Oregon Student Essays 2015 Web Exhibit

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Middle School: "My Favorite Oregon Place"

By Inessa Garrey, Essay Contest Winner

Mrs. Ackermann’s Sixth Grade Class
Judson Middle School, Salem
beach with grassy dunes to the right
Yaquina Bay offers visitors activities such as clam digging and exploring unspoiled beaches. Shown above is the beach at Yaquina Bay State Park. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

Do you know that you can rake in your dinner? Well, in Oregon you can! Once I get out of the car, I run towards the ocean. A powerful smell of salt and seaweed hits my nose and I know that we have arrived. A small muddy beach on the south side of Yaquina Bay holds a big secret — clams!

Smack! My boot hits the light-gray sand. With a slurp, sea-green water fills back into my footprint. All of a sudden, my boot hits a small rock. I swiftly bend down and stick my hand in the thick, fleshy seaweed. My fingers clutch a small shell. I pull out a cockle clam! Two perfectly heart-shaped bisque shells, held together by a delectable little creature. I can almost smell the clam chowder!

Once we rake in the limit of twenty clams per person, we take off our boots and go to Hatfield Marine Science Center. There you can pet squashy sea cucumbers, hold a spiky purple sea urchin, goggle at a giant pacific octopus, and learn about Oregon’s abundant wildlife.

Going to Yaquina Bay is always an adventure. This is why it is my favorite place to visit in Oregon.

sunset along the Oregon coast
The sun sets at Yaquina Bay State Park in Newport. (Oregon State Archives Photo)