Barbara Bennett

Pete Steen of Cape Meares has hosted "The Hogs are Runnin" Salmon Derby since 1991, raising money for the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation to aid anadromous fish runs in the Tillamook Estuary Drainage. The event is small compared to similar events. It is a private affair limited to a maximum of 20 friends and former work associates. Still, the affair has raised hundreds of dollars for Tillamook fisheries over the last two decades. This year's derby, the 24th annual, was held on October 3 and 4.

Pete said this year's weather was just about the best since the event started, and the fishing was pretty good. This year's winner of the largest fish award (The Big Hog) was defending Champion Karen Walz of Bend with a 23.5-pounder. She beat her husband, Steve, by one-half pound! Karen also won the prize for the most fish, (The Big Pig) with three chrome-bright Chinook's. Gracious in victory, Karen donated a significant portion of her winnings to the Cape Meares Community Association, as she did last year. This year was the first time The Big Hog prize was won by the same individual in back-to-back derbies. In all, 13 qualifying fish were caught during the contest. Pete said his boat, with passengers Erik of Sacramento, and Navy Lieutenant Kyle Sherman of Portland, brought in three qualifiers (none by Pete) but had a lot more fun than fish.

Awards and door prizes were presented after a happy hour and dinner held at the Cape Meres Community Center.

Merrie Ziady sent this story in for the Cape Meares Fencepost column. Since we bought our house in Cape Meares 13 years ago, my husband, Jon Ziady, has gone fishing a few times, but never caught anything, (except maybe a cold), that is, until October 1 this year. Pete invited Jon to go fishing with him, and he eagerly accepted, in spite of knowing it might be cold and wet with no fish in sight. Lo and behold, it was a gorgeous sunny day and Jon caught an 18-pound Chinook salmon. He was one happy fisherman! Those who have helped devour the delicious fish so far include Portland neighbors who look after our house when we are here in Cape Meares, as well as our son Joshua and his family, Apparently, our grandchild, 18-month-old June, was quite impressed with Grandpa Z's fish, gobbling up her share with gusto.

The Cape Meares Community Association's Halloween Party on Saturday, October 25, challenged locals to show up in costume bearing potluck dishes of a particularly horrific nature. Merrilee Sommers, a saucy looking witch, offered dead looking carrot fingers reaching up out of a pool of hummus with ghost-shaped pita bread, and Mike and Patti Smith (Italian painter and Medieval Princess) brought old, white-knuckled fingers and dates (dates look creepy enough all by themselves). But the most disgusting, (prizewinning) outrageous dish was an inverted cauliflower filled with guacamole sporting red and blue veins, provided by Valerie (clown) and (Darth Priest Dracula) Jim Jenkins.

Pete Steen was decked out in an animal skin and blonde wig as Harald the Fairhair Norwegian King, accompanied by Ellen, the Yoga Lady. A much-coveted honor at Cape Meares, Best Pie, went to Mary and Scott Gordon (Beach Witch and her Beach Boy Buddy) for their "Deep Ditch Pecan." There were entries enough to cover two large tables, and ironically, the ghoulish food was perhaps the most delicious yet this year.

The theme of the party, aside from the usual ghost and goblin requisite, was "What is the scariest thing in Cape Meares?" and the answer, inside, in glowing decorations, was "A Resort Out on the Spit," complete with an overhead tent, a rainwater collection device, a seaplane, a equestrian staging area, a neon haired glamper with pizza, and a huge crowd of strange people having a great time partying into the evening.

Many of those strange people will be dressed as civilians when they meet with the Land Use Commission on November 13 at the hearing on the proposed Bayocean Eco-Resort designed to sit in the middle of the spit. While they will probably not appear in costume, they are preparing for what might be a very long evening and threatening to bring coffee and cookies. They hope those neighboring communities that share a love of untouched wilderness will join them to learn more about the project.

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