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Knee-deep in grass, a USFS packhorse grazes contentedly in the evening shadows. Pack strings play an important role in packing supplies into the wilderness. Supplies for trail crews, lookouts and fire crews, and whatever else needs packing.
As we hiked deep into an aspen forest, a fairyland of sorts, we found ourselves in the middle of a tent caterpillar outbreak. Millions, no, probably billions, of these insects surrounded every surface around us. It sounded like popping corn as they hit the forest floor falling from the trees.
We learned that this annual aspen leaf buffet is an essential part of rejuvenating the land and it only last for a short period. Lucky for us ... we were two miles into a hike and there was no turning around. (Insert sarcasm) ⠀
Talk about having the #hebejebes !
I swear we did a “caterpillar check!” every ten minutes to knock them off of one another. 🥴⠀
Check out our Instagram stories for more 🐛 #hikingexperience
16 791 June, 2020
The Great American Outdoors Act would create jobs, promote access AND restore public lands. Join ICL in urging Idaho’s congressional delegation to vote YES and pass the Great American Outdoors Act! Link in bio.
Trail maintenance trip, Chamberlain Basin, Cecil D. Andrus - White Clouds Wilderness
More keenly aware and present to my privilege and ability to freely and easily navigate the outdoors and open spaces when many other people and groups don’t have it so easy. We normally don’t give it a second (or first) thought, but we should pause and remind ourselves that the outdoors have largely been categorized as “white spaces” and we should work to expand access and participation for all groups that want to experience the great outdoors. .
This is our “North Fork”. It’s like your NF, but it’s ours. First time boating the North Fork Skykomish, a main tributary to the regularly paddled Skykomish river downstream. Coming down Jacks pass we passed at least 5 other boaters heading the (wrong way) from the river, saying how rowdy it was going to be, which was a bit ominous but also exciting. We put on in dumping rain with a rising river (5.6’ on the NF gage) where the second lap was a bit spicier than the first. We opted to put in below the canyon since it was all of our first times on the run and it was indeed a lot of water. Pretty good lines were had by all, and we ended up paddling all the way down to Index. I’m looking forward to the road being completed this year so we can add this run to our regular schedule. #whitewaterismagic#theimportantplaces#nationalforests#pnwonderland#pnwet#pnwcollective#mostexcellent#washingtonstate#northfork#kayaking#publiclands#itsallyours#wakabro#skykomish#mtbakersnoqualmienationalforest 📷: @_treesh_
There's lots of things that happen during the first two weeks of training but this is one of my favorites. Rather than go out in the yard and do a couple shelter deployment drills, (we do that too but this is the main one), we spend the day cutting and digging fireline in a scenario. We try and make it everything it shouldn't be. We've arrived to a mock fire, and start punching line with very little intel or direction other than the Pike Hotshots are already engaged somewhere way out front and we need to fill in behind and try and connect our lines. The leadership is very mission focused and pushing the guys to hurry so we can tie into the back of Pike who we can hear over radio chatter is barely holding their own. We're starting to have trouble holding our piece of ground and the crew is getting spread out trying to pick up spot fires but we're still pushing hard to make forward progress. Communication starts to break down. Then there's a spot in the drainage we're not going catch and it's starting to take off. The crew's pushed up and over the ridge top to escape it but on the way down the backside we realize the fire has thrown a spot over the ridge and down below us. It's a quick RTO to get back to the ridge top. The call comes that we're not going to make it with gear so drop everything except for your shelter, water and radio. Run up the hill to a deployment site and deploy. Even being a mock scenario there's adrenaline, it's hot and people are out of breath trying to breath under their shelters. They stay under for probably only 5 minutes sweating and trying to catch their breath but it's still miserable.
It drives home a few critical lessons. First - fitness is extremely important in what we do. Second - How important good leadership and communication are on the fireline. The objective should never come before the welfare of your people. Third - Being able to identify the characteristics of when things have the potential to start to go wrong. Fourth - Even without the heat of a real fire and it's miserable under a shelter.
This Wolf Is Called A "Sea Wolf". True Facts: Sea Wolves Are A Unique Breed Of Wolf Found In The "Great Bear Rainforest" Along The Pacific Coast Of Canada. Swimming Between Islands Like Fish, They Are Genetically Distinct From Their Inland Cousins, Or From Wolves In Any Other Part Of The World.
Views at Hughes! The rhyolite formations aka "Devil's Honeycomb" here are just crazy awesome. We were quite surprised today when we had the whole area to ourselves for about a half hour of just enjoying the serene views 😍
🏔🐻 National Parks & Forests are starting to open back up and I don't know about you but I am EXCITED to get outside and start hiking the Rocky Mountains again... and I think Smokey's excited too! 🏕 🐻 Smokey the Bear Apparel is now for sale on all @ShopMegMarie platforms now, link in bio 👆
What's your favorite National Park / Forest that you've been to or what is one you would love to visit?
This week during my shop launch half of your purchase will be donated to two causes!
10% always goes towards National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands This week 40% goes to the First Nations’ COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. .
Get a great pair of earrings while supporting great causes! Win-win!
Hiked through this burn scar and man, does it bring ALL the feelings: Awe at the power that could destroy an entire forest, humility at the fall and temporality of such great monuments, anger at the massive sweeping consequences of a bad decision, loss at the life that could have been, gratitude for the safety and security of the moment, strength in seeing the birds’ resilience in building new nests anyway, and hope in the ability to overcome and flourish after the devastation. Let’s be like the forest.
I was up at 3AM and drove out to Ojai to see this waterfall...worth the time and drive. Short hike to reach the falls but being the first one there in the morning I was able to enjoy the spot in peace. .
Oh, the drama! If it looks like this, I’m all in! This breathtaking hike included glacial lakes, spring runoff, lightning and thunder in the distance, and spectacular cascades! Can’t wait to go back again!
5 2030 May, 2020
05•30•2020 // One of my favorites
20/52 • 1 mile
🌅It's a Skyloft kind of Saturday⠀
While 4-packs of Skyloft are sold out, this 6.6% juicy IPA is on draft for crowler and growlers to-go. Find them online or come by our taproom for your weekend beers!🙏Stay safe and drink fresh!⠀📸@kfontaine
- sharing a short poem that I wrote last year to keep my spirit alive while stuck in the house due to an injury, and while being in a similar situation now realized that it’s time to go back to those words for a sweet reminder to stay hopeful:
what does it matter to life
when you don’t take a moment from it
to smell and cherish the wildflowers
close your eyes and feel the mountains
dream and immerse yourself in a thing of love
watch the stars dance in the dark sky
and do a billion things that bring joy to your heart ‘maybe or absolutely nothing’
but what does it matter to you soul