Monday, March 15, 2010

Mussel Muscle

Life is about the journey right? Not just point A to B but the spaces in between. Therefore, a Bay Area day trip from Oakland to Pescadero begins with the ride. Getting to Pescadero is one of my favorites. This trip can be made in a loop that offers spectacular ocean views from Highway 1, deep woods Redwoods off of Skyline the 35, and rolling hill and ranches off Pescadero Rd and the 84. I always opt for the loop option whether hiking or driving.
Stopping into Alice’s Restaurant for a local brew and a bite in Woodside is always interesting. It’s a good people and motorcycle watching area, since all the bikers stop around here to show off their stuff, and take a break from riding the twisty roads. This time we drove an old beater Toyota pickup that runs on biodiesel, but for motorcycle enthusiasts this is as good as it gets!
We arrived at Pescadero beach 3:05 in the afternoon for low tide. The waves were gigantic, there was great visibility and gentle winds. There were gorgeous rock outcroppings everywhere and finding the mussels was easy. After climbing out and around and being mindful to not to have my back to the ocean, I found a large clumping on mussels, several types of seaweed, and spotted several sea anemones. The biggest mussels were found in the cracks and crevices. 2-3 inch mussels we heard are best. Be sure to bring gloves and a knife as they can be hard to pull off otherwise. Within 15 minutes we had gathered our share which we kept in a cooler filled with seawater.
Another essential when at the beach is an Aerobie, a hollow disc Frisbee type (but better) disc. There is no hand propelled object on earth that flies further. Each of us a football field apart we enjoyed playing with a fun variation before the catch of striking a pose or performing an action while the disc is in flight. I highly recommend it!
My friend said she had never had better mussels and I plan to cook mine with friends this evening. Feel free to share your favorite mussel recipes with us.

Note: you need an ocean tag on your fishing license to gather mussels

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