By Bob Spiwak
The weather the past week has been sunny and oh-so-cold for this time of year. Our low was 7 degrees and it has been a while since we got above freezing other than in the direct sun. I believe the temperature rose to 34 one day in the shade. Up at Harts Pass, there was apparently no significant snow and it has retained a level of 11 inches. The snow/water content is low and this could be a sign of another dry year for runoff. It’s still way too early to make predictions, and I am not a prognosticator.
On Tuesday, Nov. 11, the annual Veterans Day commemoration took place at the Mazama Store. Maybe 25 people attended, which was nice, and among the veterans at least three were missing — two in Arizona and one in Oregon. Also, our annual trombone player had somehow been drafted by the Methow Valley Senior Center affair in Twisp.
We missed you, Frank.
The new, larger flag was hoisted and it is a beauty. This is a comparative comment because the existing banner, while star-spangled, had begun to resemble the original flag at Fort McHenry only without the holes of cannon fire. Francis Scott Key was inspired by that banner, wrote the poem, and some years later it was adopted as our national anthem.
If the forecasts are correct, the new flag should have its first taste of snow about the time this paper hits the newsstands. There were a few flakes falling in Mazama shortly before the ceremonies at the store. Up on Rainy and Washington passes, it was more significant, a matter of 2 or 3 inches, but enough apparently to cause several spinouts up there. No known injuries. It is that time of year.
The question in a lot of minds, especially on the coast, is whether the pass will be open for Thanksgiving weekend. I’m inclined to think that the fires and floods of the past summer have eaten a significant hole in the Washington State Department of Transportation budget, and as soon as reasonable (or maybe before) the pass will be shut down.
Big doings ahead for West Boesel, possibly next summer. From a hitherto reliable source we heard the Yakama Tribe will be constructing a new fish channel. It will begin on the old Fender Mill site, just this side of the Weeman Bridge, and go from there to the river. I was told that it would be buried deep in the earth, and a large perforated culvert — possibly over 10 feet deep and very wide — will harvest ground water, This, according to a SLIME informant, is comparable to what is going on with the irrigation ditch south of here. We’ll be keeping tabs on the project — it’s right across the road.
It makes sense insofar as the water will not be withdrawn from the flowing river, and West Boesel has one of, if not the highest, water tables in the upper valley. When we had out well drilled, water was hit at about 4 feet.