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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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November: Turkeys, Trees and Low Tides Bearing Treats

You would think with the cold rain arriving, there would be fewer opportunities to explore Southwest Washington in November. Not so. All kinds of events are available, both indoors and outside. Remember, as someone said, there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. Get out there!

November 4 – Educating for the Seventh Generation – Clark College will host a celebration of indigenous cultures. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a welcome address and a performance by Native American flutist and flute maker Isaac Trimble. Indian tacos will be served during the performance. Opening ceremonies for a powwow will begin at 6 p.m. Closing ceremonies will take place at 10 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Gaiser Student Center on Clark College’s main campus. Check here for information about Native American Heritage Month.

November 4 – Art, Women & Wine: Camas First Friday will feature the work of local women artists throughout Downtown Camas businesses 5pm-8pm. More than 20 artists will participate and some will donate art as prizes. Wine tastings will also be available.

November 4 – Vancouver’s First Friday Artwalk – Downtown Vancouver’s First Friday continues with galleries offering openings 5-9 p.m. and downtown’s many restaurants ready to welcome you. Don’t miss the Jacobsen Family Show at Art of the Boulevard in Vancouver Marketplace. The work of painter Eric Jacobsen will share gallery space with paintings by three of his children, Max (age 9), Olivia (age 7) and Owen (age 5).

November 5 – Veterans Parade at Fort Vancouver
Parade Grounds at the Fort Vancouver National Site, 612 E Reserve St, Vancouver at 11 a.m.. Veterans will be honored at the annual parade, which start with an Air Force fly-over and 21-gun salute fired by Howitzer cannons from the Parade Grounds. More than 100 military, veteran and civic organizations and 2,500 individuals participate in the parade from Officers Row to Fort Vancouver Way through the Vancouver Barracks and past the reconstructed Fort Vancouver to Pearson Air Museum, where it will end. This is one of the largest veterans parades on the West coast.

November 11-12 – Clam Digs! Get digging! Early in November, clam digs will happen at the coast IF tests are favorable at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. Tentative opening dates and evening low tides are:

  • Nov. 11, Fri. – 6:48 p.m., (-0.4 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 12, Sat. – 7:23 p.m. (-0.4 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Later in the month, razor clammers will have another opportunity. Tentative opening dates and evening low tides for that dig are:

  • Nov. 25, Fri. – 6:27 p.m. (-1.9 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 26, Sat. – 7:14 p.m. (-1.8 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

From the WDFW: Clam diggers should plan to take lights or lanterns for the nighttime digs and to check weather and surf forecasts before heading out. No digging will be allowed before noon on any of the razor-clam beaches. Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website and from license vendors around the state. More razor clam digs are tentatively scheduled Dec. 10 and Dec. 22-23.

See this ZEST post about a 2010 clam dig at Ocean Park.

November 11-12 – Ocian in View - If digging clams wasn’t enough to attract you to the Long Beach Peninsula this weekend, there are plenty of other events happening in the area. The “Ocian in View” cultural event starts Friday evening at 6 p.m. with a presentation by researcher and author Dr. Douglas Deur of the PSU Department of Anthropology on Friday night at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

The event continues on Saturday with an “O, How Horriable is the Day Event” at the U. S. Quarantine Station Museum at Knappton Cove, WA. from  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 12 with Lewis and Clark NW Living Historians.

Knappton Cove Heritage Center

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, the Columbia Confluences Bus Tour will visit historic sites, including the Knappton museum.  Call the Museum at 360-642-3446 for reservations for the $20 tour. On Saturday from 4  to 7 p.m.

The Chinook Tribe will host its Annual Salmon Dinner at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.  The dinner will include regional seafood, salad, Indian fry bread, dessert and beverages.  Cost is $15 per person, seniors (55 and over) $13, children under 12 $5.  No reservations are required.

