From Oyster Beds to the Captain’s Chambers! A Peninsula Historical Culinary Tour
Posted in Culinary Treasures
Oysterville…just the sound of the name conjures all types of images in ones’ mind…but this entire village is on the National Register of Historical Places! First stop of the day, you will meet and hear from the owner of an Oyster Farm; hear the stories of how this bivalve made some people very wealthy and why, watch him as he teaches you how to ‘shuck’ the oyster…and then taste this delicacy! On the walking tour, you will see the historic home of the pioneers that settled here, and if you are lucky, meet a descendant! A delectable gourmet box lunch will be served in the school; a concert will be heard in the church; and a trip would not be complete without a shopping experience at the General Store.
As one gazes out the window at the passing fields, there will be ‘sunken’ grades of either bright green or the show of bright red. These are cranberry bogs, and this Peninsula produces tons of these berries every year…in fact….an entire festival is built around this most important product. Long before the white man set foot on this land, the Native Americans harvested these and other berries and used them to flavor the dried salmon they had caught earlier in the year. At the Cranberry Museum, your docent will be able to share these stories and more about this most important berry! Ever wonder how those millions of bags of Cranberries or the juice reach your grocers’ shelves? After a visit to the Cranberry Processing Plant run by Ocean Spray…you will know the secrets!
Did you know that Lewis and Clark spent eighteen (18) days on this Peninsula before building their winter quarters of 1805-1806? Today, you will actually walk in their footsteps! Among the gems that will be seen along the Discovery Trail are Gray Whale Skeleton; Bronze Sturgeon and Clark’s Tree! Get your camera ready as these are works of art!
Listen to the conductor as he explains what the “Daddy Train” was and how the schedule was determined! Who rode this train and why? See artifacts of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the uniforms of the day. The Chinookan language was spoken here for thousands of years, see examples of their living quarters, bead and basketwork and artistry of the intricate canoes!
On the waterfront…for lunch, shopping, and gallery gazing! Plenty of time for all three activities at the Port of Ilwaco! And while there, don’t’ forget to take pictures of the fishing fleet that is moored there.
At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, you will be able to participate in all types of interactive displays, but at the end of the day, one really understands the magnitude of their feat! The lighthouse that is visible can also be accessed by foot…and if it is the right time of the year, whales can be spotted from this point.
Dinner tonight is prepared by a world renowned chef and restaurateur, Nancy Main. The ambience is matched only by the deliciousness of the food served…you will not be disappointed.
Station Camp, where the entire expedition voted on where they would be spending the winter…including a woman and a Negro. An act unheard of in those days! Next it is a visit to the Dismal Nitch. Imagine high tides, howling winds, waves breaking over the top of you, soaked to the bone…and clinging to the rocks for your life. This was the welcome scene that the expedition experienced upon their first arrival to the shore!
Leaving Washington, your motor coach will cross the mighty Columbia into the celebrated town of Astoria Oregon. Your first experience will be to visit the mansion of a sea captain and hear his incredible story. This is Victorian elegance that rivals those of the San Francisco!
Lunch will be enjoyed at a home-town brewery and restaurant…
At the Columbia Maritime Museum, you can experience what it would be like to be on the Coast Guard Cutter on a 10-foot swell of water; or see why an area is called, “The Graveyard of the Pacific!” Leave time to visit their gift shop…you won’t be disappointed.
Ready for some exercise? Climb to the top of the Astoria Column for a 360-degree view of the sea, bay and mountains. Hear the story of how this came about and the renovation that it underwent not too many years ago!
Lastly, Fort Clatsop….it is amazing how so many, spent so many days, in such a small space! And even when the game was so plentiful, they were always hungry…why? What was the relationship with the Native Americans? Why is the roof slanted ‘backwards?’ These and other questions will be answered! The gift shop hold a plethora of Lewis and Clark items, and their inventory of printed material is second to none!
The Farewell Dinner will be held in another of the areas culinary treasures! Get ready for mouthwatering seafood that was probably just brought in to the restaurant that morning! Don’t forget to leave room for their delectable desserts!
As you leave the area in the morning…..we wish you fair winds in your travels!