this beach tend to be somewhat smaller than at other Puget Sound beaches but we easily got our limits that day. Using a hand trowel, we found our clams within an inch or two of the surface in the tidal zone where the sand and small gravel mix.

Besides the good shellfish harvesting, Wolfe Property State Park is also a nice kids’ beach for running around. And with an awesome view of Mt. Baker in the distance, it’s a scenic, quiet place for adults too.  When we got back home, we rewarded our efforts with a big pot of steamed clams with garlic butter sauce.



Apr 122012
View from Carkeek Park beach

View of Olympics from Carkeek Park beach

If you have a yearning for some mountain and water views on one of those rare sunny days in Seattle, head over to Carkeek Park. You will be treated to a expansive beach with amazing views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. And the kids will love exploring its tidepools and seeing the mile long freight trains go by. Less than ten miles from downtown Seattle, you will feel a world away while gazing at the ferry ships on Puget Sound.

One of those mile long trains going by. After seeing one, you realize why it takes them a long time to stop.

Freight trains along Carkeek Park beach

Freight trains along Carkeek Park beach


A great place to explore tidepools with the kids.

Exploring tidepools ar Carkeek Park beach

Exploring tidepools at Carkeek Park beach

Mar 172012

The northwest weather can be grim at times from, optimistically, November through February.  An escape to a warmer climate can be a delight during this period.  Among the many convenient destinations easily reached from the Northwest are Southern California (Palm Springs, San Diego, etc.), Arizona, and Hawaii.

Traveling to these locations in the winter can be a real delight.  The contrast in climate definitely heightens one’s appreciation.  Going from 40 degree rain and wind to this type of scene (of Marriott Ko Olina Beach Resort on Oahu) is a shock:


A beach on the leeward side of Oahu:

On the trail to Manoa Falls outside of Honolulu:

Fort DeRussy Park in Honolulu:

An annual wintertime visit to a warm, sunny destination would be a very nice, therapeutic habit for any Northwest resident.




Edible Clams of Washington State

 Posted by on March 11, 2012 at 8:27 am  Outdoors  3 Responses »
Mar 112012
Washington State clam types
Washington state clams

Washington state clams

The cold waters of the Puget Sound produce some of the world’s greatest tasting clams and oysters. Washington State is home to a variety of clams including the Manila and native littleneck clam, butter clam, varnish clam, cockle, horse clam, macoma clam, razor clam, and, last but not least, the world-famous giant geoduck clam.

Washington state has plenty of public access beach shoreline available for clam diggers. But before you grab that shovel and bucket, make sure you can identify the various species of clams and know the regulations. This is very important because harvesting regulations vary by the species and certain clams, such as the butter clam, tend to accumulate biotoxins more readily than other species.

Harvesting clams require a low tide. Certain clams, such as the geoduck, require an extreme low tide (and lots of hard digging) whereas cockles and other clams are closer to the surface and can be harvested easily at moderate low tides with hand tools.

Four types of Washington state clams

Four types of Washington state clams

In the above photo, the clam on the upper left is a butter clam, the upper right is a purple varnish clam, the lower left is a manila clam. and the lower right is a cockle.