Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Skagit River, Conway Hill Drainage and Sun

Had a nice sunrise drive down from Bellingham to Seattle yesterday morning. As a passenger I got to do more side ways looking than normal. Had a nice view down the Skagit River and the newly reconfigured dike, morning sky, setting moon and steamy river.
Newly reconfigured Skagit River Dike

Most of the dike work took place last summer. New rock and better angles for floods. A line of woody material was cabled along the bank to provide some flow friction but mostly to provide refuge sites for fish.

A bit further on we left the broad Skagit flats and headed up onto the glaciated slope of Conway Hill. The hill is underlain by silty to clayey glacial units deposits. A drainage canal and levy snakes along the base of the hill between the hill and the flats below to capture surface water and shunt it through a series of ditches and canals and through tidal flood gates in order to keep the fields on the flats from being under water.

Drainage system at base of Conway Hill south of Mount Vernon

The highlight though was heading up onto the uplands south of the Stilliguamish River south of the Arlington exit. The sun was going to shine! Sunday the fog cleared out of Bellingham just before sunset. After a weekend of icy, foggy weather it was nice to have a little brightness. We gave a little cheer when we saw this:

Here comes the sun through the fog

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