Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, January 08, 2020, Page 5, Image 5

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    Appeal Tribune
A kayak loaded up for a trip to one of the boat-in, or dispersed campsites, at Waldo Lake. ZACH URNESS / STATESMAN JOURNAL
paddlers to explore a unique flooded
As the river hit borderline flood stage,
around 25.5 feet, the tops of signs
sprouted up through the muddy water,
helping us navigate a network of path-
ways that had literally become water
trails. A sign on the park’s main entry
road reminded us to keep our paddling
speed below 20 MPH.
This is the second time I’ve paddled
Minto in the water. The first time, the
Willamette was at about 18 feet.
Zach Urness
Salem Statesman Journal
One of the joys in writing about Ore-
gon’s outdoors is that you never run out
of interesting places to visit.
There are so many rivers, mountains
and campgrounds that even after 13
years of outdoor reporting I haven’t seen
half of the cool places this state has to
At the same time, it’s also interesting
seeing places in a new way — and that
was a big theme for our outdoors section
in 2019.
Whether hiking a trail transformed
by wildfire, fishing a reservoir at ex-
treme low water or paddling a flooded
Salem park, this year was a good re-
minder that Oregon’s outdoors is dy-
namic, not static.
With that, I give you the 10 most in-
teresting travel destinations of the past
year. It does include completely new
spots, but it also highlights ways to ex-
perience places we know and love in a
different way.
As ever, we’re counting them down in
reverse order.
See the online edition for links to the
full stories and podcasts for each place
10. Treasure hunting in
Oregon’s beach and mountains
One of the more successful tourism
campaigns of the past few years has
8. Visiting the inside of
Oregon’s lighthouses
Adam Spencer of Redwood Rides navigates his boat into the "redwood float" on
the Smith River at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. ZACH URNESS / STATESMAN
been officials hiding glass treasure on
the Lincoln City beaches as a way to in-
spire people to get outdoors during the
In the last two years, the idea has ex-
panded to the mountains and forest,
with the Willamette Valley Visitors As-
sociation hiding 200 glass Christmas
tree ornaments on hiking trails in Wil-
lamette National Forest.
Both ideas have worked. The idea
that there is treasure hidden in the sand
or forest has inspired a handful of trips
with my two young children, and we’ve
met a lot of other families doing the
It’s a fun and new way to experience
the outdoors and I hope both areas con-
tinue it in coming years.
9. Flooded forest at
Minto-Brown Island Park
As the Willamette River rose to levels
not seen since 2012, water flooded
across Salem’s Minto-Brown Island
Salem’s largest park was closed to
hiking, biking and all the normal activ-
ities, but it offered the opportunity to
Over the last two years, Statesman
Journal producer David Davis and I have
visited every lighthouse in Oregon that
you can visit.
We documented the trips and inter-
viewed the tour guides for an episode of
the Explore Oregon Podcast and a story
that looks at the strengths and weak-
nesses of each lighthouse.
We decided our two favorites were
Yaquina Head Lighthouse near Newport
and Cape Blanco Lighthouse near Port
You can listen and subscribe to the
Explore Oregon Podcast on your iPhone,
Google Play or Stitcher. You can also find
all 20 episodes we’ve recorded at:
See TRIPS, Page 3B
Henry Miller’s clamming guide for 2020
Henry Miller
Guest columnist
Looks as if 2020 is going to have
some great opportunities to play in the
mud … and the sand, for that matter.
Yes, it’s time once again for Henry’s
annual clamming calendar featuring
highlights of minus tides on Oregon’s
central and north coast.
In keeping with the theme of the pre-
vious week’s column, the “tiers of joy”
art of outdoor recreation on the cheap, a
pair of minus tides fall during Free Fish-
ing Days in Oregon when no license or
tags are required to clam, crab or fish in
the Beaver State.
For the thrifty among us, those are
the weekend of June 6 and 7, which fea-
ture some of the lowest tides of the year.
As a bonus, both bottom out at re-
spectable hours – minus-1.52 feet at
8:08 a.m. on Saturday, minus-1.46 feet
on Sunday at Taft on Siletz Bay; mi-
nus-2.26 feet at 7:54 a.m. Saturday and
Clamming is a shovel-ready outdoor
pastime for you and a couple of
hundred new bucket buddies. HENRY
8:38 a.m. minus-2.17 feet Sunday at
Garibaldi on Tillamook Bay.
Taft, just south of Lincoln City, is the
closest clamming bay to Salem and pro-
vides an absolutely awesome first trip
for kids or beginning clammers.
So much for the freebies.
As far as the pay-to-play options that
fall during holiday weekends, I could
find only one: bodaciously low tides on
July 4 and 5, with a full moon, no kid-
ding, rising as the sun sets on Saturday,
July 4.
Next up for those willing to shell out
(again, can’t help myself) $10 for an an-
nual resident shellfish permit (12 and
older) who are gainfully employed and
can’t get away on weekdays are the mi-
nus-tides series that fall on the week-
Sorry. I should have asked sooner.
Clueless about clamming?
The Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife has a wealth of information on-
line, including maps, at https://sh
For the sake of brevity, since I can’t
insert sour-face emojis in the column,
I’ll just use a (D) for weekend low tides
that fall during inky darkness and (D+)
for inky darkness but with a full or near-
full moon.
Likewise, (D-) stands for minus tides
that fall near the new (read that no)
moon, while (+!) stands for minus tides
that hit low ebb during daylight...
Disclaimer: Despite my awesome
powers as a retired outdoor columnist
and outdoor writer, cloud cover, rain,
etc. are beyond anyone’s control, in-
cluding editors.
Weekend minus tides fall on Jan. 11
and 12 (D+, full moon is Jan.10); Jan. 25
and 26 (D-, moonsets are before minus
tides both nights); Feb. 8 and 9 (D+, full
moon is Feb. 8); March 7 and 8 (D+, full
moon is March 9); April 11 and 12 (+!,
lows move into daylight hours); May 9
and 10 (+!); May 23 and 24 (+!); June 6
and 7 (+!); June 20 and 21 (+!).
July 18 and 20 minus tides are (+!,
sort of), right around sunrise, as are the
tides on Aug. 1 and 2 (Saturday’s falling
just before and Sunday’s just after the
sun peeks out).
Rounding out 2020 are a couple of
(D-) weekends on Oct. 17 and 18, Nov. 14
(new moon that night) and Nov. 15, and
Dec. 12 and 13. Ironically, the new-moon
timing is irrelevant for all of those, Octo-
ber, November and December weekends
because the moon dips below the hori-
zon before each of the minus tides.
See MILLER, Page 3B