Posts Tagged With: beach

Two and Two – New and Must-Do in Long Beach, WA

Sand Sculpture at SandSations, Long Beach, WA

Sand Sculpture at SandSations

It’s probably obvious by now that we love the Long Beach Peninsula. Every time we go there, there’s something fun going on. We see and do new things but also hit the traditional “must-do’s”.


1)      This is the first time we were able to be there during “Sandsations” premier sandcastle and sculpting festival. I expected it to be held down on the beach, where most sandcastle-building events are held, but the professional competition is held in town so that it’s not dependent on the tide. The creations are still as beautiful though, I admire the artistry and am envious that I don’t have that talent.

Sand Sculpture at SandSations, Long Beach, WA

Sand Sculpture at SandSations

Sand Sculpture at SandSations, Long Beach, WA

Sand Sculpture at SandSations

Sand Sculpture at SandSations, Long Beach, WA

Sand Sculpture at SandSations

Kids Got to Play in the Sand, Too!

Kids Got to Play in the Sand, Too!

2)      Out of all the times that I have been to Long Beach – I never knew the giant clam “erupted”! Every hour water spurts out of the top. How did I never know that?! I wouldn’t have noticed now but a boy and a girl and their grandmother came running up and shouting, ‘Is it time? Is it time?” It was two minutes to the hour so the boy set his watch and he and his sister started the countdown at ten seconds – and the squirting began right on time!

Razon Clam Sign, Long Beach, WA

Squirting Giant Razor Clam, Long Beach, WA

Squirting Giant Razor Clam


1)      We have been to the Full Circle Café in Ocean Park before. We wrote a blog about Gary, the Yarn Dude ( who runs the Tapestry Rose yarn store in back. We have always enjoyed the food there, but I had a pleasant surprise this visit. I can’t eat grains. On the menu was a “Crustless Crab Quiche” so I asked what was in it and there was no flour, so I ordered it. Out came this bubbly, golden quiche smelling heavenly, and tasting just as amazing! Then of course, it was time for dessert, most of which I can’t eat. But I saw “Gluten-free peanut butter cookie”. Again, I asked what was in it because a lot of gluten items use rice or potato flour which doesn’t work for me. Oh, the joy when the baker said it contained no flours of any kind! Knowing I can have choices at one of my favorite restaurants on the peninsula is a dream come true!

Full Circle Cafe, Ocean Park, WA

Full Circle Cafe

2)      Josh looks forward with much anticipation when we go to Long Beach – he HAS to ride the go-karts. Imagine his thrill that on this particular Friday night the rides were almost half price! Now, David always says he goes on them just for Josh, but I’m thinking that isn’t the whole story… He was sure smiling a lot and they went several rounds.

Josh & David Ready To Go On Go Karts, Long Beach, WA

Josh & David Ready To Go On Go Karts


And They're Off! Long Beach, WA

And They’re Off!

The Long Beach Peninsula. We call it our playground. We love that every time we can count on doing our usual activities as well as know we’ll get to experience some new ones. The Peninsula never gets old!

What’s your must-do when you go to Long Beach?

Full Circle Café:

Long Beach Go Karts and Krazy Kars:


Categories: Keatons Out and About, Outdoors, Uncategorized, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wreck of the Peter Iredale

2013-03-16 22.17.21There aren’t many places that you can see an actual shipwreck, let alone touch it, walk around it, and climb on it. But in the northwest corner of Oregon, at Ft. Stevens State Park just southwest of Astoria, you can do just that with the wreck of the Peter Iredale.2013-03-16 22.18.07

The ship has been here since October of 1906. A British ship, it had left Santa Cruz, Mexico bound for Portland, Oregon when it hit bad weather just before crossing the Columbia River bar. It ran ashore on the beach, and luckily no one was hurt but the ship was abandoned, never to be removed. There it has sat, slowly deteriorating for over 100 years.

2013-03-16 22.23.18Today it is a mere skeleton of a ship, rusty, leaning, crusted over. It was amazing to see it when I was a child some 45 years ago. I can imagine the crowds that it drew when it first wrecked, and over the years it has seen thousands of visitors. There isn’t as much to the wreckage as I remember, but there is still plenty to get excited about. The nice part to know, as a parent, is that no one was hurt. It’s always a little hard to talk to your kids about these things if you have to explain people were hurt or died. No problem with that here.

