Winter Storms Creating Havoc with COASST Surveys

We haven’t had quite the cold weather we usually get but the wind has been remorselessly beating up Washington and playing havoc with our attempts to get to our beach for a COASST survey

Havoc at the Scott’s Bluff

The trail out to our COASST survey beach is an undertaking under the best of circumstances. Add in cold temperatures and wind and it’s now exponentially harder. Arrive to find that, despite the low tide, surf is crashing into the beached logs making it impossible to do any survey and you can imagine the frustration.

We haven’t had quite the cold weather we usually get but the wind has been remorselessly beating up Washington and playing havoc with our attempts to get to our beach for a COASST survey
Wearing a smaile despite the high winds and heavy weather, Theresa getting ready to make her descent down Scotts Bluff.

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It’s been like this the last 3 months in a row! That’s a lot of miles hiked and energy expended just to turn around and start the climb back up Scott’s Bluff. Mind you, I’m not trying to whine…I’d rather be doing that than sitting on my couch, but I’d rather get the surveys accomplished too.

Heavy winds during our winter storms here in the northwest aren’t new. However, in the thirty plus years I’ve lived here I can’t remember having so many back-to-back in one season. This has
resulted in hundreds of thousands of customer losing power and a handful of fatalities. We’ve even had a rare tornado move through one of our rural areas.

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Starting our descent from the top of Scotts Bluff down to the beach.
Along with the heavy winds comes the storm surge that has recently been keeping us off the beach.

Last month, during our attempt I lost count of the number of blowdowns on the windward side of Scott’ Bluff. Our first night in camp we clocked winds of 45 knots; make for an interesting night trying to get any sleep. At one point there were over half a dozen trees blocking our trail. I can only
hope that this months attempt with be successful.

I’ve planned our attempt during a negative tide to increase our chances, but I’m not holding my breath.

Trail Camera’s left on the Trail

Despite the setbacks on the surveys and totally unrelated to the COASST survey’s, we did deploy 2 trail cameras along the path. I’m hoping to capture the cougar that I keep finding signs left behind by his passing.

I left a single camera on the trail earlier this year and did capture quite a few Roosevelt Elk (Cevus canadensis) and Black-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) but no cat. Hopefully, I’ll be successful on both accounts this go around.

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