Sunday, January 25, 2009


A few months ago, Mindy was telling me about a Geocaching adventure. You use GPS coordinates to find hidden boxes. Some boxes have trade items, others just have notebooks where you can write your name and the date. It reminds me a lot of the Orienteering and Mailboxing that I did when I lived in Ireland. I decided to look into it and thought it might be a fun way to get the girls out hiking. I bought a Garmin Etrex off Ebay for $50 and today we went on our first trial run. We found the cache near the Grays River Bridge and had lots of fun. Check out the pics. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cleaning Up

We've had sunny -- but cold -- weather here the past few days and I've spent much of it outside cleaning up the stuff that washed up in the flood. I've also started to get to work early on some of the projects around the yard that we want to do next spring. Give that it doesn't stop raining here until July, we've found it's best to start spring projects whenever the weather permits -- even if it is 30 degress. I've taken down the picket fence and cleaned up a lot of the fallen tree branches in the back yard. We've had two big burn piles and I'm working on a third. Amy's dad came over last week and cleaned up the deep silt that was still on our driveway. Pictures later this weekend.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Floodwater subsiding

Looks like the floodwaters have gone down quite a bit. Chickens are and about (and gave us an egg in the middle of the storm last night!) We got about 3 inches of water in the basement but all the important stuff is fine. The girls all have a stomach bug (Gracie started it Monday night) and so we're all flopped around in the living room watching the water.

I tried to run to the store earlier today but SR4 is closed at Seal River and at Skomokawa. There are some major slides in the Naselle area from what I hear.

Luckily we don't have anyplace to go. Dun Elsie is our fortress once again, safe from the world outside.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Still raining, and the water is still rising...

It's still raining and the water is still rising. My my marks we're at the level of the 1996 flood, which is a benchmark around here. We drove around on SR 4 and it looked like it was still passable over Seal River but we decided not to chance going to town and risk not being able to get back home.

That was smart -- we just got word Seal River is completely flooded. Sounds like there's a lot of water in Naselle too. One of Lindsay's friends is now over visiting because her mom couldn't get back across Seal River.

We're still fine here. It's strange with no traffic on the road ... just the odd truck cruising around looking at the high water. Grays River is completely impassable. Back home, I had to cut a trail around the picket fence so that we could get to the truck -- the water on the driveway is now too high for our boots. In the basement, we have about two inches of water that has seeped up through the floor. WE keep everything up high and so there's no damage. Our wood supply and pellets are elevated as is everything else -- and it all drains right back out through the floor as soon as the ground around the house is less saturated.

High Water

First photos of the flood are up. I'll be adding more as things go on. At about 10:00 am the water started coming up fast and the school called to say they were sending kids home. The bus driver told me that she had to drive through water on SR4 to get to our house "and I don't think it's done coming up yet." 

Our cars are moved to high ground and the garage and driveway are underwater. The house is high and dry as always. The weatherman says this sort of storm system hasn't been seen since the big flood of 1996 -- we'll see how it goes as the day goes on. Should peak about 4 p.m. this afternoon. 

I get all the news I need from the weather report...

The headline is a quote from a Paul Simon song and just about sums up the news in Grays River today. We received more than an inch of rain last night and they are expecting another 4-5 inches of rain over the next 24 hours. The fields are flooded out in front of the house and the radio reported that Grays River is expected to peak at five feet above flood stage at 17.6 feet this afternoon. Don't worry, we'll all still be high and dry and watching the water go by. We've got power, the wood stove and plenty of food so no worries.

Amazingly, thus far Portland and the valley has had more flooding with the now melt that we had here at the house. I guess the Grays is better built to take it  -- that and we don't have storm drains to get clogged like they do in the city. 

Looks like I completely forgot to post Christmas pics. Here are few below. I'll get some flood pics on line later today.