It’s a great way to teach your kids about the sea, the dangers sailors faced on a daily basis while trying to cross the bar into the Columbia River. While looking at the pictures it may not seem like much, but any time you can let kids actually touch history (careful – it is rusty), they will remember it. There is still enough of the ship there that they will be thoroughly impressed and will be anxious to brag to their friends that they saw and touched an actual shipwreck. That truly is a unique experience most people don’t ever get a chance to do.

2013-03-16 22.25.22

Off Hwy. 101 south of Astoria, head towards the towns of Warrenton/Hammond. Follow the signs to Ft. Stevens State Park and look for Peter Iredale Rd. Then just follow the signs that say “Shipwreck”. How often do you see that kind of sign anywhere?

2013-03-16 22.17.41It’s very easy to get to, there is a parking area ($5 day use fee) very near it so you can just park and walk out to it. Low tide is the best time to go to make sure you can walk all around it. Or if you want to stay awhile you can camp or rent a cabin at Ft. Stevens State Park which also has great bicycle trails and tons of other military and historical sites to introduce your children to.

So head to the Oregon coast and give your kids (and yourself!) the experience of a lifetime – check out that shipwreck!

Categories: Historical, Oregon, Parks, Roadside Attraction | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Razor Clam Digging on the Washington Coast

Bucket of Clams2

Razor Clams

If you ever get the chance to go clam digging, jump on it!

Razor clams are found on the coastline along the Pacific Ocean from California all the way up to Alaska. Each state sets their own requirements. In Washington State, the Department of Fish and Wildlife determines when the digs are and posts the dates, along with the time of the low tide. The best clamming is one to two hours before the low tide.

Then all you need to do is purchase your clamming license, a shovel or clam gun, and head to the beach! Licenses currently cost $8.60 for a three-days or $13.00 for an annual license. You can get a limit of 15 clams per day per person, just be sure you keep each limit in a separate container.

Several years ago I watched a friend dig for clams but didn’t participate so for me it wasn’t much more than going for a walk on the beach. This was my first time ever actually digging. I was in for a wonderful treat.

Josh Clam Digging

Josh loves getting his hands in the sand!

We drove about an hour and a half to Ocean Shores, Washington, to try our luck. We stopped at a little convenience store just outside of town and I bought my license. David and Josh already had theirs. I asked where to go and the clerk said just follow Hwy. 115 into Ocean Shores and it would take us right to the beach. So we did and boy, were we surprised by everyone else who was there! The cars were lined up on the beach for miles and so were the people! I was a little concerned there wouldn’t be any clams left, but I imagine that’s why there is a 15-clam-per-person limit. Still, it just looked like there were SO many people, it didn’t seem possible there would be enough clams.

The day was absolutely beautiful, which can be rare on the Washington coast. Sunny and clear, but with the usual brisk wind, we were prepared. We had layered clothing, coats, gloves, and hats. We also made use of the hip waders David had bought us all for Christmas last year. They kept our feet and legs completely dry while adding an extra layer of warmth.

David and Josh Clamming

David using the home-made clam gun, Josh waiting to stick his hand in the hole

We headed out to an area where we didn’t see too many people. Of course I worried that there was no one in that spot because there were no clams there. But we crossed a small current of water and came out on some higher ground and started looking for holes in the sand. Josh immediately spotted one and started digging with one of the clam guns that David and Josh had made from PVC pipe. He was very excited when he found one! Then another. Then another. He was VERY good at this! David and I were a bit slower but started finding them pretty quickly as well. I would dig with the gun and pull the sand out and if the clam wasn’t right there, David would stick his hand in the hole to get the clam. I just couldn’t do that part – it freaked me out to think about sticking my hand in a place where I couldn’t see what I was touching. Weird, I know.

Josh quickly reached his limit then helped us by running around looking for the holes and yelling, “Here’s another one! Shoot, Elizabeth, shoot!” (Yes, the boy watches a lot of Swamp People.)

It took us a little under two hours to reach our three limits. Then it was out to dinner and a late drive back home. But we had a very fun time and can’t wait to do it again. So I was very happy to wake up to a post online listing two more upcoming clamming dates. They’re on our calendar!

Categories: Keatons Out and About, Outdoors, Uncategorized, Washington | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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