Journey on the Cowlitz

By The Chronicle & SeeSouthwestWA.com

Month: June 2015 (Page 1 of 3)

news.150521.cowlitz.aerials.phc0393

The View From Above: Scouting the Cowlitz River

Journey on the Cowlitz, The Chronicle, June 2, 2015 / TDC-150602-A008

Journey on the Cowlitz, The Chronicle, June 2, 2015 / TDC-150602-A008

The View from Above the Basin

news.150528.cowlitz.aerials.upper.phc0867From about 1,500 feet up, the cities of Lewis County look like toy villages built into the threadbare patches of an old scrunched-up shag rug. Descend any lower and humanity’s imprint becomes more real and you see how we’ve imposed a geometric order over the natural world. Trees, like green starburst sentinels, stand in checkerboard formations, often abutting sprawling green fields or housing developments at the edge of town.… Read More

Cowlitz River Hatchery Production Plan Sees Little Change

Attendees at a Cowlitz Fisheries Annual Project Review Meeting listen to officials from Tacoma Power and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at Wednesday at Centralia College.

Attendees at a Cowlitz Fisheries Annual Project Review Meeting listen to officials from Tacoma Power and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at Wednesday at Centralia College.

The number of hatchery salmon and steelhead released in the Cowlitz River isn’t going to change much from the implemented 2014 plan to the draft 2015 plan, officials said at a Wednesday night meeting in Centralia.

The most notable change is a 25,000 boost to summer-run steelhead released, increasing from 625,000 to 650,000 under the Fisheries and Hatchery Management Plan.… Read More

Clouds settle above the Nisqually River at Mount Rainier National Park on Tuesday, June 2, 2015.

Day 1: Glacial Views? The Picture Is Fuzzy

Heavy Clouds and Friendly Scientists Greet Cowlitz Explorers

Editor’s Note: Chronicle Reporter Dameon Pesanti and Visuals Editor Pete Caster have begun their trip down the Cowlitz River. They began on Mount Rainier Tuesday, and will finish at the Columbia River in the next two weeks. The duo plans to begin rafting Friday.

Runoff from the Nisqually Glacier trickles down the mountain side on Tuesday, June 6, 2015 at Mount Rainier National Park.

Runoff from the Nisqually Glacier trickles down the mountain side on Tuesday, June 6, 2015 at Mount Rainier National Park.

Not everything goes as planned, and sometimes that’s for the better.… Read More

Mount Rainier National Park Regional Geomorphologist Paul Kennard, center, stands in the basin near the Nisqually River while explaining how excess sediment has widened the river bed on Tuesday afternoon at the national park. The excess sediment has caused the river bed to rise drastically which damages trees along the sides of the river bed along with causing road damage to Route 706, the main road in the park that leads to Paradise.

Journey on the Cowlitz: Glacial Beginnings

Imagine prehistoric glaciers carving the land we call Lewis County almost like a child scraping a groove through a sandbox.

Roughly 35,000 years ago, long valley-filling glaciers extended from the Mount Rainier area into what is now Silver Creek near Mayfield Lake.

Mount Rainier National Park Regional Geomorphologist Paul Kennard, center, stands in the basin near the Nisqually River while explaining how excess sediment has widened the river bed on Tuesday afternoon at the national park. The excess sediment has caused the river bed to rise drastically which damages trees along the sides of the river bed along with causing road damage to Route 706, the main road in the park that leads to Paradise.

Mount Rainier National Park Regional Geomorphologist Paul Kennard, center, stands in the basin near the Nisqually River while explaining how excess sediment has widened the river bed on Tuesday afternoon at the national park.

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The Ohanapecosh River
Thursday, June 4, 2015

Early Reflections: Cowlitz Offers Stunning Scenery as River Journey Begins

Editor’s Note: Reporter Dameon Pesanti and Visuals Editor Pete Caster are traveling the entirety of the 105-mile Cowlitz River.

Day 2: The Wild Roots of the Cowlitz River

In this photo taken with a long exposure, water runs down a creek that feeds into the Ohanapecosh River Thursday, June 4, 2015

In this photo taken with a long exposure, water runs down a creek that feeds into the Ohanapecosh River
Thursday, June 4, 2015

As they say, the devil fools with the best laid plans. Pete and I planned on getting to the office early and finishing our work by noon to get to Mount Rainier National Park fast on Wednesday.Read More

The La Wis Wis Forest Service Station sits unoccupied while under restoration on Thursday morning at the La Wis Wis Campground five miles east of Packwood.

