Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

As I write this, we are still on alert for a possible evacuation notice due to fires to the north and south of us. While Cape Meares itself is not on fire, we have an eerie yellow-orange sky, and the smell of smoke is too strong to remain long outdoors. At the start of this emergency, we lost power for 23 hours—a big shout-out to the PUD for getting us back in business so quickly. And we can’t say enough about our dedicated firefighters, professional and volunteer, who are working day and night to keep us safe. I trust that by the time you read this column, the fires will be out and we’ll have some blessed rain.

If there is a sure way to cool off in this hot summer weather, it’s white-water rafting. Dave Audet and his wife, Wendy Kunkel, recently spent four days rafting the Rogue River in southern Oregon. Dave is a big white-water rafter and is part of a group that rafts rivers around the country. That group had a trip to the Grand Canyon lined up for March when the pandemic hit and shut everything down. They have substituted a series of smaller, closer-to-home trips instead, with this trip down the Rogue being one. Wendy said the days on the Rogue were hot, but it cooled down considerably at night. They took one day off the river to hike, swim—or play cards. The food had all been purchased ahead of time for the Grand Canyon trip, so everything was organized for rotating shifts of cooking dinner when they set up their tents and camped along the river each night. The adventure was a great way for Wendy and Dave to wrap up summer. Now all they need to do is figure out a safe way to travel in the COVID era to see their grandchildren in Chicago: by train, plane, car, or hang-glider?!

Salmon season has started! Remember basic etiquette when launching your boat: 1) use only your vehicle’s parking lights if it’s dark (don’t blind those waiting to launch); 2) tie up your boat as far down the dock as possible before parking your vehicle; and 3) don’t monopolize the boat ramp by rigging tackle at the dock (prepare tackle at home). As for taking out (hopefully weighted down with your limit of salmon), here are another three tips: 1) be familiar with the water depth at various times of the tide on each side of the dock to avoid running your motor into the mud; 2) don’t stop your boat partway up the ramp to pull the plug and let water out (do that up in the parking lot); and 3) don’t clean your fish on the dock. Oh, yes, do remember to put the plug back in before dropping your boat in the water, and don’t lock your keys in the truck when out shoving the boat off the trailer (we’ve seen both of these happen). Thanks for keeping things moving along at the Memaloose boat launch and elsewhere!

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