Discovery Trail 2

Nice weather last weekend brought lots of people out to the Olympic Discovery Trail. The trail, planned to traverse over 120 miles across the Olympic Peninsula, was begun in the 1990s. Over 50 miles of the trail have been completed. Walkers, runners and bicyclists favor this popular route.

Discovery Trail

This stretch of trail looks empty. That’s only because the groups of bicyclists on the trail here zipped by faster than I could catch them.

Daily eagle

There have been more eagles around these days. The day before I saw this one I had the pleasure of watching one in flight from my kitchen window. Earlier on this day I also spied a kestrel perched on a wire. And the local harriers have seemed more active. More signs of spring, perhaps?

Grain elevator

Sequim’s historic grain elevator is the tallest structure in town. The base of the structure was built in 1929 as a storage warehouse; the grain elevator was completed in 1945. It operated as the old Clallam Co-Op until 1977. More recently it was home to El Cazador Restaurant which closed a couple of years ago. In 2014 auctions were planned to sell off the foreclosed property and there was talk of the Museum and Arts Center (MAC) acquiring it. Last July there was news of a “pending offer” to purchase it but I’ve seen nothing since.

This view of the elevator on a clear day shows the Cascade Mountains in the distance to the east.

RR Bridge walkers

The historic trestle of the Railroad Bridge is a beautiful structure. Yesterday I showed you the damaged portion, part of the bridge that extends west from the trestle. This is the main bridge. It has pilings driven deep into the river substrate that are buffered by concrete. Supports for the damaged part of the bridge are not as deep and robust.

RR Bridge X

This portion of the bridge also has strong, towering support above…which, of course, is eye candy for anyone looking for strong geometry.

RR Bridge trestle

This is a longer view of the trestle.

The bridge transits the Dungeness River which drops down from the Olympic Mountains in a steep 7,300 foot fall over 32 miles. It is the second steepest river in the United States.

Broken bridge

Early this month flood debris damaged the western part of the Railroad Bridge, a popular link in the Olympic Discovery Trail. For a couple of weeks the entire bridge was closed, although the landmark railroad trestle portion of the bridge is intact. Then fencing was constructed at either end of the damaged span to allow viewing and walking on the eastern trestle. Vandals promptly destroyed the fencing, which was quickly replaced. Yesterday I peered through the new fencing (which now has video monitoring) to catch this shot of the broken portion of the bridge.

Debris field

Here’s the debris field just upstream of the bridge. It’s not hard to see how the bridge was undermined. This portion of the river, also, had been a secondary flow. In the course of the flooding the river channel shifted to flow more vigorously under this western side of the bridge.

The Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, which owns the bridge, plans to redesign, repair and reopen it. As you can see, they have their work cut out for them and there’s no estimate yet on how long this will take. In the meantime, trail users are detoured around this stretch of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Tomorrow I’ll show you the undamaged portion of the bridge.

Pussywillows 1

I don’t mean to be cruel. So many people are virtually buried in snow. But I couldn’t resist these pussywillows.

Pussywillows 2

Several trees were covered with these puffy harbingers of spring. And the sun was out. I felt like a honeybee striking it rich.

Pussywillows 3

With all due respect to Jimi Hendrix,’scuse me while I kiss the sky.