Archive for the ‘Washington State Parks’ Category

Gray Whales Cruising by Long Beach, WA

January 23rd, 2014 by Susie Goldsmith

Seeing and hearing whales always causes an inexplicable joy in me. Humans are fascinated with their fellow mammals. Whales breath air, have hair, are warmblooded and give birth to live offspring that suckle milk from their mothers.  Gray whales range in length from 40-50 feet and can have flukes (tales) that can measure ten feet across. Females are usually larger than males .  The Gray whales weigh 50,000 to 80,000 pounds and can live up to 50 years. They can start growing barnacles even as youngsters.  We’ve seen Grays rubbing their barnacles on the North Jetty at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, Washington, 10 minutes from our B&B, Boreas Inn.

On occasion you can see a Gray whale fluke off the Long Beach Peninsula!

On occasion you can see a Gray whale fluke off the Long Beach Peninsula!

Two times each year, the Gray whales cruise by the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula.  After spending summers feeding and fattening up in the Arctic waters, the Gray whales head south cruising off the Pacific Coast to the bays in Southern California and Baja, Mexico.  You can witness this migration starting in mid-December and it peaks in early January and can usually be seen into early February.

When Gray whales are cruising by the Long Beach Peninsula, whether heading north or south, the whale’s goal is to get where they are going and generally they do not hang around and feed–except for maybe some shrimp-like creatures and a fish or two.  In fact, they are known to go without food for 3 to 5 months, which is why they must fatten up when in the rich Arctic waters before heading south to play in Baja.  While in Baja, the whales mate and nurse their young. The gestation period for Grays is 11-13 months.  When nursing, Gray whale moms can produce up to 50 gallons of milk daily containing over 50% fat. Calves can gain 60-70 pounds a day and build up their blubber quite quickly.

The Grays begin their return journey back north to the Arctic from Baja starting in mid-March. The immature whales, adult males and females without offspring head north first cruising by our coast in March and April. Then later, females with calves head north at a slower rate, passing the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula in May.  So there is the possibility of seeing whales on and off for about six months of the year. We have seen gray whales in the surf-line from the lookout on Loop 100 in September leading us to believe that some Gray whales must be hanging out on the Washington coast much of the year.  So maybe there are now “home” pods of Gray whales.

The best spots here to watch for whales is from the North Head Lighthouse and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park, a 10 minute drive from Boreas Inn.  The whales can spout up to 15 feet in the air through their two blowholes, so that is often what we see when we watch for whales at the Park.  When we have gray skies, the whales water and skies are fairly close in color so the spouting is sometimes all you can see.  Bring your binoculars or borrow ours–there’s no guarantee you will see Gray whales, but it is fun to look.  With the fabulous weather we’ve been having all fall and winter, this is a great activity on the Long Beach Peninsula! It’s much easier to see gray whales when there is blue sky!

This is more likely what you will see--the spout! Thrilling!

This is more likely what you will see–the spout! Thrilling!

Razor Clam Festival in Long Beach, Washington April 27 & 28, 2013

March 31st, 2013 by Susie Goldsmith

Are you looking for something absolutely unique to do April 26th -28th? Come to the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival! Oh the nostalgia!  My earliest memories of clam digging on the Long Beach Peninsula, when I was a toddler, were of cold, bare wet feet, soon to be numb, in the early morning. Out on the wide beach, in the wet sand, with my parents and two older brothers,  I trotted around looking for dimples in the sand.  “There’s one, Dad! There’s one, Mom!”  I was too little to dig.  My brothers had clam guns.  We got a gazillion clams and then, the inevitable. We had to clean the clams.  I was too little, for years, to touch a knife, and if you know me now, sometimes I am still too little to touch a knife!  But I had to rinse the clean clams free of sand under the cold tap water in the clam cleaning rooms at whichever old motels we stayed in.  My frozen fingers now matched my frozen, wet sandy feet! In the Boulevard Motel or The Lighthouse Motel…wherever our family could stay, the clam-cleaning rooms smelled the same–salty, slightly musty, very damp.  Back then, we could dig all the clams we wanted. So we would clean then for what seemed to me like hours. So the razor clams we loved so much would be ground up and made into clam chowder.  I turned the crank of the old food grinder–I still have one. I was never too little to grind clams.  The razors made the best clam chowder in the world and my dad always took all the credit.  The fried clams he produced were always considered a  huge treat–way back then.  I remember Long Beach’s World’s Largest Frying Pan being used for frying clams.  It was clearly a good time.

