Hiking solo through the mountains can be a lonely endeavor. Missing human companionship, some turn to the subtle moods and personalities inherent in the woodland world itself.
Those emotional complexities come alive in this lovely little volume written while author Paul Willis explored the North Cascades National Park during an artist-in-residence program and a subsequent residency with the North Cascades Institute.
A glorious sunny day in April after a long cool spring, it is Earth Day in Cowiche Canyon near Yakima, and the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy is hosting an educational field day. Scores of people armed with water bottles and binoculars are ambling down the trail toward presentations on birds, salmon, and geology as well as butterflies. Executive director Betsy Bloomfield fills me in on the conservancy’s endeavors as she guides me downstream to a station manned by David James.
James, a research entomologist at the Irrigated Tree Fruit Research Center in Prosser, has with coauthor David Nunnallee published Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies (Oregon State … » More …
I really enjoyed the article on Bob Mierendorf’s work in the North Cascades National Park.
However, a couple of the photos raise some questions for me if you can pass them on to Bob for me. On page 29, the top two photos show a large culturally modified stone, in the left photo Bob has his hand on it, in the right hand photo it is next to his arm.
What I would like to know is: How did that stone become so modified? And what do you think its purpose was? There are no hints in the article or the caption for … » More …
A timeline of the Cascade Pass from 15,000 years ago to the present.
North Cascades National Park, National Park Service
by R. Mierendorf and J. Kennedy, 2009
The events below, based on calibrated radiocarbon ages, are in calendar years before present:
15,000? Glacier ice melts out of the pass.
9600 Early indigenous people camp at the pass and make and repair stone tools, some made from locally-collected stone. Other tool stone is carried in from distant sources, including Hozomeen chert from the upper Skagit River to the north and the Columbia Plateau to the east.
Although the native people crossed the North Cascades on foot for thousands of years, white settlers dreamed of a more readily traveled northern route. The Washington legislature committed its first funding for such a route in 1893, based on hopes that such a road would lead to “vast deposits” of gold and silver. Unfortunately, those riches were as elusive as the road itself. So rugged was this northern route that it would be decades before a possible route would even be chosen.
When Lyndon Johnson passed legislation in 1968 authorizing the North Cascades National Park, hopes for the road shifted from hauling out high-value timber … » More …
Bob Mierendorf has spent the last couple of decades trying to convince the archaeological establishment that pre-contact Northwest Indians did not confine themselves to the lowlands, but frequented the high country. Now he has an ancient camping site to make his point. » More ...