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Great Outdoors and Great History Battles: Oregon Coast Summer Sizzles

Published 07/05/2017 at 4:54 AM PDT - Updated 07/05/2017 at 4:55 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Great Outdoors and Great History Battles: Oregon Coast This Summer

(Oregon Coast) – The rest of the summer is eventful to say the least, on the Oregon coast. Some magnificent ways to dig into the outdoors, with clamming / crabbing clinics, stellar guided hikes, and some time traveling back to the Civil War and World War II. (Above: Civil War Reenactments at Fort Stevens in September, courtesy Friends of Fort Stevens.)

In July and August, being told to “take a hike” on parts of the central Oregon coast will be a good thing.

At the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center near Yachats and Oregon Dune Day Use Area near Florence, there will be be guided hikes. These are led by rangers, and they're available every Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Jr. Ranger evening programs are each Friday and Saturday at different locations throughout the Oregon Dunes from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cape Perpetua Visitor Center. 2400 Highway 101. Yachats, Oregon. 541-547-3289.

Lincoln City continues its mesmerizing crabbing and clamming clinics throughout the summer and the Second Summer (September, when weather is at its warmest on the coast). No registration is required and you get to see a whole other side to Siletz Bay.

The clam digging clinics begin with a brief orientation at the Driftwood Library, which covers digging regulations in Oregon, clam identification, harvest methods, as well as how to cook and clean them. These last approximately 45 minutes before you get released into the wild to hit the sands. The library is at 801 SW Highwy 101.

Participants then meet at the gravel pullout near the Bay House Restaurant on the west side of Highway 101.

Requirements for Clam Diggers (12 and older): You will need a state-issued shellfish license, a clam bag, shovel, five-gallon bucket and a pair of protective gloves.

You can also purchase these items at the clinic on that day, but only cash or checks will be accepted.

“We suggest bringing some bottled water for hydration, a hand towel and a first aid kit containing bandages and hydrogen peroxide to treat and dress any cuts,” said organizers.

The clam digging clinic dates are Thursday, July 13 at 10:30 am; Thursday, July 27 at 10:30 am; Wednesday, August 2 at 2:30 pm; Tuesday, August 15 at Noon; Tuesday, August 29 at 11:45 am; Tuesday, September 12 at 10:30 am; and Tuesday, September 26 at 10:30 am.

The crabbing clinics work largely the same: except participants meet at the pavilion at the end of SW 51st St in the Historic Taft District of Lincoln City for a brief orientation. This covers Oregon’s crabbing regulations, harvest methods, identification, and cleaning and cooking techniques.

Each crabber is allowed to crab with up to three devices. Crabs snares used with fishing poles work well but not nearly as well as folding crab traps.

Requirements: Shellfish license, crab traps, crab gauge, five-gallon bucket, a large packet of chicken legs for bait, and rubber gloves for protection.

The next crabbing date is September 22 at 8 am.

In Lincoln City, you can buy shellfish licenses at Bi-Mart (1030 SE Oar Ave., 541-614-1020), and at Eleanor’s Undertow (869 SW 51st St., 541-996-3800).

For clinic dates, time and directions contact the VCB office at 541-996-1274. The clinics are led by Bill Lackner. You can contact him for more information as well at 541-265-5847. Website here.

Up on the north Oregon coast at Fort Stevens, the two months of summer are crammed with fascinating living history programs. These were the battlements originally built to guard the Columbia River from intrusion by the South during the Civil War, but later served a much greater purpose during World War II. In fact, this was the only spot on the continental U.S. fired upon by a foreign vessel (but that's another story).

Among the programs: on July 15 and 16, you can time travel back to the '40s with the World II Living History days. Various units of U.S., British, German, and Russian troops set up camp at Fort Stevens to bring to life the history of those who fought in the war that changed the world. Period military vehicles, weapons displays, and field camps enable you to immerse yourself in the past.

On August 5 and 6, this civil war special program is entitled “1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry.” Visit the camp of one of the Civil War's most highly regarded troop of soldiers. Drills, demonstrations, and camp life are some of what you can expect to see from the dedicated men of the 1st Minnesota Volunteers Infantry. These warriors for the North were together from1861 – 1864, and fought in battles at Antietam and Gettysburg, among others.

At the end of the summer comes the biggest battle of all: the 27th Fort Stevens Civil War Reenactment, happening September 2 to 4.

It's the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Starting out with just a handful of fighters and spectators in the late '80s, it grew to over 800 warriors putting on a show for over 4,000 viewers.

Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Medical Corps, Camp Followers, and Townspeople (sutlers) make up the variety of Civil War period reenactors you'll encounter. You'll witness live battles right before your eyes, and you'll even get to meet President Lincoln.

There's a fashion show, and a chance to listen in on a real drum and fife practice. Take a serious trip back in time and stroll through the village of tents to see how craftsmen, cooks and undertakers went about their day. Spend time learning history from the soldiers firsthand.

Artillery demonstrations will fire off real cannon in front of you – and up close.

Food and drinks available for purchase from Annie's Kettle Corn. Traders/sutlers general stores offer clothing, toys, and more for purchase. Organizers urge you to leave pets at home as there is a lot of loud artillery and rifle firing for long periods.

Admission is $20 per carload, plus a $5 day use fee (Saturday and Sunday). There are special rates for motorized and non-motorized bikes, and on-foot. Fort Stevens State Park. 1675 NW Peter Iredale Rd. Hammond, Oregon. (503) 861-1671. Oregon Coast Hotels for these events - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour


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