OUTDOORS: Our man in Yakima waxes poetically about the Peninsula

SAY WHAT YOU want about Yakima, just don’t call it the “Palm Springs of Washington.”

Having visited the town that time forgot two weeks in a row, I can only assume the author of that slogan is a man (or woman) of extreme sarcasm . . . or drug addiction.

Once you get past Yakima’s multitude of quality authentic Mexican restaurants, about the only positive thing one can say about it is that it has a Panda Express.

(It also hosts a couple of entertaining basketball tournaments in March, the reason I’m here.)

Of course, Palm Springs isn’t exactly Eden itself.

Sure, the Southern California desert city has an impressive array of windmills, but it also has an uncanny ability to replicate the same strip mall over and over again. And that’s never a good thing.

Thankfully, we get none of that on the North Olympic Peninsula, where there’s more than enough to wax poetic about, as well as a variety of things to do.

Here’s a few tasty nuggets going on in the next week:

Poma time?

The dream is dead.

The Peninsula’s last dash of snow wasn’t enough for Hurricane Ridge mountain manager Craig Hofer to get moving on the Poma lift.

And with only a few weeks left in the season, there isn’t enough time left for another go at it.

“At this point it isn’t going to happen,” Hofer said.

So those looking to enjoy what’s left of the winter sports season at the Ridge will just have to make do with the rope tows, or they hoof it.

Skiers and snowboarders might want to tune up for the Brad Stenger Memorial Races next weekend, on March 21-22. There’s always snowshoeing or cross country skiing as well.

Hurricane Ridge Road is open Friday through Sunday, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Bird trip

Admiralty Audubon’s Ken Wilson will lead a birding trip through Kai Tai Lagoon in Port Townsend on Sunday morning.

The group will meet at the lagoon parking lot at 9 a.m. for a one-hour walk. Those interested can also volunteer to help work parties improving wildlife habitat at Kai Tai, beginning at 10 a.m.

For more information, contact Wilson at 360-821-1101 or [email protected]

Steel away

So I heard this guy caught a really big fish on the Lower Hoh a couple of weeks ago.

Perhaps you could, too, after this next spat of rainfall rolls through the West End. Rivers remain low and clear, but with some of the wet stuff on the horizon, perhaps good times are here again.

Until then, head to the Hoh. It’s probably the most fishable river on the Peninsula right now . . . again.

Halibut happening

It’s never too early to brush up on your halibut knowledge.

With the season a little more than a month away, author Terry Rudnick drops his vast flatty knowledge on the gathering masses at the Puget Sound Anglers-North Olympic Peninsula chapter meeting on March 18.

Rudnick literally wrote the book on halibut fishing, penning “How to Catch Trophy Halibut.”

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave., Sequim. For more information, call 360-582-0836, or visit www.pugetsoundanglers.org.

_____

Matt Schubert is the outdoors and sports columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. His column appears on Thursdays and Fridays when he’s not in Yakima covering high school basketball playoffs. He can be reached at [email protected]

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