Snow Lake Trail – Two

work site Aug 1 & 2

First photo below:
John’s feet are in the trail. It should be 3 times as wide.
In the center of the view, past the people, there is a small cross-trail drain, for when there is lots of water (none here now).
Flat topped rocks on either side allow hikers to step across when, in this spot, the water is no more than 6 inches deep.

A large rock tipping into the trail, with only a small part showing, made the trail narrow. The photo was taken after digging exposed the size and shape of the rock. The rock will be taken out, and the hole filled. The rock will be used as a step, nearby. The person in the purple shirt holds a shovel handle in her right hand. Beyond that handle is a ragged series of rocks, in the trail. Hikers have to go up that small slope to continue. That rough ascent will be cleaned out and replaced with rock steps.
In the photo below – the center (just right of the white bucket) is where the rock was. The hole has been filled and the trail widened and a rock base is taking shape. Sorry, I don’t have a final photo, but may add one later.
Note the small white rocks (chips) scattered in the trail. These, and about 40 more ½ buckets of chips came from about 100 yards away. Years ago a rock fall destroyed the trail. Crews used sledge hammers (aka ‘double-jacks’) to break rocks and make a trail across. The result from clearing a trail across the rockfall can be seen below, follow the red dots.

Snow Lake Trail – One

Trailhead step replacement
First photo below:
No one seems to know when, but wood and rock steps were constructed to connect the parking area to an existing trail.
Farther down the valley the trail had been destroyed by snow/rock falls.
The wood used for the original steps was sourced on-site (nearby), and was not particularly large or robust. This was sort of a fix it with what you got thing.
These steps may have been here for 50 years. Each year thousands of people use this trail, and as the population of the region grows, so does the foot traffic. (John doesn’t think it is a good trail for little kids and dogs. He is vastly outnumbered in this regard.)Someone estimated there are 500 feet of these old steps and gravel platforms.
The next image is a blow-up of the lower left corner of the first step.The wood pieces overlap and are held together with large nails (spikes). The oval shows an end that is nearly gone, with the nail in its original position. The two red stars indicate other nails in the structure. There are hundreds of nails.
Inside the wood pieces, the volume is filled with rock chunks, and then finished with smaller pieces – gravel. That is, tons of stone.

To replace these requires removing all the wood, getting the nails out, removing all the rock and gravel, and digging trenches for new wood.
The photo shows larger wood with half-lap construction. The log is cut to length and the half-cut at the end was done with a folding saw; brand Silky Katanaboy. For this project the cut is farther from the end, to match the size of the piece it will be fit to. A hammer and chisel are used to remove the unwanted part.
When a box is in place, it has to be filled with rock and then topped with gravel, or other appropriate tread material. The US Forest Service is providing the wood, rock, and gravel – to the trailhead.
As the steps are built all of the trips get longer. Rock and gravel are toted in 5 gallon buckets, about half full, weighing about 40 pounds each.
The crew completes 3 or 4 steps each day, depending on the length and thus volume of the platform created. The longer the platform, the greater the digging and removing of the old, and the more carrying of things up the hill.

Not so Nasty News Aug 9th

Tonight I’m just doing photos. After 3 days of work on the Snow Lake Trail, I’m behind and worn out.
However, of interest is that someone -unexpectedly – spent the night up in that alpine area. King County’s Search and Rescue was at the trailhead and they went up the trail ahead of us.
The person was found and was being brought out, but not before we left at 3 PM – having improved the trail for them.

Item #1: Metallica called
I thought the initial story was interesting but did not bother with it.
This week “nice” kicked in, when the young lady got a call from James Hetfield, singer, and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

Cougar doesn’t like the music

Item #2: School supplies Something for your kid’s backpack.

Item #3: Telling the dogs how to play this game The first they heard of that.

