From the folks at the Lands Council.
“I hope you can join us at this interesting event that the Lands Council is co-sponsoring this Friday. There will be a movie and live music, free admission but they will ask for a small donation. These are activists from British Columbia.”
The Skeena Watershed Group will talk about a copper mine that threatens salmon and communities – Jan 28, 7 PM Magic Lantern. Here is some background.
About the Skeena Watershed
The Skeena Watershed is among British Columbia’s greatest watersheds, home to one of the longest un-dammed rivers (570 km) in the world. With vast tracts of wilderness, abundant wild salmon and wildlife, vibrant First Nations and settler cultures and relatively little industrial development compared to other large river systems, the Skeena offers a truly remarkable opportunity for environmental and cultural sustainability.
Nothing in nature hurries. A doe may bolt when she hears us bumbling down a trail; sparrows may dart from branch to branch, may launch to air at the approach of a stray cat. Even tamarack needles may seem to go golden overnight.—but they do not hurry. They act as they do in accordance with science, necessity, survival. They do not hurry. We do.
Consider this: Haste comes from the Old English “haifst,” which meant “violent.”
Early last summer, my wife and I backpacked on a nearby river trail. The tread is high above the water, necessitating a drop down to the shoreline to find campsites. With dusk approaching, we followed an angler’s trail to a meadowy flat beside the water, ditched our packs, and I, familiar with the area from many fishing trips, headed up the shoreline to see if anyone had claimed a nearby campsite at one of the deep corner pools. Off I went at a trot, scampering along a game trail that was easy to follow, even through thick growth. I hopped over a deadfall, pushed aside a small alder, and screamed when something big and brown and loud snorted and smacked me in the shoulder with a huge snout. I tucked and rolled, and the animal (I could now see that it was a moose) surged past me. Getting back to my feet, I hopped to my left to get a sapling between us. The moose hesitated, hackles sticking straight up; I glanced upstream and saw a young calf crossing the river; the mother came at me again, literally stomping over the small tree. I backpedaled to the shore and leapt into the cold, thigh-deep water. She edged up to the bank, snorted, hackles spiked, and edged along the bank as I half-floated, half-ran downstream—no longer hurrying but moving with the deliberate swiftness of survival.
One of my favorite poems is Theodore Roethke’s “The Waking.” The first line goes like this: “I wake to sleep and take my waking slow.” Notice the rhymes that stitch the line together; notice the strange paradox of the opening phrase—what Cid Corman (another poet) called livingdying, the continuum in which we live—every moment of life a moment closer to death. A cliché, maybe. But notice, most importantly, that the speaker emphasizes taking his “waking slow”—if only it were easy.
Even after being smashed about by a cow moose, how hard that lesson is to learn. Backpacking in the Frank Church later in the summer, I awaited my brothers’ return to camp; they had headed upriver to fish a few holes, and we were all to rendezvous at our tents and then head downstream to fish together. It was hot. A plane buzzed overhead. Time passed. I wanted to fish more. They always seemed to take so long. I waited and became more and more impatient and decided that I should go look for them. I trotted (!) down the shore toward a high ridge in the bank where I could see upstream and gauge when they would get back to camp. They must be near, they must be close, they always took so long, I thought, as I jogged and then, suddenly, jumped like I have never jumped before—the sound of a rattler launching me to avoid its coiled strike.
Another line in Roethke’s poem goes, “We think by feeling. What is there to know,” and although I understand the sentiment, I think Roethke idealizes—if only it were so easy to think by feeling, by intuition, by the rites of necessity rather than the schemes of possibility. If we were to live in that confidence of action, that deliberate precision, then, perhaps, we would take our waking more slowly and be less driven by the frenetic nervousness that is haste. Perhaps—always perhaps.
In Glacier at the end of summer. Backcountry. We’d gone on a day hike up to an alpine lake and had picked a big bag of huckleberries to mix with the freeze-dried pudding set aside for dessert. Up at the lake, we’d spent an hour through binoculars watching a grizzly grouse on the far side of the lake, mesmerized by its steady movement through the rocks, digging after a pika, uprooting glacial lilies, clearing off clumps of berries with a single swath of its claws before its snout turned upward into the wind and caught our scent (the breeze shifted). What followed was a spectacular privilege: to see the great animal turn and move quickly but deliberately over scree, up small cliffs, along the steep slope and toward an untrailed drainage where humans rarely ventured.
