Trojan Cooling Tower Implosion 9th Anniversary

Nine years ago on this day, May 21, 2006, the 499-foot cooling tower at the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant stood along the Columbia River near Rainier, Oregon, crumbled to the ground in a controlled demolition. I was there to photograph the implosion with my Nikon D70 dSLR camera and my Sony Hi-8 video camera. Sadly, my D70 encountered a firmware failure two minutes prior to the implosion. Talk about bad timing for Murphy’s Law.

Kickstarter fundraising for Milwaukie public bike repair station

Bike Milwaukie March 2015A bike repair stand could have been convenient for me a few times in downtown Milwaukie. I snapped a chain on the new Trolley Trail light rail alignment. I blew a tire rolling out of city hall on a Bike Milwaukie group bike ride.

Bike Milwaukie launched a Kickstarter campaign today to raise funds for the bicycle repair stand. The stand includes repair tools, a bike pump, spare tools, and a rack for supporting the bike. Backers can contribute $5 or more and receive perks based on the amount backed (or option selected).

The campaign has to raise $2,600 by June 18, 2015, 12:13 PM PDT. So far the campaign raised $705 at the time of this post was published.

The Milwaukie City Council approved at the March 17, 2015, regular council meeting 4 to 1 to allow the bike repair station to be installed at Milwaukie City Hall next to the kiosk. It’s location is next to a transit center and the site of Milwaukie Farmer’s Market. City of Milwaukie would own and maintain the station.

Councilor Scott Churchill voted nay, stating that it should be along the Trolley Trail, which is across SE McLoughlin Blvd.

I made my contribution today. You can go to Kickstarter to contribute right now!

Mt. St. Helens Eruption’s 35th Anniversary

Mt. St. Helens - Johnston RidgeToday marked Mt. St. Helens eruption’s 35th anniversary. I traveled to Johnston Ridge Observatory for some photos of the sleeping beauty.

Admission was free to the observatory for the anniversary. Being on a Monday, not too many people were at the site. What was following behind me on WA 504 was another story: six school buses filled with students.

The crowd doesn’t appease me, so I wandered off down Boundary Trail and  explored a little bit. The weather building up and thunderstorms in the forecast meant I had to keep this little adventure short and sweet.

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Mt. St. Helens Eruption, Oct. 1, 2004

Mt. St. Helens Eruption, Oct. 1, 2004 In late September of 2004, the mountain started to quake. Swarms of earthquakes baffled scientists. Would the mountain re-awaken?

On the morning of October 1, 2004, I drove to Windy Ridge at the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. This is the site where Mt. St. Helens leveled the pristine Northwest forest in one simple blast on the morning of May 18, 1980 at 8:32 a.m. Pacific Time.

I was driving on Forest Road 99, passing Cascade Peaks, and seeing the mountain silently sit under the blue sky. Mt. St. Helens disappeared behind the ridges as the road twisted its way through the hills.

The mountain reappeared. I remember the time: 12:03 p.m. A small plume emits from the volcano’s crater. I stopped to take a photo and the finish the last few miles of driving to Windy Ridge.

The plume grew bigger. I reached Windy Ridge. I shot some more photos as the mountain continued to cough out some ash and steam. Then the eruption ended around 12:20 p.m.

I hung around for a little bit until the U.S. Forest Service evacuated the area. Later, Forest Road 99 was closed at Cascade Peaks 6 miles to the east.

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Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival 2015

Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival 2015The 32nd Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival happened this weekend at Carter Bridge east of Estacada, Oregon. The weather turned out partly sunny and decent in the upper 50s. The river flowed around 850 cubic feet per second, according to the USGS Three Lynx gauge upstream. My work schedule meant that I could only attend Sunday.

Sunday’s events included whitewater volleyball, inflatable and hard shell kayak slalom, drift boat slalom, and stand-up paddle board slalom. The slalom course consists of eight gates staggered over the river. Missing the gate will earn the participant a penalty. Drift boaters had an exception to skip Gate 2 and paddle boarders were only required to negotiate odd-numbered gates. The boaters and paddlers looked like they had a great time, despite a few did take a swim.

I enjoyed a hot mocha and Chinese food served from a grill in the vendor area as much as I enjoyed watching and photographing the boaters and paddlers.

The Clackamas River is a public waterway and does not close to the public during the event. The boaters in my photos are combination of registered participants and recreational boaters.

Carter Falls is a Class III or IV, depending on the flow level. Carter Falls is a nice play spot 40 miles east of Milwaukie on Ore. 224.

This really motivates me to get back into whitewater kayaking.

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