November 18, 2011 to November 20, 2011 – Clark County Holiday Gift Fair – Get a jump on your holiday shopping at this gift fair, which will include daily appearances from Santa and a special holiday themed kid’s activity area. Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, 17402 NE Delfel Road, Ridgefield. 10am-5pm Admission fee.

November 19 – Thanksgiving Market Esther Street in downtown Vancouver where the Vancouver Farmers Market is normally located.  Pick up local produce and other foodstuffs for your Thanksgiving dinner. Gift items and live music included. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

November 24 – 6th Annual Turkey Trot 5K Run Run/Walk through Stevenson – Columbia Gorge Running Club Get exercising BEFORE the turkey and pumpkin pie in Stevenson starting at the Skamania Country Fairgrounds. Lots of random prize drawings!Bring a donation for the Food Bank. 8 a.m.

Spectacular trees and vintage planes at Festival of Trees

November 25-27 Vancouver Rotary Foundation Festival of Trees Kick off your  holidays at the multi-event Rotary Foundation Festival of Trees in Vancouver. Festival of Trees viewing plus Santa, entertainment and a scavenger hunt at Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. 5th Street in Vancouver. Gorgeous trees will be on display along with Pearson Air Museum’s vintage planes throughout the weekend. Holiday entertainment will be provided by local entertainers and youth groups. Don’t miss the scavenger hunt. (Pick up a scorecard, find the special holiday word on each tree and turn in your results. You could win a beautiful holiday wreath!) As always, the Talking Tree will be chatting away with Festival goers and Santa or Mrs. Claus will be available for photos. Bring your camera! The viewing schedule is:

Friday, November 25 – Noon to 9 p.m.
Saturday, November 26 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, November 27 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is FREE but non-perishable food donations for Share House and financial donations to support Festival of Trees are requested.

Friday, November 25th – Community Tree Lighting at Esther Short Park, Music at 5:30 p.m., Tree lighting at 6 p.m. Come early for the music and hot drinks. Santa will arrive at 6 p.m. Join the thousands who enjoy this event each year. You will want to be there when the lights first illuminate our beautiful community tree!

Friday, November 25th – Vancouver Pops Holiday Concert at the Hilton Hotel, 6:30 p.m. Director Bert Coffman will lead the Pops through rousing holiday songs. Concert is free but non-perishable food donations for Share House and financial donations to support Festival of Trees are requested.

Sunday, November 27th – Hot Buttered Run and Kids Kandy Kane Race at Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. 5th Street, 10 a.m. – See the details below.

A Tasting at East Fork Cellars

November 25-27 – Clark County Thanksgiving Weekend Wine Tour Celebrate the fall harvest and local wine! Open all three days from Noon to 6pm.

November 25-27 Holiday Weekend in Long Beach

All ages are welcome Friday afternoon at the Neptune Theater for a complimentary showing of “The Polar Express,” hosted by Mrs. Claus and a few special guests! Saturday brings magic and Santa Claus to town including a magical show with Mrs. Claus, a craft activity, and  free pictures with Santa! Later, enjoy caroling and the City of Long Beach’s tree lighting ceremony. Sunday morning  celebrate Frosty the Snowman’s Birthday! Bring a donation of hat, scarves, mittens or other winter clothing for the needy. Enjoy more time with Mrs. Claus and Frosty as well as more craft stations and birthday cake.

November 25-27 Thanksgiving Open House Weekend at Columbia Gorge Wineries More than 30 wineries and tasting rooms will be open Memorial Day weekend with open houses featuring special releases, barrel tastings, events, live music, artisan treats and other surprises. The wineries span 40 miles of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic. On the Washington side of the Gorge, wineries span from Underwood to Goldendale.