Item #4: Rare find And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News Aug 2nd

Item #1: Not my Rainbow

During the night Thursday and Friday morning an air mass from over the Pacific Ocean came ashore and pushed over the Cascade Mountains. It had just enough moisture for small droplets (mist) to form as it approached Ellensburg – about 7 AM.
I was headed to the mountains for trail work and nearing the I-90 connection I encountered the mist, and a large rainbow. During the next 20 minutes, a rainbow moved in and out of visibility. Farther west the sky darkened, rain increased, and the colors disappeared from the sky. Nice while it lasted.
And yes, we got slightly wet today. Not a lot of water in the air to begin with, and by the time it got to the crest of the Cascades where we worked, not much rain fell.

Item #2: 40,000 Toadlets

My question: Who counted them?

Western Toad young’ens are referred to as toadlets. Maybe all tiny toads are called toadlets but my spell-checker can’t find that name.

Every year there seems to be a few stories about great numbers of something causing issues. Locusts make the news frequently. This year in Whistier, B.C., it is the Western Toad. There are thousands of tiny ones, so the resort municipality has closed the Lost Lake access road, a parking lot and the events lawn. Likely more things were closed after the article was written.
40,000 toadlets force closures

Item #3: Not so tiny hail

This from the Edmonton area. LINK

Not much text, but a couple more photos and a video link.
A better video and more: Here, but I had to watch an ad.

Item #4: Onions

Saturday; an errand in the morning to pick up wood boards someone is giving away, and then in the afternoon, we go to someone’s birthday party.
Sunday I plan on digging, sorting, and start the drying of my onions.
I have 3 types of reds and 3 types of whites; both short and long keepers. Next week there will be pictures.
Until then – cheers.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News July 26

Snow Lake, Washington Cascades, July 22 {by John}

Item #1: Celebration of Light
I’ve no idea what this is about but in looking for something nice to mention, it was the first thing I found.
best fireworks display

There is a catch: Instead of driving, organizers say riding a bike to the festival is a great idea.
We’ll pass. Thanks.

Item #2: How to waste time

I spent way too much time reading food history this week. See Larder

This started because folks on a blog were writing about the wet weather in the central USA, namely “how was the food supply” going to be? Typical comment: Our dumb governments haven’t filled the larder. Remember the Bible’s “7 lean years?”

We have extra food in the house but none of it is “larded” (except me, of course), and we don’t actually have a larder. We do have some shelves and an extra freezer.
When I win a 40 million dollar lotto I will have a house built with a proper larder – and hire someone to be the larderer. Maybe we’ll have a saucery and a scullery too.
While waiting for the lotto win, I’ll hang a couple cans of Spam from a hook in the garage.

Item #3: Thanks for being you

The sign to the right is not one of them, but I thought it cute.

From Calgary we get mysterious signs. No not that kind. Actual printed signs – red background, white letters.
You are loved

Item #4: Sammy Seagull

“. . . she suspects Sammy Lee returns to her home in search of leftover food that the family sometimes throws over the deck in the backyard.

Here’s an idea – don’t throw food over the fence!
I should not be giving advice on this. Sunflower seeds seem to attract every known animal.


For the record, the video is not hilarious. Boring is a better term.

Item #5: The Golden City
Ballarat is a town in Australia that had a gold rush in the 1850s.
rush to bust

News from the place this week is again about gold. Retiree finds 70 ounce gold nugget

This week, meanwhile, I won a dollar with a lotto ticket.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News July 19

Along the inner wall of an abandoned snowshed

Item #1: History alive

When the Great Northern Railway chose a logo it included the outline of a Mountain Goat. The train became “The Iron Goat.”

Today, WTA volunteers worked on a trail called “Iron Goat” just west of Stevens Pass. This trail is designed and partially funded under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and is of gentle grade, wide, and partly paved. There were some culverts to be cleaned, but mostly the folks cut a lot of vegetation and moved it out of sight. This involved much bending, stooping, and stretching. We all were ready to go home at 3 o’clock. Then I had a 2 hour drive.

