Oyster Food Trail Beginnings

The salt-water bivalves pictured here are from Oregon Oyster Farm – not technically a current partner of the North Coast Food Trail.  To be accurate the North Coast Food Trail is “A partnership between three regions of Oregon’s shoreline, the Food Trail brings together the best of the tasty and rugged (and tastefully rugged) food-related fun from Cannon Beach, the Tillamook Coast and Lincoln City.”

Jesse Dolin, OCVA’s Central Coast Destination Development Coordinator tells me the Central Coast Food Trail has been “under construction” and that we may see it launched as soon as May.

C’mon… Can you smell it? Can you taste it? Sometimes the photo does the experience justice. Oysters. Butter. Garlic. It’s beautiful simplicity. Although, shucking can be a little tricky; Good to take one’s time doing that part of the process.

As we begin to enter the “next normal” and considering it’s spring break (wish I was breaking) I thought I might highlight the Oregon Food Trail concept. It helps to have the websites and the social medias to explore options, ponder interesting excursions and culinary personalities.

Recently, we blazed a very short trail not too far from our home near Oregon Oyster Farms. It had been awhile since we grilled oysters and finished them on the half shell with garlic butter.

DAMN! It was sooooooo good. It provided a #pnwoderland moment that was compounded by the fact that I had not realized how much I needed it! So satisfying.

Looking forward to trying new oyster species. A lifetime, really, I have eaten Yaquina Bay’s provisions. Time to experiment. Gonna blaze a new food trail. So, what will a Netart’s Bay oyster taste like? Curious and excited. Have grill. Will travel.

A bonus was having Reed add oysters to his grilling (and now shucking) repertoire. The grilling operation was also an interesting point of focus for our outside gathering. I loved it so. It reminds of parties many years ago where designated bodies crank out grilled oysters on the half shell – afternoon sliding into night.

The whole experience got me pumped for the next round. So, I tapped the Northwest Food Trail for possible seafood providers for our next grilling session.  Possible option… “JAndy Oyster Company has been growing oysters since 2012. The beach-grown oysters are raised in beautiful Netarts Bay, Oregon, and picked by hand.” I found Jandy on this handy dandy PDF brochure located on the Visit the Oregon Coast website.

Reed and Grandpa. They work well as a team. My group’s newbies to the grill/half-shell concept thought it rather time consuming and labor oriented. I can’t imagine it any other way. The one Aussie in the group was our biggest supporter.

I have heard rumors of an oysters farm/dock in South Beach Newport. But, not a lot of details. Keep you posted!

Oregon Coast Visitors Association: The North Coast Food Trail is a collaborative effort to connect people to the bounty available on Oregon’s North Coast. Supporting local food is a way to support our communities and the producers and crafters who work hard to grow and use our local ingredients.

Travel Oregon: The Oregon Food Trails program aims to cultivate innovative partnerships between culinary and agricultural businesses, strengthen local food economies and create unique experiences for visitors and locals alike. 

Newport Skatepark – 2,000 Sq. Ft Addition

The new 2,000 sq foot addition to the City of Newport’s skatepark completed by Dreamland Skateparks was celebrated with a beautiful day, amazing riding, prizes, and food. The video in this post features  Spencer Nebel, City Manager and Danielle Scott owner of Dreamland. I am thankful for their comments about the collaboration to support the new build.  

This video was pretty textbook. I got lucky and grabbed Spencer as he was leaving the park. And, Danielle Scott was willing to provide some details. “Andy 360” must have tried the loop 15 times before he nailed it. Skaters work hard for their skills. Well earned Andy!

The video also illustrates the synergy and desirable outcome for our park on a given day. I do not know if there are numbers for how often it’s used. Prior to the expansion, my own experience has revealed that both locals and tourists use the park. Since the expansion, my conversations with the park’s frequent flyers have said that use is up considerably. The influx of visitors to cities like Newport may support the argument for such investments. We are a tourist community. Some families may simply choose a city that has such assets over those that do not. And, communities that have such assets may increase the stay length compared to communities that do not have a variety of recreational activities to choose from.

