Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

That holiday blast of wintry weather meant trouble on the roads for a lot of locals. Jerry and Sonya Thompson’s grandson was leaving Cape Meares after a Christmas visit when he encountered a car in the ditch on the north side of Bayocean Road, right after the dike road, and another vehicle trying to pull it out. However, neither driver had put out road flares or cones, so that when the Thompsons’ grandson came around that blind corner, he had to swerve to avoid the other cars. That put his car into the ditch on the south side of the road! He had to call Burden’s Towing to pull him out. Be sure to carry flares in your vehicles, folks, and use them when needed.

The Smiths ran into road trouble on their way home after Christmas in the valley with their family. They were up on Highway 6, near the summit, and saw car after car in the ditch—including a police car that someone had hit. While they waited patiently in a long line to get over the hill, a black van wormed its way between the two lines of traffic, and then, of course, got stuck itself in the middle! Mike and Patti said drivers were going way too fast for the conditions.

My dear friend Judy Taylor and her husband, George, from Rockaway Beach were in a serious car accident on Highway 6 in the icy conditions on Christmas morning. Both were briefly hospitalized with injuries before being released to recover at home with the help of family. Heal up quickly, Judy and George!

The Oregon Dept. of Transportation’s trip check (tripcheck.com or call 511) is the first place to go for travel planning information. It shows views from cameras placed along the road on the major highways. Current information is also available on two Facebook pages: “Highway 6 Road Reports ( AKA Danger Mountain)” and “Tillamook County Road and Weather Updates.” Check all of these sources before your next trip to the valley.

Thank you, Tillamook County workers. The road department plowed our one entrance/egress, Bayocean Road, during December’s snow and ice. And when Cape Meares had a power outage the night of Jan. 2, PUD workers braved the raging wind and rain storm to restore power within a few hours. Kudos to you all!

It might be steelhead time for you die-hards, but the weather gets too cold for this fisherwoman. I bow out of winter steelheading and switch to beachcombing. I persuaded Capt. Pete to go out with me on New Year’s Eve. We discovered a decomposing mammal at the south end of Cape Meares beach. Jim Rice, Stranding Coordinator for Oregon State University (cell phone 541-270-6830), identified it as a California sea lion from a picture we sent him. We also found a white, oblong plastic float with a hole down the center, a foot in diameter and two feet in length. We had never found one that particular size and shape, so we brought that “treasure” home.

Happy New Year to one and all!

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