A Clammy Memorial Day
For Memorial Day 2009 we decided to take advantage of the tides coinciding with the holiday to go to Clam Gulch and dig us some clams. After all a man has to be the hunter gatherer for his family. After loading up the van, we headed s0uth with a brief stop at Freddy’s for some last minute supplies, including another clam shovel and clam gun. I feared we were running a little late, for tide waits for no man, and tide protects the elusive razor clam. But alas, my fears were unfounded as we showed up to a nearly empty beach void of water and fantastic sunny weather. Now I am a man of few clams, meaning I don’t like cleaning em, but I do like digging em, so I limit me and boys to around 40 clams total. The limit is 60 per person, and we never breach that.
For those of you that have not done it, clamming is hard work, especially when you are not good at it like us. In fact the last time we went we clammed for hours and I think we almost had 50. As hard as digging em is, cleaning is even more so, especially on an old man’s back. So I have learned from my past ways and have limited our take. This time I wanted only 40. After about 90 minutes I figured we were there. I was very impressed at the increased clam digging prowess of the boys, they were up to their armpits in the sand battling those little mollusks to the bitter end. Even though the razors were out weighed by well over 200 pounds, they still had home-court advantage, and they knew how to use it. They would tease us, just leaving a little portion of their shell or neck out so that we could feel it with our frozen fingertips, but not enough to grip them and break the bionic suction that their size 13 foot was able to create. But persistence often paid off and we were all able to contribute to the pot.
So while the girls sat by the campfire cooking and relaxing, the men battled for every morsel, encrusting sand in every nook of our hands, arms, and even teeth. When we were dripping with sweat, with back spasms and sliced up hands we felt we had enough. As we trudged up to the campsite, I glanced into the buckets and I surmised we had about 60 clams, a little more than I wanted to clean, but they were small so I was happy. At camp we started rinsing out the razors and I began counting, when I stopped I had said 100, yes 100. That is quite a few more than I wanted, and way more than I anticipated. I started to sweat again anticipating the work ahead. Fortunately, when we got home and I started to clean, the boys were eager to join in, and with knives in hand they began to slicing and chopping with the skill of a Samurai, a two year old Samurai. Eventually they got the hang of it and between the four of us and our cleaning chain, we got the task done in about 2 hours. So ultimate victory against the great razor was ours. We came, we dug, we rinsed, we cleaned and we conquered. It was a great day. The only way it could have been better is if 1. You had been there. 2. You had cleaned all the clams for us. But even as it was, it was an awesome family day, with some world class smores on display at the campfire.
P.S. Although I thought we conquered the raucous razors, as I sit and write this and feel the cuts on my hands, the pain under my finger nails, and the aches throughout my body, I am not sure who had the last laugh. Perhaps I will feel better after some chowder and fritters.