Journey on the Cowlitz

By The Chronicle & SeeSouthwestWA.com

Author: Eric Schwartz (Page 1 of 2)

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.

Read More
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.

Read More
Cowlitz Falls Dam is seen on Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cowlitz Falls Dam: Low Flows, High Fish Counts

Near-Record Numbers: Lewis County PUD’s Cowlitz Facility Generates a Third of Power Used by Customers

Project manager of the Cowlitz Falls Dam, Joe First, shows the blueprint for the project. The dam became operational in 1994 and supplies about 30 percent of Lewis County PUD's power.

Project manager of the Cowlitz Falls Dam, Joe First, shows the blueprint for the project. The dam became operational in 1994 and supplies about 30 percent of Lewis County PUD’s power.

COWLITZ RIVER — There’s a fine balance to the work being done at the Cowlitz Falls Dam.

The facility, owned by the Lewis County Public Utilities District, generates enough electricity for 30 percent of the county’s PUD customers while also striving to help salmon recovery efforts through a number of partnerships.Read More

USGS hydrologic techinicians Tom McKenna, left, and  Dan Restivo, collect information on the water flow of the Cowlitz River below the Cowlitz Falls Dam on Tuesday morning.

USGS Measurements Help Inform on Cowlitz River Flows

On the River: Information Used for a Broad Array of Applications

USGS hydrologic techinicians Tom McKenna, left, and  Dan Restivo, collect information on the water flow of the Cowlitz River below the Cowlitz Falls Dam on Tuesday morning.

USGS hydrologic techinicians Tom McKenna, left, and Dan Restivo, collect information on the water flow of the Cowlitz River below the Cowlitz Falls Dam on Tuesday morning.

COWLITZ RIVER — About a quarter of a mile below the Lewis County Public Utility District’s Cowlitz Falls Dam, three workers from the U.S. Geological Survey slowly comb from one side of Riffe Lake to the other, blanketing the water with sound.… Read More

Scanned photo 1

Underwater Towns of the Cowlitz River

Beneath Riffe Lake: Several Formerly Thriving Communities Are Now Submerged Memories

Scanned photo 1Underneath the waters of Lewis County’s largest lake lie the former townsites of Kosmos, Nesika and Riffe, the town that gave the lake its name (although it took a few years. More on that later).

For the better part of the 20th century, until construction of the new direct highway between Mossyrock and Randle in the 1960s, the town of Riffe was the crossroad between Mossyrock, Morton and the Big Bottom country of the upper Cowlitz. Read More

Boats are moored in the marina of the Mayfield Lake Resort on Thursday afternoon near Silver Creek.

Lake Mayfield Resort Offers Ample Opportunities in a Small Space

Oasis: The Resort Near Mayfield Dam Accommodates Gatherings and Boaters Alike

Diane Harris, of Chehalis, takes a picture of a Tiger Muskie hiding underneath the bow of a moored boat at the Mayfield Resort on Thursday afternoon.

Diane Harris, of Chehalis, takes a picture of a Tiger Muskie hiding underneath the bow of a moored boat at the Mayfield Resort on Thursday afternoon.

During a long career as a globe-trotting helicopter pilot, Dannie Richardson stayed at a lot of RV Parks.

He liked them so much, he thought it would be fun to own one himself. Now, a little more than a year after officially retiring, and about four years into owning the Lake Mayfield Resort and Marina, he’s just as busy as ever.Read More

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