Well- the GOOD TIMES ARE BACK!  They say 20,ooo people came to the 2nd Razor Clam Festival in 1941!  The last Razor Clam Festival was, we think, in 1968.  Well it’s BACK!  The first Razor Clam Festival in around 45 years will happen in Long Beach, WA on April 27 and 28 this year!  This event brings back such sweet childhood memories for me and perhaps it will be a new memory for you.

So who is the genius who re-created the The Long Beach Razor Clam Festival?  Well, Randy Dennis of The Dennis Company, who happens to be one of the State’s most inventive, entrepreneurial, forward thinking and nicest guys we will ever know!  Events of the Festival include:

Clam Festival Court–Francis O’Neil was the “Clam Festival Bathing Beauty” in 1948–the QUEEN of the court will be here to re-start the tradition!

Razor Clam Digging Lessons- You have to pre-register for Saturday and Sunday morning lessons in front of The Breakers Hotel.

WA Department of Fish & Wildlife will judge “Biggest Clam Dug” and “Best Looking Limit” for $100 prizes!

Chowder Cook-Off–Local restaurants will compete for “Best Chowder” Trophy accompanied by music from the North Coast Blues band.

There will be Tummy Warmer Stations at the Pavillion at the foot of the Bolstad Beach Approach with cookies, hot cocoa, coffee & tea.

Vintage Clam Festival postcards, t-shirts, mugs, magnets, the Official Razor Clam Festival Poster by Don Nesbitt and other swag will be available!

There will be street entertainment by Dennis Duck, the Beard’s Hollow Pirates and Queen L DeDa’s Mermaids downtown on Saturday!

There will be clam supplies, weather gear and more available at the Dennis Company in Long Beach on both days.

A Clam Gun Decorating Contest is being held at the local elementary schools, the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club with public voting.

This photo courtesy of Wayne O'Neil collection! This is the 1948 Clam Festival Court!

This photo courtesy of Wayne O’Neil collection! This is the 1948 Clam Festival Court!

So where will you stay for this grand occasion on the weekend of April 26th?  Currently there are openings at beautiful Boreas Inn, just a few short blocks from this much anticipated event!  You can re-warm your frozen tootsies and laze around after your invigorating participation in this historic event–the Razor Clam Festival in downtown Long Beach, WA!

So if you’re thinking of coming to this really fabulous event, make your reservations now!!!

 

Sunny in January for MLK’s Birthday Weekend!

January 15th, 2013 by Susie Goldsmith

Sometimes the weather is ridiculous.  Friends call from Portland, yesterday saying it was snowing, today it was foggy there just as it was in Seattle.  Today’s dawn, on the prettiest beach in Washington State, was full of crystal clear sunshine–it “heated up” to 55!  It stayed that way all day, while inland, the fog persisted and the stagnant air advisories made the news.  We realize that 55 isn’t toasty–but it’s certainly warmer than inland.  So we are indeed blessed, this January, with perfect beach walking weather and our loaner bicycles are yearning for a guest to give them exercise.  The Kite Museum and the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum have fabulous exhibits right now, Cape Disappointment State Park is sparkling in the sunshine and who knows, the whales might be swimming by!  The North Head lighthouse is a great place to look for whales as well as the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center way up high on the bluff overlooking the Mouth of the Columbia River.  Or you can just stare out to sea and watch the seabirds and the waves and the crabbing boats dotted all over the sea. The fresh Rock Fish at the 42nd Street Cafe (with their new floor!) is melt in your mouth good and The Depot and Pelicano are always cooking up the freshest fish, oysters and clams. Oh yes, and the steaks…  Football, minus our Seahawks, will be blasting away on the now seven big screens this weekend at The Lost Roo, home of our favorite nachos.  Monday is January 21st, Martin Luther King’s birthday, and the weather report is for beautiful weather well into next week.  How fortunate are we to be living in such a place with so much to do even in the “dead of winter”, with our temporary, but treasured sunshine. Boreas Inn has rooms for you!  $50 gift certificate a The Depot for the next three night reservation this weekend!

Glorious Sunsets on Long Beach

We have the gift of unmatched sunsets at the Inn

Let the sunshine in!

Let the sunshine in!

