The Kaleberg Journal - January 2015


01/28 - Third Beach

Now that we are getting the good winter tides, we decided to check out Third Beach out near La Push. Our last visit out this way was to Second Beach which features a lovely forest walk from the trailhead near the highway down to a wild crescent of beach adorned with rocks, sea stacks and tide pools. Third Beach is similar, but the forest walk is longer, over a mile before the descent. There are long level stretches where the rain forest forms almost a dry bog, very wet, but all the moisture absorbed by the rampant vegetation. Then there is the 200 plus foot descent to the beach.

The trailhead is near a stream that runs out to the sea here. There are glimpses of the sea stacks and ocean as one approaches. Then comes the wall of driftwood. Usually the wood is bare and aged, but this year we've had storms so there were a few freshly fallen trees in the heap. It was an easy clamber as clambering goes, and in a few minutes we were on the gritty sand. We headed left, to the east - the beach faces south - where we could see a row sea stacks, but first we had to cross the stream. It was deep and the current was fast moving, so we waded across down towards the sea where the flow widened.

From here it was easy going. As we approached the headland, we could see a waterfall splashing down the rocks. We paused to check out the rocks and tide pools and then continued. Despite the region's reputation for grayness, the sun was brilliant. We checked the bluffs for eagles but saw none. The bluffs behind Third Beach aren't as high as those at Second Beach, and there is a headland trail that leads to beaches south for those walking to Oil City, that is, other people, not us.

Walking on sand, even relatively well packed sand is tiring. When we got back to the trailhead, we saved our energy for the climb out rather than exploring the west end of the beach. Third Beach is a bit more of a workout than Second Beach, but just as rewarding.


A glimpse of the sea stacks, artfully framed a la the Northwest School

The driftwood barricade: Take it one log at a time.

The rushing stream: We waded down by the sea.

Rocks and sea stacks

Another view: Look carefully and you might see the waterfall.

Alders on the bluffs

Here you can definitely see the waterfall.

The view west, our return

A last glimpse

A spot of mud with a thoughtfully placed plank

Brilliant rainforest

Keywords: third beach, tides, winter


animals, port angeles, washington state

01/25 - Dead Deer

We recently found a dead deer on a patch of land we owned. It was well away from the road and quite dead. We wanted it removed. There wasn't an obvious dead animal removal service in the local Yellow Pages or online phone book. Google didn't have a clue, so we started with the local police, the county, Washington State Fish and Wildlife and so on. Since the animal wasn't actually on the road, the roads people wouldn't touch it; Fish and Wildlife suggested that we dump it on state land, but when they weren't sure if DNR land was state land or not, we discounted this suggestion. The local animal shelter suggested that Olympic Game Farm might want the carcass. Others mentioned them as well, but the folks at the game farm had no idea of how they had gotten such a carrion reputation. We considered burying the animal not far from where it fell, but our excavator warned us not to. If anyone dug up the bones in the future it might become a matter for the national government and the local tribes. We were going around in circles now and getting no closer to getting rid of the late but apparently, judging by the nonchalant behavior of the other deer in the area, not lamented.

We called the Olympic Game Farm again. When dealing with organizations with more than one person involved, it usually pays to call more than once. This time we got another lead, the Northwest Raptor Center. Perhaps we could stuff it into a time machine and feed it to a velociraptor. The raptor center didn't deal with time machines or velociraptors. They were involved in conserving our local birds of prey, and they had no use for a dead deer, but they did know a guy. They put us in touch with Mike Love who used to do dead animal removal for the county. He also used to be a disk jockey. He dropped by and, for a modest fee, removed the carcass. Our problem was solved. If you ever find yourself in the Port Angeles or Sequim area and need to remove the deerly departed, you might want to call him yourself. His number is (360) 477-6670.

Keywords:


01/23 - The Elwha and Madison Falls

We usually see the Elwha River from one of the hiking trails out of Whiskey Bend, but Whiskey Bend Road was washed out and will most likely be closed until some time this spring. We still wanted to see the river, so we pulled over along the road and walked carefully by the side to get a good look. There is sure a lot of water, and it is running wild. The color of the river has changed since the dam was taken down. Now it looks a lot more like the Hoh.

We also checked out Madison Falls. This is a little waterfall a short, easy walk from the main road. The trail is flat and wide, so you could even do it in a wheel chair. It might not be far, but it is worth stopping for. Madison Falls was one of three waterfalls that a friend of ours suggested for taking visitors to on a rainy day. The other two were Marymere Falls near Barnes Creek and Sol Duc Falls a bit farther away at the end of Sol Duc Road. For the best effect, start with Madison, then stop at Marymere, then at Sol Duc.


