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Hugh Shipman
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Beach Wonk
Beach Wonk

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Finally caught up on last week's brief foray to Monterey Bay and Big Sur.

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May 18th and folks are sharing remembrances of 1980.  I lived in Denver, but was in Oregon for work with a free day and a rental car.  On Saturday morning (17th), I drove from Portland up into the forest roads west of Mt. St Helens.  I took this picture of the mountain - less than 24 hours before the blast.

I got close to (maybe even into?) the red zone, but eventually came out to the Toutle Valley as the convoy of evacuees from Spirit Lake drove by (they'd been allowed in to retrieve stuff, as I recall).

I was driving south from Portland Sunday morning and didn't hear about the eruption until the evening news in the bar at the hotel south of Eugene.  When I got back to Denver a few days later, there was a dusting of ash on many of the cars.
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I still like the concept of Google+, but clearly it hasn't exactly taken off. At least in my limited circles!  Back in the summer of 2011, I so hoped it would provide a viable alternative to FB.  But no one I know is here!

Meanwhile, I've just begun checking out Pinterest, which I wish I'd discovered sooner.  To me it's all about eye candy -- I'm just a sucker for cool photos of neat stuff!

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The NY Times' piece on Wednesday's landslide at Ledgewood Beach on Whidbey. They've done a nice job with the before and after photos.

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I spent this afternoon on Whidbey, exploring the brand new, and really big, landslide up at Ledgewood Beach.  More on the blog.  http://gravelbeach.blogspot.com/

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Someone asked me today what storm surge was.  Here's what it looks like right now at the Battery in NYC.  Low pressure, plus the influence of strong onshore wind, leads to water levels much higher than normal.  This evening's high tide is coming in 9' (or more) above the predicted high tide!
Here's the link to the tide gauge:  http://littleurl.info/batterytides
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There's a lot of interest in coal and coal trains these days in Western Washington.  I thought I'd share these shots taken last month (and a few last year) of trains and mines in and near the Powder River Basin.
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Coal Mines, Coal Trains (41 photos)
41 Photos - View album

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I took advantage of the kayak and another beautiful Saturday to check out some beaches I'd never visited before - these were on Hope Island in northern Skagit Bay.
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