Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dry Creek

The beach begins at the Elwha and ends at the tip of Ediz Hook -- at least in a simple, first-order conveyor belt of gravel, kind of way -- which is probably a little too simple. The central portion, between the eastern edge of the historic delta and the base of Ediz Hook, consists of 5 km of steep bluff. Dry Creek is in the middle.


From the Elwha to the ravine at aptly named Dry Creek, the bluffs are unarmored and the beach is wild. From Dry Creek to Port Angeles, things are a mess. The waterline was buried in the beach below the bluffs, but has subsequently been exposed by erosion and is now a 3km reach of riprap and sheet pile, below bluffs that continue to erode, albeit slower than they once did. Maybe it's fortunate that this beach is hard to access and most folks in town don't realize how bad it looks. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of this stretch to share in this post. I'll come back sometime.

The real highlight of this stretch, however, is the landfill immediately east of Dry Creek. The big wall goes back to 2006 or so and we can argue whether it's better or worse than the old refrigerators eroding out of the bank. But after the wall was built, folks discovered that maybe the eastern part of the landfill was at risk, too. The closest cell was a deep pit immediately behind the high eroding bluff. The good news is that they could have rocked the whole thing, but instead made the decision to move the vulnerable garbage out and move it landward. But in the process, they've left a remarkably bizarre landscape! And over time, this stretch will only get weirder.

There are a lot of photos of Dry Creek, the Elwha, and Ediz Hook in the blog. Searching within the blog on any of these terms should bring up earlier posts (although they sometimes bring up unexpected posts as well). Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the water line or of the landfill when the garbage was still slumping onto the beach.

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