In retrospect, the unification of energy to pull off the addition exemplifies what’s desirable when dedicating public funds to such infrastructure. I have not inquired about numbers to the City or Dreamland. I should do that.  The data would be interesting to know.  My casual conversations lead me to believe that the new addition is the result of donations, corporate sponsorship of sorts from Rogue, City funding and some old-school fundraising.  There may have been grant money…

As a rider – both skating and biking – I can testify to using the park on a semi-regular basis. It’s one of my go to spots during lunch break. Google Maps says it’s .6 miles from my office cubicle.  As a sit/stand office worker I make it a point to move my body at lunch.  “Sitting is the new smoking.” Desk jockeys benefit from exercise more so than our cohorts who actually use their bodies for work.

My dude. I had dreams of producing a little skating prodigy. I imagined an early companion too soon, perhaps. Did I start him to early? It was worth giving it a shot. Funny how their peers are ultimately more influential. He’s with the program now. But, it’s not going to happen overnight. I admire his persistence. We bought a helmet too, btw.

To my surprise, the re-grand opening had a special turn of events for both me and my son. It Inspired him to begin skating. It was also an affirmation that building community infrastructure to support action sports such as skating has the benefit of encouraging new discoveries for athletes young and old.

On the way to the re grand opening I reminded Reed that our mission needed the inclusion of video documentation. On occasion, the documentary process gets a little tiresome for my handsome lad. I thought it fair to give him a disclaimer that I would be up to my usual antics.  I mentioned that there was going be food, beverage, possible prizes and likely a few of his friends. Reed assured me that “None of his friends will be there.” “How can you be certain?”, I asked. He couldn’t articulate and became frustrated at my additional inquiries. “Is it just a gut feeling?”, I asked. “Yeah, Dad.”

Within minutes of arrival Reed asked to go play with a friend. It turned out, that friend, an inexperienced skater, encouraged him to ride. They practiced and watched the other skaters during their blitzkrieg on the fresh concrete.  For the next two weeks, he asked that we ride, every day. Every day. I was so stoked! I had wrapped his little body in padding when he was 4 and he reluctantly gave it a shot. He never desired to ride again, however. I let it go. Not his thing, I thought. I ride a lot. But, over the years I’ve often carved out time to do that, without him. So, this was full circle for us.  My hope is that the joy I experience from this hobby and sport might be something we can continue to share.

Rogue has been a big supporter for both the Newport Skatepark and Dreamland Skateparks. They also produce a signature Dreamland Lager. Are we lucky or what?! Right the $#@$ on Rogue!

So, the question of weather or not there is justifiable ROI to the community, the non skateboarding community, is one that is in contention for some.  How we equitably determine which shared assets are worth our investment? Our skateboard park, our pool, our various other parks, our roads, police, emergency services and so on.  Not everyone agrees all of the time and such is politics, government and questions of subsidy.   

Again, I don’t have specific number for the Newport park 2,000 sq. ft addition. If and when I get this data – I’ll post the update here. Estimates by the Tony Hawk Foundation suggest the “National Average Skatepark Cost per square foot: $22.10” These numbers and actual use numbers would certainly facilitate improved evaluation for this investment and future investments In our communities.

The Argument for Skate Parks

Public Skatepark Development Guide
Resource for advocates and planners seeking information about public skateparks. If you’re working on a public skatepark project.

Lunch break. When I was growing up local concrete parks were not the norm. As a 49 year old it is taking some time as a skater and biker to learn to flow and get comfortable letting centrifugal force carry one through the transitions. Both exciting and/or scary depending on how you frame the experience.

Tony Hawk Foundation
The Tony Hawk Foundation fosters lasting improvements in society with an emphasis on supporting youth in low-income communities through skateboarding programs and the creation of skateparks.