Saturday, March 26, 2016

Cream, Sugar or Shrimp?

Every drive-thru coffee stand we passed this week here on the Oregon Coast featured a hand-painted sign offering sand shrimp.  Every single one.

Yes, it's spring fishing season and the local entrepreneurs are making it easy for fisherman to grab a cup of joe and fresh bait without ever leaving their warm, dry cars. Let's hope they don't get the two mixed up in their early morning grogginess.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Do You Ever Wonder Why?

In this election year, there is no shortage of craziness to wonder about.  It just keeps flying at us from all directions, assailing our senses and rational thought.  Something as simple as a cup of coffee at a local diner should not torment the mind.

Yet, as I look down at the table I wonder...

Why...please tell me in Tillamook, Oregon,

...a town where dairy cows outnumber humans many times over

...a town that is home to the seventh largest creamery association in the entire country

...a town where, on the street outside the diner, milk trucks go by all day long

...a town where dairy farmers are sitting in the next booth (right now in fact)

...a town that produces the best milk products you will ever taste (e.g. Tillamook Mudslide Ice Cream)

...why, in heaven's name, are there little individual plastic containers of creamer that have been shipped from DALLAS, TEXAS?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cabin Fever Creates Crab Racing

The long, stormy winters here on the Oregon Coast really separate the locals from the tourists. To put this in perspective, it has rained 68.86 inches in the first 9 weeks of this year and last week's wind storm topped out with gusts of 92 mph.

It is really helpful if you are an indoors introvert and like to read, do puzzles and generally spend time alone.  For the more social, drinking (a lot) is another answer as people move from bar to bar on inclement afternoons to catch up with friends.  Luckily, the town is small enough to walk between the establishments and then back home.  Either way, along about this time, cabin fever has been known to set in.

With the tourists long gone and no one to harass, even the locals get a little stir crazy. You know, a little something to look forward to, thus the Annual Garibaldi Crab Races became the social event of the season.  How I wish I had been there the night this wild jamboree was invented. Imagine the conversation at the tavern when the gauntlet was thrown down, "My crab is faster than your crab."  "Say's who?" shouted from the other end of the bar.

As crab is plentiful during the winter, it didn't take long to gather the starting line up and the cheering (gambling) for the quickest crustacean followed.  The crab are motivated by the fact that the losers will be eaten before the next round of racing begins.  An excellent example of human's ability to adapt to their environment and utilize what is available. The crab didn't see it coming.

The winter sport took off and soon it became an annual tradition complete with colorful crab hats, exciting prizes and another reason to gather (drink) in the winter.  So melt the butter and pour a beer, it is time for the Annual Crab Races as the weekend weather will be dark and stormy yet again.

Note: My apologies to the crab, luckily the sport wasn't invented by the local dairy farmers.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Spring Forth

Just when you think you can't take another day of dull, gray rain, colorful blooms pop out of the earth to give you hope.  Good timing!

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Bright Side

"Another day, another storm," that's all we hear from the weather authorities.  Oceanside and parts of Netarts have been cut off from the world for weeks this winter thanks to washed out culverts.

The bright side?  Sand dollar hunting has never been better.  We discovered six beautiful "sea cookies" (to those Down Under) on this winter stroll.