This old book Iron Goat Railroad guidebook
(hardest to read) has a map, from which I’ve clipped part and made notations in red.The mountain’s low pass in this area is over 4,000 feet. The eastern slopes are more gentle, so laying tracks up was easier than coming down the western, more rugged side.
The red arrow on the right shows the route down, toward Windy Point, where the route turns and stays nearly level until the very left side of the map. There the tracks crossed a valley on a trestle, entered a tunnel that U-turned inside the hill, and came out at a lower elevation (another trestle) – now heading back east (2nd red arrow). Another U-turn brought the route still lower, and turned west again, heading toward Puget Sound and sea level.
These two links go to more modern sites with color photos, but have much less history. Link 1, Link 2.

Our “mostly brushing” work was along the old route in the vicinity of the lower red arrow, and eventually along one of the snow shed inner walls.

Item #2: Count me now Will the total be 11 million, fewer, more? Help. 2008 had the 11M.
the Big Butterfly Count
The painted lady butterfly commonly flies to the UK during the summer months, but every 10 years millions arrive in a mass migration. Good. But how do you count them? How do you get a total?

Item #3: Roadside attractions

From Monmartre, Saskatchewan
If you use Google Street View and this location
[ 50.2208, -103.4482 ]
. . . You can see a replica of the Eiffel Tower in its setting.
For our high school prom, the ladies chose a theme related to Paris, and wanted a replica of the Eiffel Tower. Apparently I was the only kid (of 15) that knew the difference between a two-by-four and a hammer. Or maybe I had the lowest IQ. Anyway, I built a small (12 feet high or so) Eiffel Tower in the school gymnasium. I don’t have a photo, but being a semi-pro photographer, I sure my father took photos.
I came across this story: “5 roadside attractions to check out in Saskatchewan” – Link . This article will also answer the burning question, What is a bunnock?, and what is the Game of Bones.
You will want to look this up.

Item #4: Warming

Our forecast is to near 90 degrees on Sunday through Tuesday, and then 10 degrees cooler.
This will be cooler than much of the USA, but still hotter than we like it. Make a shopping trip as soon as possible.
Stay cool, and well.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News July 12

Potatoes with onions in background [ john ]

Item #1: Free lawn mowing

Get a rabbit

Rabbit hopping is gaining fans in Australia, with hopes of hopping to the top of the podium in international competition. When not in training, they can clip your grass.
When in Idaho, one of the students was a judge for rabbit shows, but for form, not jumping.
We raised rabbits for eating. Had them in cages with boxes underneath to catch waste, and so had to mow the lawn. Bummer.

Item #2: On the road

The photo shows a modern driver sitting on the right side with his passenger on the left. What do you do?

The recent earthquakes in California have brought out all sorts of stories. There always seems to be a reference to the San Francisco quake of April 18, 1906. The movie at the following link was taken four days prior.

A Trip Down Market Street
It is 12 minutes long, but there are two things noticed early on; (1) steering wheels of the autos are on the right side, and (2) drivers change lanes without rear-view mirrors, or it seems, without looking at all.
According to this article [ LINK ] Ford introduced left-hand steering in 1908, and the Marmon Co. introduced rear-view mirrors in 1911.

Item #3: Parents on drugs?

I saw this photo and wondered if the adults nearby have ever heard of “aftershocks.”?
I guess the child still has both legs,
so all is well.

Item #4: Cat in the hat
What is the cat wearing?

Item #5: the weather

Don’t know if this is good or bad.
Often at this time of year we will have high temperature in the 90s.
In the last 4 weeks we hit 82° a couple of times but mostly the high 70s. We heat and cool with electricity. June was lower than any month in 2018, and neither the heater nor the AC has come on for a week. We’ve no hot temps forecast through next week. In fact it is cooling a little.
Okay, so it is good that the utility bill is down.
There are about 6 more weeks that hot temps could come and stay for awhile. For now, let’s call it a cool wave. We wait with bated breath.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News JULY 5

Item #1: Extinct or not?

