Mileage Update

As of Tuesday night I have been on the road 14 weeks.  In that time I have put 17,231 miles on my car, compared with 30,686 miles in the first 14 weeks of my “Northwest” trip last year.


Wildfire update

No photo.

I have been keeping an eye on wildfire activity and there is still no immediate threat to my journey.  In two days I am heading up to the northern end of the Olympic Peninsula and will spend some time there visiting Olympic National Park.  There is a fire there in the southeast part of the Park, but the roads I will be on are in the extreme northern part so while there may be some visibility and air quality issues, I don’t expect any problems.

Tuesday, when I was away from the water, the visibility in southwest Washington was noticeably worse than it was the day before.  There are two fires east of Portland, near the Columbia River and I thought maybe it was coming up from there (they are not very far away from where I am) but a couple visiting the area told me yesterday that they saw on the TV news that this smoke is coming down from Canada, as it did when I visited Oregon last year.

The Carr Fire near Redding California is now at 211,038 acres but is growing very slowly and the city appears to be out of danger.  The Mendocino Complex, down near Ukiah, CA where I spent a few nights, is still growing and is now the largest fire in California history.  Largely rural, there haven’t been nearly as many homes lost as there were with the Carr Fire.

And Yosemite has reopened to visitors.  I looked at their webcams yesterday and while still not ideal, visibility is much better than when that fire first started.

Looking forward, there is a fire in Glacier National Park in northwest Montana but while I will be passing by near there I don’t think it will affect me.  There are lots of smaller fires in northern Idaho and western Montana and while I won’t be there until early September I will continue to keep an eye on things.

Westport, Washington

Tuesday I drove up and spent a good part of the day in this harbor town a short distance from where I’m staying in Grayland, Washington.  As I determined shortly after I arrived, it is a big fishing port.  This was the part of the harbor I saw first, with almost all the boats docked being fishing boats of various sizes.



One of the largest I saw was the Sea Clipper, which appeared to be unloading it’s bounty.


It appeared that large conveyor belts were moving the fish to a series of red and blue plastic containers:


Of course when I took that the flow of fish had stopped.  There was a guy shoveling huge amounts of ice into the containers to keep the fish cold, and another guy was driving a forklift, moving the, then very heavy, containers to a warehouse.  Here come more fish…



Near where I was watching all this, these guys were putting their private fishing boat back on it’s trailer:



The name of their boat?


And I saw this makeshift sign near the boat ramp:


After spending a little more time watching the activity in that part of the harbor I drove out to the main part of town where there are some small motels and several restaurants.  I learned that that is where personal pleasure boats are docked and the harbor was much bigger than I first thought.  This is from a 3-story tall observation platform located at the end of the main street through town:


That platform also gave me a great view of Grays Harbor, and all the fishing boats coming and going.  There was also a huge cargo ship, the Longview Logger, anchored out in the harbor.  It looked very much like the ship I saw being loaded with logs down in Coos Bay, Oregon.


And I saw this tugboat, pulling a barge:


There is a Maritime Museum in town:


And of course there were shorebirds:


There were a few seagulls in the mix but these were mostly Brandt’s cormorants (with black bills) and Double-Crested cormorants (with yellow bills).


Wednesday I will be driving around to the northeast side of Grays Harbor and will be staying near the town of Hoquiam.


Grays Harbor lighthouse

Tuesday I drove up towards Westport, Washington and stopped at this lighthouse a short distance south of town.  When it was built in 1898 it was only 400 feet from the ocean but the coastline has been built up as part of a jetty to protect Grays Harbor (one of the few outer-coast harbors in Washington) so it is now about 3,000 feet from the water.  At 107 feet in height it is the tallest lighthouse in the state and the third tallest on the west coast.



In 1992 the original light and lens inside the tower was replaced with another type of light (which you can see at the left, near the top of the tower in the second photo above) which only utilizes a 35 watt bulb but, with magnification, can be seen 19 miles out at sea!  The original lens is still inside the tower and in 2004 the lighthouse ownership was handed over to a local historical society.  They open the facility for tours on weekends.