We headed back to our base camp. After an hour on the trail, the cooking area for camp was in sight. I hustled ahead, the excitement of the grizzly having faded into the plodding of rehiking familiar terrain. Suddenly, my wife said, “Stop,” and I looked up to see a sow and her two cubs lumbering toward me—barely thirty feet away. I stopped, backed up; they stopped, smelled. They were black bears, large but not huge. I backed steadily away; they kept coming up the trail. I fumbled at my waist-holster for my bear spray, couldn’t quite get it out, pulled harder, got the canister in hand, hastily yanked at the safety and sprayed myself right in the kidney area. Ouch. The bears paused, sniffed in my direction, and headed off the path into the pines.
What a summer. “Out there” (in the woods, waist-deep wading and casting, walking high ridgeline trails through snow) or “back here” at home (washing dishes, mowing the grass, talking to a friend), we can do violence when haste propels us. The moose, rattler, and bears were unknowing instructors: Whether I learned any lessons—that’s a much harder question to answer.
Magazine Article, News |
Schools Have Until January 24th to Enter
Spokane, WA—Elementary schools from Eastern Washington and North Idaho have until Monday to sign up for the Fit for Bloomsday…Fit for Life youth fitness program. Before the entry deadline of Monday, January 24th, over 60 schools are expected to sign up, with nearly 6,000 kids participating in the ten-week running and walking program.
“We’ve already heard from over 50 schools in the region,” said Bloomsday Race Director Don Kardong, “and over 4,600 kids are expected to participate at those schools. That’s a great start to this year’s program.”
The inaugural Ferry County Rail Trail Ski Day last Saturday January 15 was quite a success thanks to all who came out and got moving despite somewhat foggy, January weather. At least 70 attended, ranging in age from 2 years old to 80 years young!
Whole families who had never skied or snowshoed before participated and ended up loving it!
Starting this month we will be putting every issue of Out There Monthly on issuu.com for easy online browsing. If you’d ratther not download the whole issue as a pdf, or you prefer to use a mobile device to read OTM this is a great way to do it. This online version of the magazine is exactly the same as our print version including all ads from the great advertisers that make OTM possible. Let is know what you think.
Cool Stuff, News |
Saturday Jan. 15th, 10am till 4pm
Meet at the old rail car loading zone at the north end of Curlew, next to the Rail Trail
Professional ski instructors
FREE ski and snowshoe instruction, FREE gear to use, Groomed ski track
Join the fun – drink some hot cocoa and tea and ski the Rail Trail next to the Kettle River!
All ages welcome!
No better way to celebrate National Learn To Ski/Snowboard Month!
Find out more and add us as a Facebook friend!
Sun People Dry Goods Workshop
Thursday, January 6, 2011
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Buildings consume more energy than any other sector of the U.S. economy – including transportation and industry. In this workshop, you’ll learn the basic concepts of weatherization, leading building energy efficiency techniques, renewable energy and energy sustainability to help homeowners and business owners pursue greater levels of energy efficiency.
The instructor, David Hales, is an incredible local asset and adept at helping us to sort through the options. He is an experienced contractor, building scientist, and technical trainer with over 30 years of experience in the construction industry. Working at Washington State University as a Building Systems and Energy Specialist, his expertise lies in the design, construction, and performance evaluation of energy efficient healthy buildings and he currently provides technical support for the Energy Star Homes Northwest Program, Building America, and utility based programs in the Pacific Northwest. He is an ASHRAE member; has served as a judge for the last 5 years for the NAHB Energy Value Housing Awards and currently serves on the BPI standards committee.
Local coffee roaster and supporter of many cycling and food events is extending an invitation to you.
Come join us to celebrate our 1st anniversary!
We couldn’t imagine a more satisfying way to kick off the start of our second year than with those who helped make it happen.
Your support has been incredible. It has been a fun, joyful and satisfying past year. You’ve helped launch our sustainable boutique roasting company.
We sincerely aprpreciate all of you and hope you’ll join us to help kick off our 2nd year.
So please come join us for nibbles and drinks for just a few moments or a couple hours – we’ll be here all day waiting to celebrate with you!
Stay active all winter long at local mountains
January is national “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month,” with resorts in over 30 states participating in the effort. For Washington and Idaho locals and visitors, January is a great time to try a new winter activity or get back on the mountain. All four of Ski the NW Rockies’ resorts (Silver Mountain, 49 Degrees North, Mt. Spokane and Lookout Pass) are offering a variety of programs during January 2011 for children and adults who want to learn to ski or snowboard, or simply improve their skills.
Ski the NW Rockies offers an “EZ Ski or Ride 1-2-3” package at each member resort, which includes three lift tickets, three rentals, and three lessons. Prices range from $89 – $139, depending on the mountain. For more information, visit http://www.skinwrockies.com/ez-ski-ride-1-2-3.