The Elwha River now that it runs free

Looking upriver

Another river view

Bend in the river

A view downriver

Lots of water

The old maples near the Madison Falls parking lot

Madison Falls proper, just a short, easy walk

Madison Falls - Click on the image for a slow motion video.

Keywords: elwha, trails


01/19 - Winter Market Update

As usual this time of year there just aren't as many farmers and vendors at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. Still, there was a nice crowd which meant potatoes, kale, brussels sprouts, squash and a host of other winter hardy vegetables. Spring Rain Farm even had fresh rabbits which are quite delicious.

Pacific Pantry sausages for our late breakfast

Nash Huber's stand - coco beans, carrots and brussels sprouts

Spring Rain was also selling chickens and rabbits.

Johnston Farm had a surprising bounty.

We bought some nice soap at Lana Bella

Pane d'Amore, the bakery has a stand every week.

We hadn't noticed Goodness Tea before, selling coffee and tea

Jose's Tamales were tempting this week

We bought some nice soap at Lana Bella

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles


01/17 - Marymere Falls

We were out at Barnes Creek and checked out Marymere Falls. Often in the winter the falls are surrounded by an array of ice crystals in spectacular patterns, but we've been having a warm winter, so all we saw were the falls. We took a slow motion video with our phone camera. Click on the picture of the falls to play it.

We took the usual Marymere Falls circuit, no climb up to Storm King for us today, but we did wander a bit up Barnes Creek proper and enjoyed the views of the creek and the walk through the forest. We went as far as a little waterfall right along the trail.


A bald eagle perching en route to Barnes Creek

Click the image for a slow motion view of Marymere Falls.

Sunny day

A little waterfall

Water below

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls, winter


01/11 - Dungeness Spit

It isn't easy hiking the Dungeness Spit in the late fall. In the day time, the low tides are almost as high as the high tides, but in January this changes. This means we have some good tides coming up this month on the 25th and 26th, then in February on the 9th, 10th, 11th and the 20th and 21st. You could even take a hike out the lighthouse.

Of course, tides aren't the only problem. Some years, the winter spit is all rocks and hard scrabble, so a ten mile round trip to the lighthouse is a bit of a challenge, but this year the winter spit is surprisingly sandy and smooth. We took a short hike out today and found it easy going. We didn't make it to the light, but we figured we'd spread the word about the good conditions.


Unprepossessing

OK, maybe it's gloomy in the photo, but it's prettier in real life.

There was no view of the mountains.

A view of the spit

The wild beach

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides, winter


01/09 - Short Trip to Seattle

We took yet another short trip into Seattle. The high point was our wonderful dinner at Sitka & Spruce.

To be honest, we started our meal around 4PM at Taylor Shellfish which is just down the block. We had dropped by before and checked out the oysters bubbling in their holding tanks. This time we tried some Olympias and Kumamotos, fresh and tasting of the sea. We also had some of the calamari salad with seaweed and mushrooms. It was quite good.

Then, we had dinner at Sitka & Spruce which was quite an experience. We knew we were in good hands when the sourdough bread arrived with the lightly whipped cultured butter. We were served each dish in turn, family style, and when the corned lamb with seared cabbage arrived, we knew we were in the hands of genius. The theme for the meal was crisp skin on the outside and tender meat inside. We had the pork belly with caraway seeds on toast, the porchetta with squash and rye crisps and the amazingly good rabbit. We were in heaven.

We finished off with a floating island with two types of meringue, one light and fluffy and one crisp like a cracker. It was an intense experience.


Wild water at the Ballard Locks

The winter garden at the Locks had its charms.

Contrail

Downtown evening light

More light

The sunset in close up

Sitka and Spruce

More Sitka & Spruce

The ferris wheel down by the waterfront

Keywords: oysters, seattle, winter


01/05 - Port Angeles Farmers' Market

This is just a reminder that the Port Angeles Farmers' Market is still operating on Saturdays from 10-2, and there are vegetables. There have been potatoes, kale, scallions, squashes and even arugula. Dungeness Seaworks has been there selling salmon and sometimes halibut, and Clark Farms is selling beef and pork. It may be winter, but the market lives.

These photos are ...

... all from ...

... Johnston Farms.

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, port angeles, salmon, winter


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