November 26 – Wahkiakum Festival of Lights Celebration Starting at 3 pm enjoy Christmas caroling, hot cider, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus at about 4:30pm in downtown Cathlamet, WA

November 27 – Hot Buttered Run and Kids Kandy Kane Race at Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. 5th Street, 10 a.m. – Last year, more than 1,000 started a new holiday tradition by exercising off Thanksgiving calories at this outdoor celebration which winds through the Fort Vancouver Historic Site, along the Columbia River, through downtown Vancouver and past scenic Officers Row! Participate in Energy Event’s 12K Run, a 5KWalk.Run and Kids Kandy Kane Race. Start and Finish at Pearson Air Museum. Registration includes long sleeve t-shirt, food music and hot buttered rums (for adults) and hot chocolate. For more information and registration, visit www.energyevents.com. The Festival trees will be on view. Stop by after your run!

November 2, 2011   No Comments

May Meanderings: Bike rides, trains, tall ships, wine tours and more…

Spring events are in full force now in Southwest Washington. Here are a few ideas to get you out the door:

May 3 – The 39 Steps – Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in Longview. This 2008 Tony award-winning play “The 39 Steps” is a madcap romp through one of Alfred Hitchcock’s finest films. Adapted for the stage, it became one of Broadway’s longest-running comedy thrillers. With a cast of 4, this show has more than 150 characters to keep you on the edge of your seat.

May 7 – The 28th Annual Ride Across Clark County (RACC) sponsored by the Vancouver Bicycle Club WARNING! This event may be sold out. Check the Web site for availability of this scenic and popular day-long ride. Four loops to choose from – 18, 34, 65 and 100 miles

May 7 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. National Train Day, Historic Train Depot, 210 Railroad Ave, Centralia, WA National Train Day commemorates the anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s inception. Special displays and events will be in the Historic Railroad Depot in downtown Centralia.

May 14 – 8 p.m. Al Stewart Concert at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson. Remember the Scottish singer-songwriter’s 1976 hit Year of the Cat? Skamania Performing Arts Foundation, 541-400-9792

May 14 and 15 – Vancouver Symphony Orchestra conducted by Salvador Brotons. Concert times are 3 pm on Saturday and 7 pm on Sunday. Last regular concert of the season. The program will feature Concerto for Horn by Brotons. Roman Festivals by Respighi and Audience Choice (voting now closed).

May 14, 12-4 pm – Cathlapotle Plankhouse, Carty Unit of the Ridgefield NWR, 28908 NW Main Ave., Ridgefield. Artist Judy Bridges, Cowlitz basket weaver, will demonstrate basket weaving techniques. Visitors will have the opportunity to view examples of her basketry and ask her questions about her craft.

May 15, 12-4 pm – Cathlapotle Plankhouse Carty Unit of the Ridgefield NWR, 28908 NW Main Ave, Ridgefield. Artists Greg Robinson, member of the Chinook Indian Nation, and Greg Archuleta, member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, will be in the Plankhouse doing carving and Chinookan lifeways demonstrations. Visitors will be able to see some of their beautiful artwork as well as talk to them about Chinookan art and culture.

Hawaiian Chieftain (left) and Lady Washington cruising together in Grays Harbor near Westport. Photo by Ron Arel, Coastal Images.

May 18-19 – Nautical Renaissance The Port of Ilwaco welcomes back Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Tall Ships, The Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain. Self-guided tours are hosted by the crew wearing period costumes. ($3 requested donation). Adventure and Battle Sails are also available. Visit the Web site for prices and other details. From Ilwaco on May 19th guests can book passage to Astoria where the ships will offer tours until May 22, coinciding with Astoria’s opening celebration of its 200th birthday. Contact the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority in Aberdeen (360) 532-8611 or (800) 200-5239 for details and schedules. Go to www.ladywashington.org to track the ships’ locations and purchase discounted price tickets. (Note: There will also be a sail in Ilwaco on May 3rd.)

May 21-22 – 31st Annual Herb and Garden Festival at Pomeroy Living History Farm Thousands of fresh herb and garden plants, many organic selections plus entertainment, farm café, vendors and the herb garden. Admission is free.

May 28-30 – Memorial Day Weekend Clark County Spring Wine Release Visit 11 Clark County wineries in one weekend! See the Web site for details and maps.

