Journals, Photos and Videos

Clam Report

Another day at Wildmans and another day of learning at the store for Maureen. Actually, every day is a learning day....there seems to be something new each working day. As Cheryle and Heather have said, there is nothing too complex (a few tasks take a few times to build up your courage like breaking down, cleaning and putting the Softee machine back together and the Latee machine -- I had never even made a cup of coffee!) but there is a TON of knowledge you need to have the store running so smoothly. Wildman’s has a wonderful reputation of being a great stop when on the Sterling Highway. And for the “locals” and temporary “locals” there are clean, roomy showers and bathrooms. After a long day of fishing, hiking, biking, floating down the river etc. is a treat to come and take a long, warm shower in a clean environment.

The first 2 weekends it seemed like a fire hose baptism to the Wildman experience......there is so much information and so many tasks. It is excellent they have summer worker bees come as early as they can in May and learn the routine before the real crowds come. This is usually the big week end before the fish start running and will give us a taste of what the summer will hold. As you can imagine, Cooper Landing is dependent on a great summer tourist crowd which has to carry them through the quiet, dark winter.

Today, Maureen had one of her Bronco shirts on while she worked. George came over mid-afternoon as we were expecting Nic, Jolie and Hope on their return trip from Homer. As she was checking someone out, the teenager asked Maureen if she liked the Broncos which elicited a very positive response. Well, he then mentioned that Chris Cooper an offensive lineman for the Broncos was his cousin! Naturally, i had to bring George into the discussion. It is so fun in the store as you meet people from all corners of the US and Europe, Japan, China.....make that all corners of the world!

Nic, Jolie and Hope returned to Wildman’s around 3:30 Sun afternoon and while mom and dad gave Papa George and Nana Maureen a clam report and stories about what a fun challenge it is, Hope ENJOYED a softee cone!

It all sounds so easy when you read about clamming but in reality, it can be quite a challenge. Clamming is best during a minus tide of 2 feet or more. You need a bucket, a clam gun or clam shovel, boots, and at least one glove to protect against the razor clam’s sharp shell. To dig, find a tiny “dimple” and quickly scoop a 6in hole. Reach down into the sand until you find your clam. sounds easy doesn’t it. Don’t forget you are working in mud and the sand is wet and fills the hole quickly. Eventually experience will help you develop a technique and you will soon be cooking wonderful, fresh clams.

Nic and Jolie managed to get about 2 dozen (60 is the limit) and were anxious to complete the 2 hr trip back to Anchorage and to cook them for supper. Next they tasted.