Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

Wednesday, Aug. 21, was our first rainy day in quite a while…and with it came our first power outage of the soon-to-be fall season. A tree fell and broke a wire that evening, putting half of Cape Meares out of service. Service to the other half had to be taken down temporarily to fix the problem. Altogether, power was out for about 90 minutes. That’s just long enough to make us appreciate what we have day to day. Thank you, Tillamook PUD, for hustling out here and fixing the outages as soon as possible.

They’ve done it again! Carolyn Ollikainen and Karen Walz teamed up for a fabulous outdoor adventure. They, along with a niece and cousin-in-law from Carolyn’s family, hiked 36 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington. The foursome hiked half of the section between Steven’s Pass and Snoqualmie Pass. Carolyn said the bonding among the four was one of the best parts of the trip. Karen described the trip as “gorgeous and grueling.”

The four women backpacked for four days and three nights. Their packs were 30 pounds and they had all the essentials; what else would you expect with a Girl Scout leader (Karen) in the group? They needed mosquito netting over their faces while cooking and hung their food in trees where the wildlife couldn’t get it. While they didn’t see cougars or bears, another hiker they ran into along the trail had seen cougars. Fortunately, the standard advice to look big and carry bear spray kept those two cougars at bay.

As for the gorgeous part, the scenery along the trail was spectacular. There was Indian paintbrush up to their waist and beautiful green trees towering over them. At one point, they saw military jets flying—below them! They were hiking between 4,000 and 6,000 feet.

Despite some blisters and bruised toenails from going up and down hills and bruised arms from putting on the heavy packs, Karen and Carolyn enjoyed their adventure tremendously and are looking forward to covering another part of the trail next summer.

With summer waning, coasties’ thoughts turn to fall. The crab should be fuller, the salmon running, and elk and deer in the forests. Time to stock the freezer for the winter to come! We’ll cover tips for some of these outdoor activities here and in the next couple of columns.

Crabbing is best when the difference between low and high tides is small. Put your crab pots, traps or rings in water 8’ or deeper. Mark your buoys with a distinctive pattern so they will be easy to spot and pick up. Use fresh bait: fish carcasses, clams, or turkey legs. Go early in the morning, both for the ease of getting in and out of the boat ramp as well as for a better catch ratio. Know the boys from the girls (you may keep only male crab) and have a crab measurer handy. If Dungeness are in short supply, keep some red rock crab; they are tasty, too. Enjoy your crab dinner!

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