I was in the mood to visit a new park and since we had our handy Discover Pass, a great deal at only $30 if you ask me, we made our way to Larrabee State Park, near Bellingham. Turns out it's Washington's first state park established in 1915, starting out with only 20 acres donated by the Larrabee family. With additions through land grants and purchases through donations, today it's huge at 2683 acres!
I gave my trusty driver, James, directions and we made the trek about 2 hrs north of Renton. It was a beautiful drive after we got off of I-5, around Mt. Vernon, through the flat but very picturesque farmland (love the old barns!), to the gorgeous vistas of the winding, cliff hugging road near the park.
We got our hike on and totally tired the dogs out. Tired dogs are good dogs!
On the way to the park, we noticed a shellfish store and decided to take a look on the way home. Have you heard of Taylor Shellfish Farms? We had not and I'm so glad we stopped in! They raise shellfish there and they have a retail store where you can get the freshest shellfish ever! Shellfish heaven! Available are all different kinds of clams, oysters, geoduck, mussels and Dungeness crabs. They have picnic tables and BBQ's outside of the store so that you can get your fresh oysters and eat them right there! They'll shuck 'em for you or lend you a tool to do it yourself.
They even offered cooked Dungeness crab so we had to get one as a post hike snack. They loaned us a crab-cracker and gave us a ton on paper towels and newspaper to crack our crab. I should have used a towel as a bib because it was messy but the crab was delectable! Well worth the work and slightly stained clothing! We were going straight home anyways. :')
We also picked up 4 lbs of Manila clams. They were already purged and cleaned so I just had to rinse them off before cooking. I found an easy recipe online for Manila Clams in Garlic and Beer and they turned out great! When I make these again, I'll add less salt and pepper and more garlic! Make sure to have crusty bread for dipping in the broth...delish!