This is one of those reports that makes me go “Hmm” at the finish. At issue is the Purple Emperor butterfly, shown in the image at the top.
This report ==> “makes official Norfolk comeback”
. . . The purple emperor was declared extinct in the county (Norfolk, northeast of London). Likewise, I have been “extinct” from Clarion County, PA since 1965. However, I did sneak back a few times and didn’t make an announcement, nor did I find any reason to stay. Further, most folks there didn’t know I had gone, so, had they seen me, would they have made a fuss?

I suggest to those folks declaring this “return” news is (a) drop the word extinct, and (b) realize the Purple Emperor (PE) cares not a wit about your county boundaries.

Okay, it is nice that someone is trying to (re)create the woodland habitat PE needs. On their occasional sneaky trips to the area, they have noticed. Cheers.

Item #2: Landscape photos

Green shows the “Peak District”, red star = London

I came across this: Over Owler Tor
Then, I found it is located in Hathersage.
So far, none of that makes sense. I’m not from England, and one needs to be, to understand all these strange words. “Owler” appears in the very early history of England, as a family name. There is an Owler Tor, and just to the north, an “Over Owler Tor” == if that means anything.
Here are 2 links that help:
Tor, a rock formation


James’ photos from the Peak District

It was a photo like one from James Grant that led me astray today.

Item #3: Do you see things?

I mean, if you see something, especially something in the air above you, and you can’t identify it, what do you do?
Right. You call 911, or the Air Force, newspaper, or Superman. Washington wins

World UFO Day was July 2nd. Who knew?
The photo above convinced some fellow that an alien space craft was using the top of the distant mountain, perhaps hollowed out, to hide in when not out spying on the goings on in Washington State. He took several photos over a short period of time, and the craft only appeared in one. Where did it go? Oh! It hid in the mountain top.

Maybe it is time to move.

Item #4: On the 4th

Saw this on a web comment, but I haven’t been able to confirm:
In California there is a Berkshire Inn, proudly creating a very British atmosphere. On July Fourth they hang a big sign: CLOSED TODAY. Mourning a loss of a colony.

Item #5: Smith Tower is 105

Nancy’s grandfather worked as a carpenter on several projects in Vancouver B.C. and Seattle. One was Seattle’s Smith Tower. The family name is from the Smiths of Smith Corona typewriters, and shotguns. The Tower was once the tallest building west of Ohio.
A few photos are here: Perhaps we should visit.

The building was completed in 1914 and opened to the public on July 4th. This is the 105th anniversary of that celebration.
Story at this link: from KOMO News

from the Seattle Times, 2017

I worked on a trail today on a mountain side much like the one seen in the foreground of the photo with the UFO story. The unidentified things I saw were a couple of small caterpillars.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News JUNE 29

Item #1: Wallace Falls

Actually, just a couple of the nine:Wallace Falls State Park, 35 miles NE of Seattle. {WTA web site}

Item #2: Memories

When we first got a TV [1954, black and white] a program aired titled Life Is Worth Living that was just a Catholic priest talking to a live audience. Over his long career he held several titles but was mainly known as Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.
His show was in the slot used by both Milton Berle {Uncle Miltie}, and Frank Sinatra.
The TV career is explained Sheen – television.

We often watched the program. His name came up this week in news because his remains were disinterred from a crypt at the NYC church where they have been since is death in 1979. The “remains” were flown to Chicago and then moved to Peoria, the city were he was ordained a priest 100 years ago.
This was at the request and litigation by a niece that believes this move will aid in the campaign to have him declared a saint. The Church moves slowly on these things, so this may be the last time I see anything more. RIP.

Item #3: Nice catch
By now, many have seen this:

The image is captured from a video, that in itself is not great. It shows an Algerian, a 17 year old that lives and works in Turkey, catching a 2-year old girl who is about to hit the paved street from a second story window.
It looks like she looses a hat and maybe more of her clothes as he makes the catch. Hard to tell. Years ago I was thrilled to watch Willy Mays and Roberto Clemente make great catches – and they played against each other. See: First paragraph, here
This is thrilling, too:


Item #4: New word: Tuart

It’s a tree.

