Anderson Lakes Snow-venture

The day began with a hazy pall. The type not promising the views one might hope for when giving such an output. No matter, when the clouds gather, it begs micro rather than macro.

The dogs were not bummed as infinite wild smells awaited exploration. Then when bored just exhibited a little sibling sparring.

After enjoying an extremely refreshing dip, pockets of blue drew me onward and upward. Termed “sucker holes” in climber-jargon, they elicit hope and frequently disappoint by narrowing their aperture.

This time the gamble paid off…and conditions were perfect for glissading on the descent: dry powder atop a consolidated, anchored and surprisingly smooth base.

And by all means, get up and shake it to Adham Shaikh’s super sonic fusion!

Ptarmigan Ridge; impromptu reconnaissance

A crystal clear blue sky presented itself yesterday, begging a vantage from some high point. Forgoing my original plan of an easy lakeside stroll, I headed up to the nearest and highest trailhead around – Artist’s Point. This remarkable spot is typically plowed open by early summer, though some years it remains completely buried. P1020496For many folks, this is a destination in and of itself and understandably so. You clearly don’t have to go far to enjoy spectacular views. Summer sledding on consolidated sun-cupped snow is just not my thing, however. Perhaps it is an inherent lack of cushioning to my tailbone. Continue reading

Twisp, WA; home of the Lorax?

I’ve always thought the town of Twisp, WA sounded like it belongs inside a Dr. Seuss book. And truly, the idyllic mountain town always seems like a fantasy-land whenever I visit. Having spent very little time there, my distant vantage probably polishes the tangible charm to a spectacularly bright sheen. panoThe Methow valley is sun drenched, yet green, thanks to its proximity to the Cascade Crest (where: West = wet & East = dry) and a steady supply of snow melt from the high peaks. Surely this area has ranked atop lists of best places to retire for eons. I love to head East from our spongey density to this more sparsely forested landscape. Continue reading

Heavy snow, feeling light

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Bellingham, WA is frequently rated among the “most livable” cities in the nation. Recently, however, it topped a list of cities for something that it may not want to put on the brochures.  My town absorbs the least amount of sunshine of any city in the lower 48. The sun shines only 35 percent of the time and is seems like that all comes in the month of July. Continue reading

Mystical mushrooms?

I don’t know too much about wild mushrooms. The morel and coral mushrooms are the only ones I’ve been brave enough to cook up after a hike. I do know they are truly mysterious. Downright Smurfy, really! IMG_0440 Continue reading

Cosmic Patterns

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Fractal – “Mandelbrot Set”

Nearly twenty years ago in Design class, I embarked on a project to recognize patterns in nature. I called it Natural Symmetry. I rubbed tree rings, drew leaf veins, and photographed dewy spider webs. The gist being that nature in birth, life or growth, and death follows a pattern that has definite form, but is never completely symmetrical. Balanced, yes. Rigid, no. Continue reading

Same, but different

In the highland-hiking off-season here in Pacific Northwest Stateside, it is good to have places that tide one over until the seemingly infinite number of trails open up come summer. See previous article: Winter Hiking… for a primer.

One of the trails, for me, that never disappoints, Baker River, really has it all; especially if you can catch it on a sunny day.

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Continue reading