Chinook Council Will Make Ancestral Canoe Journey June 12-15, 2012

June 8th, 2012 by Susie Goldsmith

Our dear friend, and treasured Boreas Inn guest, Kate Elliott, sits on the Chinook Indian Nation Council.  She sent me a press release about this amazing ancestral canoe journey that will take place next week, from June 12-15,  the Chinook Indian Nation Council will travel down the Lower Columbia River Water Trail in traditional canoes.  The route, starting from Cathlapotle at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge will include stops in Kalama, Mayger Dock/Clatskanie, Cathlamet, Elliott Point/Pillar Rock and Chinook Point/Fort Columbia.

There are still some seats available to paddle and spots on the ground crew available.  The Chinook Indian Tribal Council  is extending an invitation to every member of the Tribe and friends of the Tribe to their to join them on this historical canoe trip either in part or for the entire journey.

The decendants of Captain William Clark gave the Chinook Nation the canoe, Klmin (keth-min), pictured above,  in September of 2011.  This beautiful canoe replaced one of the Chinook Nation’s canoes that was used by the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery.  Following the gifting of Klmin,  http://www.chinooknation.org/press.html, the Chinook Council agreed to honor its maiden voyage with a journey on their traditional waterways.  The Chinook Council consists of eight members: Chairman Ray Gardner, Vice-Chairman Sam Robinson, Secretary/Treasurer Peggy Disney and Representatives Phil Hawks, Charlie Funk, Lisa Elliott, Jeremy Wekell and Kate Elliott.

Accompanied by other Chinooks and friends, the Chinook Council will spend three days and three nights traveling down the Lower Columbia River Water Trail.  This will be a celebration of the generous gift they received this past Fall and the great river that is still home to many Chinooks today.  In addition to Klmin, this journey will include the Chairman’s family canoe, Itsxut (its-woot), and the Snohomish tribal canoe, Blue Heron.   After spending Tuesday night in the Cathlapotle plankhouse, the Chinook Council and People will take Klmin out for a solitary introduction to the waterway early Wednesday morning.  They will then place all the canoes in the water and begin the journey.  The canoes will have a sendoff by the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

As the canoes travel down the river, Chinook families will host dinner and provide shelter for the travelers, much in the way of their Ancestors.  This week of sharing and commemoration will culminate in paddling down to Chinook Point on Friday morning to participate in the private Annual Chinook Nation First Salmon Ceremony.  For many years, Chinook have been working with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Washington State Historical Society and other partners to promote the Lower Columbia River Water Trail.  To honor this partnership, the National Park Service and the Port of Ilwaco will be joining the last day of the journey in their own motorized boat.

This is an important and unique regional cultural event–one that is important for all of us living in this area to understand, and to participate in, if we can!  It is a deeply moving event for those of us living where the Chinook Tribe  flourished (in paradise!). Now once again our friends, the Chinooks, can share with us their gifts of centuries-old knowledge, culture, understanding and joy. They are a national treasure and we are hoping and praying that they will again, soon, achieve the federal tribal recognition that by virtue of their history and influence for centuries, they so rightly deserve.

For more information on media relations and coordination, please contact Kate Elliott, Councilwoman Chinook Indian Nation, Chair, Communications Committee, (425) 945-6744 kate.chinook@gmail.com.

For more information on the sendoff by the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, please contact: Katie Harrison, Cathlapotle Plankhouse Coordinator.

 

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day with Guests and Friends of Boreas Inn, Long Beach, Washington

June 2nd, 2012 by Susie Goldsmith

It is the unexpected brilliant sunny days when the forecast is semi-dreary that make living on the Long Beach Washington Peninsula so interesting and wonderful.  We chose today to have a Puppy and Pizza Celebration at Cape Disappointment State Park at Waikiki Beach’s Serious Pizza with our friend and long-time guest Odell Hathaway, who has a new therapy/assistance dog, Phoenix.  Boreas Inn welcomes assistance dogs and we are getting to know Phoenix, the puppy, who will within two years, be a fully trained assistance dog. Odell has a couple of health issues that have the potential to require Phoenix’s help.  In the meanwhile, this puppy, who Odell found through Oregon Assistance Dogs, is a gem of a baby golden retriever. At 15 pounds, she is a bundle of love and she is oh so soft and sweet.  Odell is very lucky to have found her and for a dog, you could do far worse than have Odell as a parent! Phoenix will have all the best of everything, including fine parenting!  We invited Skyler and Allen from Tangly Cottage Gardening and Jessica and Chris Miller to the celebration. They are our dear friends who know Odell from his many trips to Boreas.  We ate world-class pizza at Serious Pizza–many pizza’s as a matter of fact!  Jim and Chi make the best cherry and apple wood-fired pizza on the planet and we sampled four different pizza’s at the park.  So it was a perfect day at the best park in Washington State, eating the best pizza at Serious Pizza with some of the best folks we know!