I like trees and have planted different types. About a dozen have grown and nearly as many have croaked. I think this interest comes from seeing the demise of the American Chestnut in western Pennsylvania. Crossbreeding has helped some but now, with genetic engineering, there is hope. See HERE.
The group that has been doing the crossbreeding (for years) claims they have accomplished getting a tree that will thrive. Seems there is a bit of resentment about the new genetic group. Oh well.

I saw the headline “Ludlow tuart forest at heart of campaign rebuilding once-great WA ecosystem”, and wondered if this might be a similar thing. Not really, but it is still interesting, and I learned a lot from this article and related searches.

Ludlow Tuart Forest

Ludlow is about 117 miles south of Perth, and about as far to the southwest as one can get in Australia.
Via the Ludlow Tuart Forest Restoration Group, you can sponsor a Tuart seedling, $10 each.

Item #5: Busy

I watered onions, strawberry plants, and trees Friday.
Today I was cutting brush and moving rocks on the Annette Lake Trail, just west of the I-90 Pass. Nice weather. Same place Sunday. No brush cutting.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Not so Nasty News June 21st

Item #1: Image

Hood Canal, labeled “Bloom” in the image, is 125 miles west and a little north of us. From a NASA satellite (MODIS) the image shows Puget Sound and the lakes near Seattle as blue/black, indicating clear water.
A phytoplankton bloom stretching across Hood Canal, a narrow inlet in the Puget Sound in Washington, causes the Aqua color, as the millions of tiny shells reflect that wavelength of the Sun. There is a bit of explanation here: Coccolithophores

Item #2: Pancho Villa

Shown is a wind instrument from Argentina called an Erke. A good image of the horns that I wanted is hard to fit on the page, so click below.

Pancho Villa and other things with horns
Our Naneum Fan has a Longhorn Cattle Company, just 4 miles south of us. Could an instrument be made from one of Pancho’s horns? What about some of the other horns shown in that link?

Item #3: improper tire inflation

The photo is of part of a tire stuffed with bags of drugs. The idea was to ship them to “dealers” in Canada. There was a problem:

Meth sent to the wrong place

Ford Fusion sedans were involved. Do you have one?

Item #4: Do you remember these?

Maybe you are too young.
There were rows of wooden cabinets in libraries holding drawers such as these filled with paper cards [search: dewey decimal system card_files ] using Images and/or regular Wed search.
When elders needed to find information, you could go to a library and “look it up.” Time moves on and things change.
In an article titled “Search me by Helen Rumbelow of The Times of London we learn that “look it up” is so last century. From her article:
If you are researching something on the internet, and you are over 21, I bet you “look it up”. If you are under 21, you don’t. You say “I’ll search it up.” My children say “let’s search it up on Google”, which to me sounds like a non-native English mistake.
It’s not. It’s British young people doing their young thing, and changing stuff in a way that irritates their elders. They are all at it, searching it up all over the country. YouTube is full of videos of kids “searching up”.
I’ve read blogs from teachers, doing worried analyses of the phrase on Google trends, hoping it is dying out (quite the reverse). They have changed it for a reason. The old “look up” things, as if the computer is a dusty reference library, while the young more actively “search it up”: we merely observe the internet, they dig in.

What do you say you do?

Item #5: Animals and I-90

Elk are said to dislike going under highways. Thus, I was surprised to see these photos. Many are taken where recent construction spanned a wide swath (275 yards) where Gold Creek enters Keechelus Lake, just this side of Snoqualmie Pass. WTA just did 3 days of trail work about 3 miles north of the lake. I have seen geese under the highway, but nothing these trips. It only takes multiple seconds of driving time to pass this, on the north side.
safe passage

Location in Google Earth for most of these photos:
47.390947, -121.383106

I haven’t found a good source of photos for the overpass that was built. I may have to ask the biology folks.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.