Day use fees waived for New Year’s Day
For the fifth year in a row Honeyman State Park will be hosting a “first day” hike on New Year’s Day. Honeyman manager Dan Schewlakow (Shellac-oh) says it is part of a national effort.
Dan Schewlakow – “A lot of the state parks all across the nation use this as a way for people to start the new year on a good foot, connecting to nature, connecting to the outdoors.”
Schewlakow said this year he’ll be guiding a hike along an historic trail that was originally pioneered by crews working for the depression era Civilian Conservation Corps. They’ll stop roughly midway through the hike to allow hikers to “connect” with nature.
Dan Schewlakow – We’re going to talk a little bit about awareness and how nature affects us and how it benefits us, health and wellness wise. About half way through the hike, or at some point in the hike if the weather’s nice enough we’re going to do a short nature meditation.”
First Day hikers are asked to meet at the Group Campground off Canary Road for the ten AM walk.
Oregon 42 to remain closed several weeks
A slow moving slide at the Douglas-Coos County line on Oregon Highway 42 will leave an important corridor between Interstate-5 and the Oregon Coast closed for several weeks.
The Coos Bay-Roseburg Highway has been closed since last week because of a slow-moving slide. The 200-to-300 foot long slide has covered most of the two-lane highway with mud and rock.
Jared Castle with the Oregon Department of Transportation said the section will remain closed for an indefinite period.
The slide occurred on a stretch of road that has been involved in an effort to straighten out severe curves along the middle fork of the Coquille River. Heavy rains this month saturated the ground, defeating efforts at erosion control.
Whale Watching Spoken
The annual Winter Whale Watching Week got underway at two dozen locations along Highway 101 yesterday.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department trains a special cadre of volunteers to set up at the 24-locations between ten AM and one PM daily through Thursday.
Gray whales are in the middle of their annual southward migration to Baja, Mexico. The whales can be spotted from high points along the coast near Cape Perpetua and at the “Wayfinding” point on Highway 101 south of Winchester Bay.
A traditional whale-watching location just north of Sea Lion Caves is not active this year because of construction.
OSU Seafood Lab in Astoria celebrates 75 years
The Oregon State University Seafood Lab in Astoria is one of a few seafood experiment centers on the West Coast.
The Daily Astorian reports the OSU lab focuses on production, quality and safety.
The center is directed by Christina Mireles-DeWitt, a former research assistant at the lab who moved from Oklahoma to take the helm in 2010 as director and a professor of food science and technology.
Mireles-DeWitt said there is often the misconception that the lab is involved in live fish, hatchery or environmental research. But it falls under the university’s Food Science and Technology department and was established more than 75 years ago to help the fishing and seafood processing industries.