Saturday, June 15, 2019

Grandpa Jake's Clams Steam Us Back To Washington

Incoming from Washington this Saturday afternoon, sent by Spencer Jack and Hank Frank's grandpa Jake, who is also my baby brother.

What we are looking at here is a kettle full of clams getting steamed.

The text accompanying this photo...

"Do you eat many steamers in Texas?"

I replied "No. In Texas they think catfish and crawdads are seafood, but actual seafood does exist, even oysters. Raw oysters. I've never been able to work up the courage to swallow a raw Texas oyster."

Actually I do not remember ever eating steamers when I lived in Washington.

Mom and dad did not go digging for steamers. On a low enough tide we would join the throngs out on Samish Island to dig for horse clams, and an occasional geoduck. Along with wading out in the tide to hunt for dungeness crab.

Once or twice or thrice or more times a year we would go to the Ocean Shores zone on the Pacific to join the thousands digging for razor clams when the tide was low enough.

Razor clams were about the only type clam I ever had much success digging. Due to one did not have to use a shovel to free that particular type clam from the sand.

With razor clams you can use a tube type device to extract the clam. You see a dimple in the sand indicating a clam, you center the tube around the dimple, then push the tube as deep as you can manage, with air compressing and blowing out a hole in the top of the tube.

When you think you've gone deep enough you plug the hole with your thumb, then pull the tube out. Which is a feat which can be a bit of a struggle.

And then when you get the tube free you shake out the sand and if you are successful a razor clam also falls out.

Mom and dad were at Ocean Shores digging razor clams the morning Mount St. Helens erupted. That location was closer to the volcano than where I was when it blew up. I do not remember mom and dad saying they heard the explosion. The Pacific ocean can be a bit noisy, with crashing waves maybe cancelling out the boom of an exploding volcano.

But, I do remember mom and dad saying game wardens or other law enforcement used loudspeakers to tell people to get to higher ground off the beach, because the mountain had blown. I suppose the fear was that it might trigger a tsunami somehow. Ironically, back then the Washington Pacific coast did not have Tsunami Evacuation directional signs like now exist.

Nowadays Washington even has Volcano Eruption Evacuation directional signs. I've seen those in the Tacoma zone. Mount Rainier looms large by Tacoma. That and one of that volcano's glacier melt streams flows right into Tacoma's Commencement Bay.

Washington seems to be a much more dangerous state to live in than the one I am currently living in. What with the possibility of exploding mountains and tsunamis. There is not a mountain that could explode for many a mile from my current location. Let alone a tsunami.

However, tornadoes can be a bit troublesome. That and way too many right wing nut jobs...

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