Spring Skill Building on the North Coast

As spring creeps upon us, admittedly faster than we thought it would, the Oregon coast is blossoming to life. If you take your cues from nature, now is about the time to branch out and grow some more skills. Whether you’re looking to cook fresh exciting food from scratch, hone your writing skills, learn more about area's maritime environment or expose yourself to new music, the North Coast is buzzing with opportunities for you to seize the spring.

The stoic beauty of the coastline and sunshine on sandy shores serve as superb catalysts for writers to do their thing. The folks at Fat Adventure Club know this, and they’ve launched their first-ever Fat Adventure Club Spring Yurt Writing Retreat. Located in one of the most prime spots on the coast, Cape Lookout State Park, in Tillamook, this brand-new retreat offers 14 writers the opportunity to gather and work on writing, community and self care. Writers stay for two nights, Friday, March 13, through 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 15. Like the event title mentions, you’ll have the glamorous experience of staying in a yurt! Individual and shared yurts are both available, and the provided meals will be prepared over the open campfire. You must register in advance if you'd like your own slice of this writing-in-yurt lifestyle.

In these crazy times, skill building can very well mean learning how to prepare for the unexpected, such as the possibility of a giant wave crashing into the coastline and its aftermath. The Nehalem Valley Historical Society (NVHS) is hosting the second speaker of its official NVHS Second Saturday Speaker Series. Join scientist emeritus Brian Atwater as he explores how people have survived tsunamis. The event, Surviving a Tsunami – Lessons From Eye Witnesses in Chile, Hawaii and Japan, will be hosted at the Pine Grove Community House in Manzanita. In addition to his prestige among the scientific community, Atwater is well known for his book The Orphan Tsunami of 1700. Learn about this natural phenomenon and get a signed copy of the manuscript from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 14.

Who doesn't crave the occasional a flaky, buttery Southern biscuit that practically melts in your mouth? While Astoria is long way from Southerly kitchens, this spring brings about a rare opportunity for culinary education. The North Coast Food Web will be presenting Southern Biscuits from Scratch, a hands-on cooking class on Saturday, March 14, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Featuring North Carolina’s own Brian Medford, this instructive class shows you how to mix, shape, cut and bake authentic, Southern-style biscuits in addition to making your own sausage gravy for topping them.

In my opinion, one of the natural world's most remarkable features is the surplus of information and constant opportunities to learn something new. If you have a thirst for knowledge when it comes to the ocean and its many inhabitants, you will not want to miss the Orcas of the Oregon Coast presentation from Nature Matters. Located at the Fort George Brewery and Public House in Astoria, this presentation will explore Oregon’s southern resident community of killer whales. Courtesy of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in partnership with the North Coast Watershed Association, speaker Colleen Weiler, the Jessica Rekos Fellow for WDC, will be educating all who come on the things Oregonians can do to help ensure the livelihood of these magnificent creatures. Join them Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m.

A treat awaits for foodies and music lovers this Saturday, March 14. Experience music, food and culture melding together at River2River: Food, Culture and Music of the Mississippi Delta from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Astoria Armory. When it comes to learning and exposure, this is definitely an immersive dining experience. Food made by two sons of the South, chefs David Crews and Stewart Robinson of the Delta Supper Club, will round out a Southern-style family dinner aesthetic, all kicked off by music from singer-songwriter Steve Azar. Get your tickets here!

For other ways to strengthen your skills and broaden your knowledge in the upcoming week, check out our Daytime Events and Nightlife pages. There, you'll discover where you can learn more about reading animal spirit cards, cultivating native plants and tales of local history.

About the Author Dante Zuniga-West

Dante Zuniga-West is a writer and outdoorsman who thrives in the backcountry. He is passionate about environmental conservation, leadership, primitive skills and connecting young people to the natural world. A published novelist and working freelancer, Dante’s articles can be found in a variety of outdoor adventure journals, alternative newspapers and lifestyle magazines. Away from work Dante spends his time on public lands, hunting and fishing. He lives off the grid in the coastal mountain range of Oregon.

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