Thursday, June 1, 2017

Living in the Oyster Capitol of North America

We are parked beside the Willapa River, with a front row seat of the changing tides of this tidal river.

We are really enjoying our camping space and the wonderful weather.  We were just beginning to expect the daily rain showers, when Washington has suddenly turned on the sunshine! It's the perfect temperature and we are loving those blue skies! Our campground is situated between two river towns, and we wanted to spend some time at the little village just west of us--South Bend, Washington. This little town is the county seat, and in 1911 they built one of the grandest court houses in the land.

It has some fancy detailing, like the hand-painted three-dimensional sculptures over each door in the court house.

But the reason this court house is a tourist attraction, is the stained glass dome.

This is a detailed Tiffany glass dome, that is especially beautiful on this clear day with the sunshine pouring in.

We are in Pacific County, Washington, with bright green "PC" elegantly added into the stained glass design.

Besides that beautiful court house, South Bend is known for its fishing history. This carved wooden fisherman is showing off his catch of a giant Chinook salmon.

But the most famous catch of the day is the oyster. We now recognize the oyster farms in the bay--straight rows of "planted" oysters waiting to grow big enough to be harvested. We passed this oyster processing plant as we came into town.

At the South Bend harbor, we find the "World's Largest Oyster" that turns out to be more concrete than oyster.

From talking to the locals, we are finding that people either love or hate oysters--there doesn't seem to be many people in the middle. We got two opinions on the best place in town to eat oysters, and they both agreed. Since this no-stop-light town isn't usually visited by most tourists, the tavern across the street is where the locals prefer to eat their oysters. Even though some can stomach the slimy raw version, most people seem to prefer fried. When the waitress put this plate down in front of us, she confessed that she hated oysters. But we can now go on record that we tried fried oysters in the town that claims to be the oyster capitol of the United States. They were at their freshest best and we went to the most recommended place to prepare them. Together we managed to eat this entire order of six fried oysters, but we have to say that we enjoyed the french fries more than the sea food.

Now that we have accomplished our oyster-eating adventure, it's time to head on down the road. We thought it was interesting when the GPS brought up our exact position on the screen. That is right where the motor home is parked, looking over the Willapa River, right off Highway 101. It looks like we are below sea level, at -5 elevation here in Raymond.

We headed another hour down the road toward another little town. So the next blog will be written from Elma, Washington.

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