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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

February 27, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Boat ramp to nowhere; Whiskey Bend Road closing again

One more of these amazing before and after photos by Sequim photographer John Gussman, who is making a documentary about dam removal on the Elwha River. Anyone who has ever used the boat ramp on Lake Aldwell can appreciate this one.

boatlaunchb4.jpg

The boat ramp on Lake Aldwell, before and after dam removal began. That’s the river in a shining ribbon, way off from the former shore, amid the acres of gray sediment. Photo by John Gussman

For more of his photography of the changing landscape of the Elwha Valley, have a look at his website.

For the big picture, check out the web cams on the Elwha dam deconstruction.

Meanwhile, if you want to get into the Elwha Valley on the Whiskey Bend Road, better hurry.

The National Park Service is closing the road again as of Tuesday for a month for more repairs. This road is the main access to the trail head leading to Krause Bottom and Hume’s Ranch and other popular destinations, including a beautiful bridge over the Grand Canyon of the Elwha.

The 4.5-mile road connects Olympic Hot Springs Road to the Whiskey Bend trailhead. It will close for “approximately” four weeks, according to the park service.

A portion of the road at milepost 1.7 will be removed and rebuilt and heavy trucks and machinery will be in use. It’s a full closure, by the way, even to pedestrian entry.

The park service has awarded the contract to Cherokee Construction of Vancouver, Washington to repair storm damage that occurred in early 2011. The contract amount is not to exceed $190,000; the final cost will be determined by how much work is needed to complete the repairs.

In January, the Whiskey Bend reopened to vehicles after a year-long

closure caused by extensive storm damage to the road.

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