Hey everyone! As you most likely saw, my dog and I (@thatnwdog / @mrtommyblades) loaded up the car today and headed down to the Oregon Coast! We partnered with The Peoples Coast (@thepeoplescoast) to travel and explore the entire Oregon coast from north to south. We will be visiting about 12 cities over two different trips and sharing our experiences with you!
For those who do not know me (@mrtommyblades), I am the creator and curator of @pnwonderland! I was born and raised in Oregon and the coast here is truly home to me. Growing up, I spent nearly every weekend exploring, relaxing, and recharging amongst the trails, sand, and waves. Through the years, I have found a unique sense of peace and tranquility here that I have not found anywhere else in the world. My wife and I currently reside in Olympia, which we absolutely love, but I certainly miss the proximity to this coastline.
When this opportunity came up... I of course jumped on it. This is a dream trip and experience for me and I look forward to sharing each day in a brief blog here.
After packing up the car and inevitably forgetting a few things, Evergreen (my dog) and I set off on a four hour drive to Garibaldi. This was our first destination because it is crab season and we wanted to capture some photos and stories from this beautiful, small town.
The first thing that I can tell you about Garibaldi... Is that I was welcomed warmly and genuinely by every single person that I interacted with. From the hotel owner to the crab fisherman, many of them took time out of their day to show me around the area and share stories with me.
I had the opportunity to meet with Jeff Wong of Community Supported Fishery (http://www.communitysupportedfishery.com/what-we-do/) and was particularly blown away by his passion and story. He has helped create a boat to plate community enterprise here in Garibaldi that helps support local fisherman, restaurants, and more.
From the above website -
"We are doing something different… We are local fishermen bringing the best fresh fish and seafood to your home and restaurant. We are small boat fishermen and we run our own licensed and inspected processing facility, which means that we are able to maintain the quality and consistency of our product from boat to table; unlike large commercial fleets.
We have always provided a superior product over the large fishing fleets and their commercial processing factories, but in the past, the fish buyers would seldom differentiate between our fish and the lower quality factory fish. This would in turn bring down our prices to match the inferior fish and ultimately, there was no guarantee that the consumer would receive our well cared for product out of the co-mingled commodity fish.
Since we can now maintain the chain of custody of our fish from our boats to your table, we can guarantee that each fish was caught using our required sustainable harvest methods, handled with care and most importantly for us, the fishermen are compensated for the extra effort and for bringing a superior product to your dinner table."
It was incredible to see thousands of pounds of crab come in from these small vessels and even more incredible to get to know the people doing the hard work. Crew members ranged from first near newcomers to 50 year veterans; all with stories and experiences to tell. I enjoyed the freshest crab that I have ever had and snapped photo after photo.
After an incredible afternoon learning about their trade, Evergreen and I enjoyed a sunset on the other side of the Port, just steps from our hotel. Today's weather was incredibly refreshing from the long, dark winter that we have had up in Washington this year. I think spring is just about here. To top things off, Jeff even dropped by with some more crab, fish, and canned tuna for me to bring home - a personal gesture that goes a long way.
Tomorrow morning, we are heading north - and I look forward to sharing more with you soon. Thank you everyone, and please be sure to drop by our friends @thepeoplescoast to support their campaigns and initiatives.