May 28-30 – Memorial Day Open House Weekend at Columbia Gorge Wineries Visit more than 30 wineries and tasting rooms on both sides of the river. Details on the event Web site.

Wow, what a May! This is just a small fraction of what is scheduled. See you out there in Southwest Washington!

April 27, 2011   No Comments

Adventures on Washington State’s Cranberry Coast, Part II

Isn’t it always the case that when you travel someplace new, you wish you had more time to spend there? We just discovered that in Glasgow (and Edinburgh and Inverness and…) but that’s another blog for another day. This is about Washington State’s scenic Cranberry Coast.

We spent four days there in mid-summer and pined for more. So we returned a month later for a camping trip with long-time friends, Mary and John Tyburski. Again, we were enchanted by the area. Cranberry Coast, Part I is here.

Westport Marina

Friday afternoon. Taking I-5 north, we make our ritual stop for milkshakes at the Dairy Barn in Chehalis (Exit 77). Cookie Dough and Hazelnut shakes in hands, we head west on SR6 through PeEll, which has what must be the world’s largest stop signs, and through Frances and Lebam—a town with a name to love. It’s backwards for Mabel.

We pass the Pacific County Fair in Menlo, hurrying on to Raymond, where we pick up SR105. We’re eager to get to our campsite before sundown at Twin Harbors Beach State Park.  Setting up a campsite in the dark is not my idea of fun and it’s raining so we are grateful for our snug tent camper. Our days of sleeping on the ground are over. Guess we are getting older…

Home Away From Home

What a multi-generational community we find! Park demographics include all ages, from infants to grandparents and a diverse, well-behaved canine population. We must have missed the memo that said “bring your dog.” Two doors down, so to speak, at least 30 high school girls (also well-behaved) are on a field trip and eating dinner under the world’s largest tarp.

Much later, two cars of very polite surfers from Port Orchard set up their tents next to ours in the dark. We save them from an imminent medical emergency by lending them our hatchet. Watching a barefoot surfer try to chop wood with machete is not a pretty picture.

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November 1, 2009   No Comments

Adventures on Washington State’s Cranberry Coast, Part I

I love cranberries.  With about 30 percent of West Coast cranberry farms located along the Southwest Washington coast, it makes perfect sense that we have The Cranberry Coast to visit.

I thought this area could be easily explored in one trip. I was wrong. There is a LOT happening in this part of the state. This is Part I.

Thursday Afternoon and Evening
We leave Vancouver on a one of those frying, triple-digit July days. As we pull out of Chehalis on SR6, after our ritual stop at the Dairy Barn for milkshakes, the Wachovia clock reads 100 degrees. By the time we get to Raymond in Pacific County, less than an hour from I-5, we are down to a cool, marine 67 degrees. The Cranberry Coast is looking good already.

The Elegant Russell House

4 p.m. An Elegant Bed and Breakfast in “The Oyster Capital of the World” Our host Beverley warmly welcomes us at the historic Russell House Bed and Breakfast in South Bend. Russell House is a stunning 1891 Victorian home, built by John Russell as a 25th anniversary gift for his wife, overlooking South Bend and the Willapa River. Beverley has graciously agreed to store our tent camper and kayaks in the backyard while we are exploring the area. We settle in to the Bay Room with its turret window seat and spectacular view of the river.

6:30 p.m. Well-worn tavern, good beer, succulent oysters. Beverley recommends two diners in town for great oysters. We start with dinner at Chester Club and Oyster Bar, which more than one person points out has been written about in The New York Times. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us. A few older guys are hanging out at the bar, occasionally wandering out to smoke and greet a very popular dog in a pickup. When I taste my first oyster, I slap the table. It’s that good. Lightly battered and fried but not greasy. And it’s matched perfectly with Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale. I hope The New York Times was very, very kind to this bar. They deserve it.

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September 4, 2009   4 Comments