Filed under: books, Columbia River Basalt, flood erosion, floods and high water, Geology guide books, glacial geology, guided field trips | Tagged: Bruce Bjornstad, channeled scablands, Gene Kiver, Geology guide books, Missoula Floods, Washington Geology | Leave a Comment »
The annual round of landslides has begun along Chuckanut Drive (Washington Highway 11). The road was closed yesterday evening due to the first rockfall of the season. I just returned from an effort to get photos.
The road is closed to southbound traffic 1/2 mile south of the Clayton Beach trailhead; the rockfall I saw is about another 1/2 mile further south. I found a small pile of rocks across the road at about mile post 13.5. It is not by any means an impressive slide, but there is a report of another one further south. I couldn’t verify that. No sign of clean up efforts yet. I didn’t tarry- there were a number of head-sized rocks on the road behind me, and I didn’t want to become a headline. Quick photos and I was gone. A story I wrote last year about the geology behind these annual events is posted here.
Water is high and muddy in Chuckanut Creek as it races through Arroyo Park at the southern edge of Bellingham. Worth a look-see if you are wanting an excuse to get out on this wet day. The stream gage at the footbridge says 3.5 feet. This is not by any means an epic flood, the water is not even over the trail (yet) but fun nonetheless. The high water ought to flush the last of the stinking fish carcasses out of the creek, at least. A video I took of high water in the creek is posted here on YouTube.
A new geologic field trip explores the narrow gorge on almost unknown City of Bellingham land in Silver Creek. There are fine examples of sedimentary crossbeds, concretions, coal, and a big conglomerate bed in Chuckanut Formation rock. The creek was scoured of brush and sediment by the January 7 2009 pineapple express. The hike begins at the North Lake Samish exit on I-5, and is about 2 miles round trip. There’s no trail in the gorge, but it is not a difficult trip. I’ve included links to YouTube videos of the flooding. Perfect for a few hours of fun. Oh, I forgot to mention the beautiful hidden waterfall!