A Pooped Puppy at our Serious Pizza Party on June 2

Come Hunt This Weekend for The Pacific Razor Clam — Siliqua Patula

February 16th, 2012 by Susie Goldsmith

The hunt for the beautiful and delicious bivalve will resume this weekend on the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula. The digs are late afternoon/ early evening with low tide Saturday, Feb.18, is at 4:13 p.m. (0.0 feet), and on Sunday, Feb.19, at 5 p.m. (-0.2 feet).  Plan on being on the beach one to two hours before evening low tide.  You will truly feel you have earned your supper when you dig and clean your clams and then have the privilege of dining on the most gourmet clam of them all, the Siliqua Patula!  Stay at beautiful Boreas Inn on the beach in Long Beach, Washington and we will loan you clam guns and Bill might even show you how to clean your clams and may, even, if you’re very lucky, show you how to cook and EAT them!  The spring clam tides will be announced soon, so there will be many more weekends with a chance to dig those glorious bivalves!

Long Beach, Washington is Clamming Paradise!

Spring Whale Watching on the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula

February 2nd, 2012 by Susie Goldsmith

The gray whale is a baleen whale that migrates between feeding and breeding grounds every year passing by the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula during the southern and northern migrations.  Gray whales can reach a length of 52 ft and can weigh about 35 tons and live a very long time, 50–70 years!  They are called “Gray” because they have gray patches and white mottling on dark skin and descend from filter-feeding whales that developed over 30 million years ago.

When the arctic ice starts to form, the grays whales start a two- to three-month trip south to the Baja Peninsula and Gulf of Mexico.  Around 19,000 whales migrate by the Long Beach Peninsula on their way to warmer waters and then a couple of months later, they cruise by again heading back north.  So they really don’t have a lot of vacation time for all that traveling, they say it’s the longest migration of  any mammal up to .

The gray whale is a baleen whale that migrates between feeding and breeding grounds every year passing by the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula during the southern and northern migrations.  Gray whales can reach a length of 52 ft and can weigh about 35 tons and live a very long time, 50–70 years!  They are called “Gray” because they have gray patches and white mottling on dark skin and descend from filter-feeding whales that developed over 30 million years ago.

When the arctic ice starts to form, the grays whales start a two- to three-month trip south to the Baja Peninsula and Gulf of Mexico.  Around 19,000 whales migrate by the Long Beach Peninsula on their way to warmer waters and then a couple of months later, they cruise by again heading back north.  So they really don’t have a lot of vacation time for all that traveling.

This extensive gray whale migration all the way to Baja for such a brief stay reminds me of our several family trips during spring vacation when we would drive from Lake Oswego, near Portland all the way to Ensenada, in Baja California.  It’s a long drive in a station wagon with parents and two domineering older brothers for a very brief stay in Baja.  Of course, stopping at Disneyland and in San Diego were nice distractions away from the back seat of a Plymouth station wagon.  We’d spend a few days in Baja and then turn around and drive back to Portland.  Our family migration from Portland to Baja does have a vague but humorous similarity to the gray whales’.  The gray whales tend to breed and nurse their youngsters while in the warmer waters which certainly was not our goal while in Baja.

Our favorite place to watch for the gray whales is in Cape Disappointment State Park at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and the North Head Lighthouse.  From December until early February, we have seen the grays migrating south and then again in March, April and May when they return to the arctic.  That being said, we have seen gray whales in September just off the surf line from the stunning turnout on the Loop 100 in Cape D State Park.  There are some “permanent” gray whales living off the Washington Coast.  Just over a month ago a half dozen gigantic blue whales were spotted not far off the Long Beach Peninsula, perhaps 30 miles.  They were over 100 feet long!  Fishermen report in one day of summer fishing, seeing three or four varieties of whales including sperm whales and humpbacks or “humpies” off our coast.

Grays feed mostly on crustaceans which it eats by turning on its side (usually the right, resulting in loss of eyesight in the right eye for many older animals) and it scoops up sediments from the sea floor.  They eat by using their baleens which act like a sieve, to capture small sea animals, taken in along with sand, water and other materials they scoop up.  They feed in arctic waters during the summer and sometimes feed during its migration but mostly, when heading south, they rely on their fat reserves.  We have seen them seemingly rubbing themselves on the North Jetty near our favorite spot in the Cape D State Park.   They were feeding by scraping the rocks on the jetty.  So cool!

