Showing posts from August, 2016

Wanderings: Among Ancients in the Cedar River Watershed

Early on a Saturday morning that would later become a scorching August day in the mid-nineties, my sister and I headed for the shady refuge of the forest. Old-growth forest in the Cedar River Watershed, to be exact. The Cedar River Watershed Education Center is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to visit.

I've already attended one of their signature Watershed Tours and an Adventures in Forest Ecology class, and I was eager to sign up for their old-growth forest ecology class called Among Ancients. For only $15, I got to spend the entire day in the company of ancient trees, on an educational outing led by Clay Antieau, Seattle Public Utilities scientist and self-titled "plant guy" who truly has a wealth of knowledge on his subject.

After exiting I-90, we drove up Cedar Falls Road and passed the already-full parking lot at Rattlesnake Lake. This is a popular destination, for the lake itself as well as the well-known trail to Rattlesnake Ledge. Cars were already sp…

Wanderings: Sauk Mountain

If the world ends, let me be here.

Those words from Terry Tempest Williams' recent book The Hour of Land raced unbidden to my lips as I rounded the corner of the trail and gasped at the panorama spread out before me. At 5,500 feet on top of Sauk Mountain, I stood before verdant subalpine meadows, their graceful slopes descending down, down, down to the valley below; and rolling away into the infinite western horizon were the rocky Cascade Mountain peaks. A near-cloudless dome of blue sky stretched overhead, and fragrant wildflowers all around buzzed with honeybees.

Yes, if I had a to choose a place to watch the earth's last moments before being subsumed by whatever the coming apocalypse... I could choose no place better, no place closer to heaven on earth, no place with better views from which to bid farewell to everything I know.

I had not anticipated the splendor that waited at the summit as our book club hiking group navigated the winding and crater-ridden gravel road to th…