This past weekend we took another trip to Grayland beach to go clamming. The campground was full so we booked an Airbnb. I was bummed about the campground being full but here in WA state, if you don't book your campground several months in advance, you can pretty much forget about going camping. We have only used our travel trailer once in the past two years and are contemplating selling it. For one thing, it's a rare event when more than two of us are available, it's hard to book a camping spot, and I think at age 50 I deserve a flushing toilet on my adventures. So, we will see....
However, if you do visit Grayland, the state park campground is among the best we've booked. Clean restrooms and showers, and sites right on the beach with a bluff to protect from the wind. Definitely worth the stay when you can find a spot. Yurts, too, with sites that include hook-ups so if you go with a non-camping family, they can stay in the yurt while you enjoy your RV.
The house we rented had 48 positive reviews on Airbnb, plus the host was a Superhost (you can't achieve that status with negative reviews) so I booked it eagerly. When we arrived, we passed a few houses, oohing and ahhing over how cute they were. And then we arrived at a bedraggled house with worn siding, just screaming for a paint job. Sure enough, the address matched our reservation. Sigh.
The inside of the house was not too bad - it was decorated with an eclectic mix of antiques and unique items that made wandering through it feel like a museum visit. The kitchen and its appliances were many years old, and I felt like I should wear a hazmat suit when standing in front of the ancient microwave. But it was cozy enough, and clean enough and it was only for two nights. Although our bed faced a wall decorated with a giant goat's head that stared at me all night.
The biggest drawback was that the house is on a well so the water smelled horrible! It's really hard to feel clean when you are washing in water that smells like a fart. We brushed our teeth with bottled water and I didn't shower all weekend. I could barely stand washing my hands! I dubbed the place "Fartwater Cottage" and included that on my private review to the owner. Luckily she had a sense of humor and thanked us for being good sports.
Jeff was the only one who did any actual clamming. The first day, Hannah and I accompanied him, along with Junie B the wonder pup, and we walked around for hours spotting exactly zero clam "shows". Jeff did manage to unearth one clam - ONE. So, basically clamming is dumb. The next day he went out alone and managed to get a limit - which is 15 clams. 15! So much work, digging in cold sand up to your armpits. Hannah and I stayed at the cabin, enjoying the sun, so we didn't have to walk around aimlessly on the beach hunting for the elusive clam. Plus, I think Jeff works better alone.
So much work........
But the beach is pretty cool.
While enjoying the back yard and its giant brick fireplace, we decided to let Junie off the leash and just see how she would do. She was so good! She stuck close to the yard, while exploring, and came back when we called. Until she didn't. Distracted by Jeff's drone flying, we lost track of her. After a brief panic, we found her across the street, chasing a horse in his pasture. Bad dog! The poor horse was traumatized. We packed up and left shortly after that - didn't want to confront the horse owner!
The brick fireplace - so cool!
Jeff was excited to make clam chowder so the following night, he started slicing up the bacon that went into the recipe. I spoke to him and he glanced up, effectively slicing off the end of his finger! He blames me for talking. After the fray of inspecting the wound, running it under cool water and watching it bleed profusely, while also hunting for first aid supplies, I thought to wonder where the tip of his finger went. I picked up the knife and, sure enough, the chunk of his finger was still neatly stuck to the blade! SO GROSS! I rinsed it down the drain - no sense saving it as it was too small to stitch back on (I think?). As a result of the bloodshed, I got the dubious honor of making dinner (until Jeff took over, bleeding finger be damned).
The thing is? The clam chowder was good, but none of us is even that excited about clam chowder. So, is clamming really worth it? I guess it was fun to get out of town and spend two days using water that smelled of flatulence. We watched two movies (Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO - both very good!). And we got to relax and nap, both things high on my favorites list. So, ten years later, I'd say Grayland beach is still one of my favorite spots in WA. Just be sure to book your campsite in January!
Look at this sunset!
Look at all those clammers!