Public Invited to Learn About Historic La Wis Wis Guard Station East of Packwood

Volunteers Working on Restoring Station Beginning Monday

The La Wis Wis Forest Service Station sits unoccupied while under restoration on Thursday morning at the La Wis Wis Campground five miles east of Packwood.

The La Wis Wis Forest Service Station sits unoccupied while under restoration on Thursday morning at the La Wis Wis Campground five miles east of Packwood.

Volunteers at the La Wis Wis Campground east of Packwood will soon continue on-site work for a multi-year restoration project to the historic guard station at the recreation area.

While the opportunity to volunteer on the project has closed, interested people are invited to visit the 78-year-old guard station to witness the rehabilitation in person and celebrate the National Historic Preservation Act’s 50th anniversary.Read More

Buzzards gather on the shore of the Cowlitz River to feast on dead fish just south of U.S. Highway 12 between Packwood and Randle Sunday afternoon.

Journey on the Cowlitz: Sharp Logs, Big Bends and Hot Sun

Editor’s Note: Reporter Dameon Pesanti and Visuals Editor Pete Caster are traveling from the headwaters of the Cowlitz River to its confluence with the Columbia River in Longview. Follow their journey online at Cowlitz.SeesouthwestWa.com. They are also posting regularly to Twitter (@JourneyCowlitz) and Instagram (journey_on_the_cowlitz).

Friday-Saturday, June 5-6: A Long Day’s Float Followed a Campground So Sweet

Dameon Pesanti pulls the raft off of a gravel bar after a short lunch break Sunday afternoon while traveling on the Cowlitz River between Packwood and Randle.

Dameon Pesanti pulls the raft off of a gravel bar after a short lunch break Sunday afternoon while traveling on the Cowlitz River between Packwood and Randle.

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Patty Dills, who owns Cascade Peaks Campground with her husband, Fred, points to a map of where the Cowlitz River has eroded away at their property on Saturday afternoon east of Randle.

Cozy Camping at Cascade Peaks on U.S. Highway 12

Facilities: Park Along the Cowlitz Offers Freedom and Ease

Patty and Fred Dills

Patty and Fred Dills

Cascade Peaks Family Campground gives people an opportunity to take in the slow pace of the wilderness.

The owners, Fred and Patty Dills, are a kindly couple in their 70s, who rather than rest on their laurels in their twilight years, decided to purchase the 83-acre RV resort about three years ago and turn it into a true campground. Even though they could have relaxed in their later years, buying a campground was a longtime dream for Patty.Read More

Victor Khvoroff stands amongst wooden debris that floodwaters from the Cowlitz River has deposited onto his ranch.

Cowlitz River Continues to Wander, Causing a Rancher Woes

“ … I don’t want the money, I want the dirt. It’s more valuable to me than money. I would build a critter pad for the floods … ”

Victor Khvoroff stands amongst wooden debris that floodwaters from the Cowlitz River has deposited onto his ranch.

Victor Khvoroff stands amongst wooden debris that floodwaters from the Cowlitz River has deposited onto his ranch.

Nothing along to the Cowlitz River is safe from the water’s corrosive tendencies, and few people know that as well as Victor Khvoroff.

Khvoroff’s land sits on what are called government lots, meaning that as the river moves, the boundaries of his property changes, unlike those of surveyed lots which are static no matter what a waterway may do.Read More

Dena Niemi, of Glenoma, left, and her friend, Kim LaFrance, of Mineral, were planning on going paddle boarding on Riffe Lake on Tuesday evening, but their plans were altered because of the choppiness of the water. Instead the pair set out lawn chairs and enjoyed the sunset.

Journey on the Cowlitz: From Randle to Riffe

Monday, June 8: Randle to Scanewa Is Hot, Flat, Beautiful and Tiresome

Editor’s Note: Reporter Dameon Pesanti and Visuals Editor Pete Caster are traveling from the headwaters of the Cowlitz River to its confluence with the Columbia River in Longview. Follow their journey online on Twitter (@JourneyCowlitz) and Instagram (journey_on_the_cowlitz).

Damean takes a break from rowing on Monday afternoon to check his phone for service while outside of Randle. Monday's hot weather mixed with the river current slowing to a near halt and a nasty headwind made for a tough day on the river.

Damean takes a break from rowing on Monday afternoon to check his phone for service while outside of Randle. Monday’s hot weather mixed with the river current slowing to a near halt and a nasty headwind made for a tough day on the river.

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