Friday, July 19, 2013

Tempertaure Gradient form Quilcene to Port Townsend

Gravel/cobble beach, Toandos Peninsula with view of Olympics
I took a hike around Oak Head at the south end of the Toandos. It was a hot hike along the heated up gravel and cobbles with the temperature in the mid 80s. The 500-foot climb back up to the road brought a good sweat. 
I have noted before that this is a bit of a hot spot for western Washington. A comparison of weather stations:

               Average Maximum Temperatures
                                        June   July   August  Sept.
Seattle                              69      72       73         67
Port Townsend             66      70       71         67
Bellingham                     66      71       72         68
Quilcene                          72      77      79         73

Quilcene (near Oak Head) is significantly warmer than my town of Bellingham as well as Seattle during the summer. The name Oak Head at the south end of the Toandos might be in reference to the fact that there is a fair bit of poison oak on the exposed slopes - I have not dug deep enough into the original naming.

After my hike I headed up to the shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and experienced a big temperature gradient in a few miles. On the Strait a strong marine flow was blowing through the strait and the temperature was much cooler requiring a sweater. A kite boarder in a dry suite was taking advantage of the gale.

Catching wind in the Strait of Juan de Fuca with Whidbey Island and Mount Baker in the distance

This sculpted tree suggest that the wind is a regular part of life on this shore

Wave and water erosion are not the only force acting on shoreline bluffs. This bluff slope was actively being eroded during my visit with sand flowing down the slope and accumulating in a pile at the top of the beach.

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