Up the Beach — Just wondering about beach stuff


The beachers don’t mind the recent rain squalls that preclude outdoor activities ‘cause this is the time to poke up the fire, get something hot to drink, stare out the window coated with the monsoon rains and wonder about stuff.

You wonder about missing folks like Sonny Beck who you used to enjoy jawboning about the north county doings at the Quinault Garage. He was always good for a few logging stories about Crane Creek, Camp 14 and Railroad Camp. He was a good guy.

You wonder about taking the back roads across the Humptulips area and wandering about until you get over to the Brady area without getting lost to see the Wynochee Eagle Scout Turnow project Nolan Johnson has finished at the Oxbow.

Even though John Turnow was gunned down in 1913, the whole story is good for a long time of wondering just who was responsible for the deaths of his nephews. You can’t walk past Sherriff McKenzie’s gun on display at Duffy’s without wondering about what you know or don’t know.

You wonder about how neat it would be to have a piece of the Grays Harbor Douglas Fir lumber from President Obama’s inauguration platform sent back to the East Coast from Sierra Pacific Lumber Co.

The honkers have always been suspender snappers about Grays Harbor timber and lumber as they relate to national affairs. Gee whiz, you can still hear the stories about the 1893 “Grays Harbor Toothpicks” sent to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, let alone subsequent World Fairs and other such honors.

Lots of folks are wondering about the University of Washington silvaculture research sites at Rayonier, Weyerhaeuser, Green Diamond, and Department of Natural Resources. Particular wonderment of how the long-term, fascinating, Quinault Indian Nation project of naturally occurring disease resistant trees relates to these genetic elite trees.

These hand-selected elite babies have been out-producing wild trees during the 10-year study. The Quinault project has been long term wonderment for all we tree nuts that really wouldn’t mind owning a copy of the findings from the Northwest Tree Improvement Cooperative. Andrea Watts’ story in the recent issue of “The Vidette” has to serve as a substitute for the local wonderers.

Trees and rain make one wonder how many Chanterelles are glowing like sunshine in the salal bushes in the hinterlands. Are they hiding out right now with the glow of oyster mushrooms, King boletus or shaggy manes in the still warm forest duff?

The woods make one wonder about the Dalmatian-looking spotted black-tailed deer wandering around down south in Pacific county. What in the heck is that all about? Skin infection? Lice? Inbreeding? Or, just Ma nature having one over on us?

We know they aren’t growing out in the coastal crab areas. But we do wonder about the commercial coastal Dungeness crab fishery delay until December 15 this year to allow improvement to the quality of crabs. Local crabbers have been putting between 300-500 pots together for the competitive opening when 50 percent of the catch will occur within the first three weeks.

By New Year, 75 percent of the nine-month season’s crustaceans will be caught and sold — good news for the winter economy. Some folks wonder about how the families of the FV Lady Cecelia’s crew are doing following the latest news about the vessel and crew due to the possibility of lines becoming caught in the craft’s propeller. As the crabbers’ lights begin to appear along the coast at night, remember to send a prayer upward for all the fisher’s safety in the horrible winter weather.

The non-native gillnetters are wondering about the effect of the Oregon-Washington joint Fish & Wildlife agencies that are finalizing the proposal to further regulate gillnets on the Columbia River. The fishers are asking to slow down the process and to take more public input. They fear allocations will be moved away from the gillnetters and to the sports fishers on the river. Beachers don’t have to wonder very long about that issue — just ask one of them.

A lot of clammers are wondering just what in the doggone minute is going on inside the flatlander walls in Olympia at the Fish & Wildlife office over the management decisions relating to clams — particularly razors. Messing with razors on the North Beach is serious stuff. The demand is growing for more transparency in the current process.

One thing no one seems to wonder about what is Dan Ayers’ (WDFW razor clam biologist) role in this. The consensus of opinion, all up and down the southwest coastline, is to treat the locals the same way Ayres does — with respect, facts, education and caring. While beachers may be ornery folks, they are loyal to those who treat them well.

Winter foggy storms brought the Tin Pan Mary (Tin Pansian Mauru) ashore about this time of year in 1924 to the delight of sand pounders who quickly cumshawed as much of the ship’s supplies, fittings and anything else they could lay hands on before the salvagers showed up.

One thing they didn’t take home was the rats that swam ashore, which is another wintertime wonder about. The rats bred with the local rats and so not only does the area have its own hybrid gull but has its own hybrid rat, as well. They kinda look like a Norwegian rat wearing a guinea pig fur coat.

Gerald Fish at the Copalis Post Office probably wished they had cumshawed this writer after not including all the facts in the last column on the Postal Service hearing on local rural post offices. To clarify matters, the Copalis Crossing Post office is open eight hours a day and two hours on Saturday in its usual place of business and it will remain so until September 14, 2014, when its status will be reviewed. The Village Post Office at Voss’s can only sell stamps and accept flat rate parcels.

Fish says the long range plans call for cutting the smaller post office services to only the time it takes to put the mail out; therefore folks will have to drive to Ocean Shores to conduct mail business such as money orders, certified mailing, weigh and apply postage on parcels. However, if the installation of gang boxes (12 to a unit) occurs, mail would come out of the Copalis Post office via carrier, and folks would be standing out in the weather waiting to get their mail. They would have to go to Copalis for anything requiring a signature or to pick up a parcel. But, hey, they will still pay the same amount for their box rent.

Folks up near the northern county line will also be able to make their voice heard at their post offices at 6 p.m. Dec. 6. Bet they aren’t wondering what they are going to say about possible changes!

So, there it is. Turn off the TV, watch the rain slide down the window. Be thankful you are hearing rain fall on the roof over your head and not on you. Just think, all you really have to wonder about is: “Is it really time for Christmas?”

You may contact Gene Woodwick at genewoodwick@coastaccess.com.