Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Last Wild Ride of Mr. Toad

From beneath a rock the toad took flight, running on its hind most legs like a man, fleeing for its life the slithering terror that pursued it with ravenous intent. It hid itself behind a stone, in vain it seemed, as soon it hurried on. The legless monster came on in undulating hoops as if a garden hose had sprung to life with cold intellect and malicious intent.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Encroaching Enochlophobia - a troubling future for wilderness

It is no secret that the woods and mountains are not so wonderfully lonesome as they once were. National Parks get all the press for excessive overcrowding, but the sad fact is that solitude is becoming a decidedly rare commodity practically everywhere. You may well point out that you can still get away from people if you seek out relatively unknown trails and travel in the off season in poor weather in the middle of the week. This is true, but for how much longer?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Welcoming the Alpine Dawn

The trail has been long and hard - mile upon mile of relentless climbing have made the distance stretch until the waning hours of the afternoon. An evening at the end of such an exhausting day is spent as much collapsed in a comatose heap as it is ogling the spectacular scenery around you. Only once you have had time lying dead to the world in a sleeping bag as the stars wheel overhead can you recover and actually appreciate the wonders you have worked so hard to experience. That is part of what makes dawn the next day such an incredible experience.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wild Olympics: Wonders of the Quinault Rainforest

There is no forest more incredibly alive than that to be found in the wild northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest - an island of incredible biodiversity the scale of which boggles the mind and fires the soul. From the tidepools on the rugged wave tossed coast to the glaciers tumbling from mountain peaks into the great green carpet of the timeless rainforest.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Flying over Astoria's John Day River

The John Day river is a quite coastal river merging with the mighty Columbia river just a few miles before it empties in to the Pacific Ocean. Spruce bogs and house boats line its banks, gulls wheel overhead, and fisherman ply its briny tide-infused waters.

I found the marsh forest downstream of the boat launch where I flew to be particularly interesting, as it was practically impossible to view from the ground, and completely impenetrable to exploration otherwise. The huge old spruce trees seem to rise out of a lake of tangled brush and deciduous trees - what a mysterious and wonderful place!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Save the enchantment lakes! Comment period ends soon.

It is distressing to learn that sometimes not even wilderness designation can protect our beloved wild places from the destructive exploitation of humans. When it was designated, the Alpine Lakes wilderness included compromises allowing for the continued inappropriate use of spectacular alpine lakes as reservoirs that have allowed wasteful water use practices to continue. The dams would be entirely unnecessary if changes were made downstream to curtail water waste. Now they want even more water for towns and irrigation downstream, and have hatched a plan that would devastate wilderness treasures.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Peshastin Pinnacles

Peshastin Pinnacles rise majestically over the verdant videyards of the Wenatchee Valley. Erosion is slowly revealing these massive sandstone formations from the grassy foothills of the snow capped Cascade Mountains. Though popular mostly with climbers, the pinnacles are also a great spot for hiking and bird watching, as many avian species flit and wheel around the twisted spires.