Musings

Musings
Here are recorded all the Enviromental, Political and Philosophical Ideas published on my blog. 
















This was going to be a typical trip report, replete with fanciful language describing the wonders of Ape Caves, a 3 mile long lava tube burrowing through the flanks of Mt. St. Helens. I would have described the feeling of descending into another world, of traversing natural train tunnels, towering Lovecraftian cathedrals, shining slabs, and twisting patterns in the rock. However, this ancient, hallowed cavern has been so badly defaced that to promote it without mention of its poor condition, and the need to remedy the circumstances that continue to degrade it, would be remiss in the extreme. Read More.....


What's in a name? Volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest 













A controversy that has swirled, mist-like, about the peaks and valleys from Oregon to Alaska is that of the names of the great mountains that stand like guardian angels over the forests and fields of the Pacific Northwest. Christened with the names of admirals, presidents, and close friends by European explorers, there have always been a few who have argued that these mountains should instead be referred to by their original monikers given to them by the local tribes that inhabited the region before the pioneers. Read More.......



Beyond Ridge Camp: A proposal for new trails near Mt. St. Helens


















A bleak tundra extends before me, a wasteland of twisted stumps, wind blasted scrub growing in among rusted relics of a forgotten age. Behind me, dark moors rise out of sight into low hanging clouds; before me, the gray plateau drops precipitously into the coiling fog. This is not some scene from a post-apocalyptic Sci-fi novel, and mutated beasts do not lurk amongst the foggy crags (at least, not so far as I know). This is the hinterland of Ridge Camp, a bleak and lonely destination high in the Mt. St. Helens blast zone Read More........


      When I was twelve years old, I found a book while digging through the spider infested boxes in our garage. It was called 100 hikes in the South Cascades and Olympics by Harvey Manning and Ira Spring. Ten years later, my collection has expanded to over 70 books covering trails in every corner of the mountains of the West Coast. One of my projects during the long dreary months of this winter was to move all my books from a sagging, overburdened shelf to a new set of shelves. In the process, I realized that just as these books shaped the shelf, they have shaped many aspects of my life......Read More

The Enchanted Valley Chalet
Photo by Will Baker, see more of his work at http://willbaker.zenfolio.com/


















The Enchanted Valley is a hidden Shangri-la lying in the deep, wilderness heart of Olympic National Park. Nestled in the verdant meadows of this valley is a nearly 100 year old Chalet that has been a shelter for rain-pelted hikers, and a base for mountain rescue missions. But this historic shelter is threatened by the flooding of the Quinault River and is on the verge of being lost forever.Read More.......