During migration, these giant cruisers average around 75 miles per day at an average speed of 5 mph.  The round trip of 9,900–14,000 miles is supposedly the longest annual migration of any mammal.  By late December to early January, they begin to arrive in the calving lagoons of Baja. Gestation for grays is 13.5 months so often mothers give birth in the safer waters of Baja and single females are seeking mates.  By mid-February to mid-March the whales have arrived in the lagoons and are nursing, calving and mating.

Throughout February and March, the first to leave the lagoons are males and females without new calves. Pregnant females and nursing mothers with their newborns are the last to depart, leaving only when their calves are ready for the journey, which is usually from late March to mid-April. Sometimes the mothers with new calves linger in warm waters into May.

A population of about 200 gray whales stay along the eastern Pacific coast from Canada to California throughout the summer which is why we occasionally see them in non-migration months.  They never leave to go to Alaskan waters. This summer resident group is known as the Pacific Coast Feeding Group.

Now that you know all about gray whales, drive to the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula to try to get a glimpse.  Right now you might see a few stragglers heading south and in a month or so you will see the gray whales returning from their brief stay in the warmer waters off the Baja Peninsula.  At Boreas Inn, we always have binoculars for you to borrow and helpful hints (Bill is great at spotting whales). During the busier times of migration, there are experts at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Cape D. State Park, just 10 minutes from Boreas Inn.

This is a perfect time of year to take your Valentine to the beach to watch for whales and sleep in the Boreas Inn’s lovely beds, dine by the fire on the best three-course B&B breakfast you’ve ever had, breathe the cool ocean breezes, be lulled by the gentle sound of the Pacific Ocean lapping on the beach and to relax.  Let your innkeepers, Susie Goldsmith and Bill Verner design your time away with great dinners at The Depot, Pelicano, the 42nd Street Cafe, The Lost Roo and Shelburne’s dining room and maybe an in-room massage!  Check our online specials or give us a call at 888-642-8069. We hope to see you soon!

 

 

Happy New Years’ Weekend–Fireworks, Crab Cakes, Champagne and US!

December 29th, 2011 by Susie Goldsmith

Come Watch the Fireworks from our Hottub!

Personally, New Years’ Eve isn’t my favorite holiday.  I think of doing taxes, of what I haven’t accomplished this year, what I need to accomplish next year… but every year, our guests jolly me into appreciating the holiday more than I would were we not innkeepers. After all, 2012 sounds more well-rounded than 2011.  I like even numbers. THERE WILL BE FIREWORKS at the beach, in view from Boreas, on New Years Eve!! I almost forgot!

The Christmas tree is still fresh and lovely for some reason (Bill takes good care of the tree!) and we haven’t tired of the decorations so prettily placed by our decorating crew the first weekend in December. We had a great time decorating this year. This year was extra special with a sweet blend of family and beloved guests who are now family too. We are hoping that we fill up for New Years’ weekend. We are always filled up after Christmas but not this year! Groupon and Living Social may be the reason—people shopping for bargains.  Frankly, for what Boreas offers, we are a bargain! But we’re offering the Carpe Diem, Walk-in Special rate starting today. $150 for luxury and pampering! Even the cottage is open this weekend.

Our guest list so far is a fun one and Odell will be here to help us dismantle the decorations if we can work around our desire to watch football…at Mark and Helen’s Lost Roo, of course!  Go DUCKS!  Everyone is invited to take DOWN the decorations with us and go to The Roo!

Fresh Dungeness Crabcakes and Champagne on Sunday morning, New Years’ Day, sounds pretty perfect for one of our FOUR courses, and Bill will do beautiful work on the crab cakes as always and I will bake pastries, whip up sauces and make the fruit entrée glow so that consuming all that vitamin C seems very sexy.  Well…it is! But I hope that if it’s going to be cloudy this week end, that it is also stormy so we can feel comforted by the fireplaces.  But I also hope that there is a break in the weather so we can go for a fresh walk to start the New Year. We have been fortunate with fine weather this fall.

Come stay with us this weekend at the prettiest inn on the Long Beach Peninsula—featherbeds, down comforters, fireplaces, fine and fancy breakfast fare, freshly baked brownies, and the incredibly-wonderful-almost-brand-new hot tub for two with a little aromatherapy—mint and eucylptus, to soften your skin. Boreas Bed & Breakfast Inn is posh but hip, fun, but mellow and very food-crazy with a great location on the beach in Long Beach Washington.  Relaxation is the best way to start the next banner year—2012!  Happy New Year!

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