Family Camping Trip to Whidbey Island

About a few weeks ago, we went on our first camping adventure in a lovely place called Whidbey Island.  It's only an hour and half away by a very short ferry ride and driving from our house.  

Pacific Northwest is truly an amazing place for camping.  There are so many great camping spots that it wasn't easy to pick one.  It turned into hours of commitment over a couple of days to find a winning location for us.  It helped to write down what experiences we wanted out of the trip.

Our key elements and goals for this camping were:

 a clean and quiet camping ground,
easy hiking with the kids,
eat well and plenty,
enjoy bon fire,
clam digging

My son and I love fishing, clamming, harvesting, that sort of things.  But this was our first attempt to actually go fishing and clam digging.  I had a very little hope that we catch any fish.  Soon after we arrived at the camping site and setting up our tent, we went on to a lake for fishing with unreasonable expectation and enormous excitement that we would catch a fish or two.  We might have if we were a little more patient, but we gave up after trying for a couple of hours.  Then we headed to a beach where I knew clam digging was open.  We arrived at the beach and I saw no one was digging at low tide.  I was doubtful and felt guilty towards my son that we wouldn't find a single clam either.  We started to dig under tiny holes with very little hope, we found lots and lots of clams : )  The kids and I were overjoyed with our first clam harvest ever.

 By the way, I had no idea what type of clam they were.  We called the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hotline to make sure that they are edible.  After all, we were the only people running around, harvesting the clams.  We took about 20 clams back to the camp site and simply grilled them over the fire with some garlic, butter and lemon.  I also packed up some veggies from my garden, some very special cheese and slices of Iberico jamon, all from Spain.  We bought them at a wonderful place called The Cheesemonger's Table in my husband's hometown of Edmonds, WA.

By the way, I found out later that the clams we harvested are called purple varnish clam and in fact, originally came from places like Japan, Korea, China.  The clams are tasty but big ones are little too mushy.  Small ones tasted good grilled.  I took some back home and made some clam chowder as well, which was a big hit with the family.  I will go back to get some more clams and post a recipe here with the photos soon!  I also found a great recipe by this wonderful Japanese food blog site.  It's in Japanese, so I'll post this in English later as well.

Back to the camping... it was a great trip and big success.  We felt deep application once again to live around such a beautiful place that we can do lots of fun things with nature and take a big break from everything else.



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