"}
Outdoors

Crabwise

Low tides and high adventure

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The first time Crab Hunter ever dragged me out onto the eelgrass beds to forage for decapod crustaceans during a minus tide, it seemed more like a novelty than anything.

“Might as well clear the air right now,” she said, as we began sidestepping ever so gingerly down the dizzyingly steep, root-strewn trail winding for what seemed like an eternity down the hillside from her cabin to the beach. 

“If you, like many other unbelievers I know, remain under the impression that we need a boat and a whole bunch of crab pots to scare up a decent meal’s worth of dungies, then you’re sorely mistaken. Anything they can do with their crab pots, we can do just as easily—and probably even more efficiently—by hand.”  

“Hmmm,” I mused, doing my best not to slip, trip or fall off the precipitous path while contemplating the many necessary and potentially hazardous steps that seemed inevitable through such close and repeated exposure to so many powerful, wound-inducing claws.

On top of that, I also found myself becoming even more discomfited by our apparent dearth of tools.

“Boats might well be superfluous,” I said, reduced to bashing through dense, ever-thickening salmonberry entanglements armed only with a five-gallon bucket, “but I’d give my left arm for a sharp machete right now.”

“Horsefeathers!” Crab Hunter exclaimed, bashing likewise right behind me with her own multipurpose bucket.  “This jungle is only temporary. We’ll be running footloose and fancy-free on the hunting grounds in no time.” 

And so, despite my lingering skepticism, her confidence in the prevailing methodology succeeded to grow ever more commanding.  Even as we continued to sweat and struggle for each successive foothold, there seemed little other available option other than to just keep on descending best I could.

Sure enough, the trail finally appeared to bottom out, bringing us into full, unfettered view of the glistening shore. 
“Ahhhh,” I thought, “nothing but smooth sailing from here!”  Except, of course, there happened to be one final obstacle—an almost sheer, 10-foot-tall, wet clay embankment.

Standing warily just behind the lip—just as I managed to discern the heaping, rust-encrusted remains of a ruinously dismembered stepladder—I was startled to observe Crab Hunter scurry out from behind me clutching a tattered strand of tree-anchored rope and lower herself in a safe, if mildly awkward, hip-first slide down onto the cobble.    

“So there you have it!” she cheered, brushing the mucky crust off her pants with a few prideful swipes. “Look out, crabbies. Dinner feast, here we come!” 

And, with lightening speed, she scrounged through the driftwood pile for a serviceable “prying stick” and off she went to harvest the freshest, most flavor-packed bounty our local tidelands have to offer. 

All I could do was feel lucky enough follow her, hidebound and lickety-split.

Zoots Banner
More Outdoors...
River Dance
Bustin’ a move on Horseshoe Bend

I was visiting Glacier on important business recently when the thing that always happens to me up there happened again: I had an insatiable urge to ambulate the enveloping terrain that compelled me to initiate a protracted dash through the woods.

Ephemeral mist vapors atomized the sun…

more »
Park(ing) Day
Getting creative with concrete

In mid-July, Downtown Bellingham Partnership sent out a press release touting a Park(ing) Day event that would be happening Fri., Sept. 16 on the roof of the Commercial Street Parking Garage. Since then, they’ve decided to host the pop-up party—part of a national movement taking place the…

more »
Detour
Snohomish County’s secret side

If casino gaming or shopping malls have been your only reasons to exit the I-5 in Snohomish County, you’re missing out. Everett, Marysville, and Mukilteo offer a unique array of attractions, whether your interest is some R&R on a long strip of white sand, art, kid-focused fun or history.…

more »
Events
Today
A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Lynden Book Club

12:30pm|Lynden Library

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Fun with Fermentation

4:00pm|Blaine Library

Ukulele for Everyone

4:00pm|Everson Library

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Bokashi Composting

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Bebel Gilberto

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Teton Gravity Research's Tight Loose

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Bebel Gilberto

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Everybody’s Store CW BOB 2016
Tomorrow
Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Ensembulele

4:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Final After-Hours Market

4:00pm|Depot Market Square

Autumn Soups

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Tame Your Inner Critic

7:00pm|Village Books

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Looking for Betty MacDonald

7:30pm|Village Books

The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Village Books Zoots Side Bar
Friday
Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Wild Things

9:30am|Whatcom Falls Park

Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival

10:00am|La Conner

Parkinson's Dance Class

10:00am|Ballet Bellingham

Spanish Storytime

10:30am|Lynden Library

Ferndale Farmers Market

1:00pm|Cherry Street

Get an edible education

4:00pm

Autumn Celebration Dinner

5:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Love, Loss and What I Wore

7:30pm|Heiner Auditorium

Hellingham

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Handling the truth

9:35pm

see our complete calendar »

Village Books Swinomish 2016 Mount Baker Theatre Bellingham Farmer’s Market CW BOB 2016 Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Everybody’s Store Northwood Steak and Crab Zoots Side Bar Andrew Subin Artifacts Wine Bar