Cascades Charades IV || Pirate Island || My last year at the one room school house, Treasure Island was read aloud together by all of the students, ages 6-13, and was to become a favorite revisited by many in the years to come. As such, it came as no surprise to find upon returning to the valley, that a young band of ambitious miscreants has annexed from the National Park Service a rather large area of marshland at the head of lake Cheland, and laid claim to what has become widely known as “Pirate Island”. A multi story stilt house, complete with sleeping quarters a dock, and numerous accoutrements looted from careless “landlubber” adults, Pirate Island is about as close to Neverland as most of us will ever get. Be warned though: guarded by “the deadly swamps” and accessed only by the Little Dipper or other appropriately small water craft, a secret password is required for safe passage - and don’t ask, as I’m not at a liberty to share.
Cascades Charades III || Lake Chelan || The absence of a gym in the valley pushes folks towards more creativity in their fitness regimes - here Allison trains for a triathlon by swimming laps in the ever frigid glacial runoff at the head of the lake.
Cascade Charades II || Stehekin || Returning to the valley this summer, some ten years after our family moved away, I found the road had been reclaimed by the river and now runs only 11 miles, internet is still a thing of the future for most, and the population has remained around 100 - still comprised of some of the best neighbors and heartiest folks I know. I snapped this shot one evening last week of dad driving home in the old suburban he bought for $500 and restored to working order after our previous car was crushed in a mudslide. As a teenager I had a hard time understanding why mom and dad moved here; returning now I wonder why they’d ever leave.
Cascade Charades I || Stehekin || When my family moved to Stehekin in 1998 the valley boasted a year round population of around 100 people. It wasn’t a one stoplight town; in fact there wasn’t even a stop sign, let alone a stoplight on the one lane road running 16 miles up valley. A single satellite phone was shared by all the residents of the valley, and internet was a thing of the future. Located at the end of lake Chelan, and accessible only by boat or plane, the vague theories and mysteries surrounding this “self sufficiency” that our parents had always spoken of began to take on a much tangible nature.
I met Blake fifteen years ago at the one room school house in Stehekin where we brought bike wars into vogue (much to the chagrin of local parents) worked at the bakery in the summers and fished the mouth of the river in a homemade rowboat, the Little Dipper. Ten years later we reconnected on a trip through Denver and he introduce me to his latest obsession - climbing. It puts a big grin on my face now to be back on his home turf of Leavenworth working on photographing for his new guide to alpine climbing in the Cascades.
Last summer I had the opportunity, along with some of my closest friends, to explore the watery secrets of Minnesota via one of the last Albatross planes in operation.
Excited to get to share some of that story via the good folks at @wolftreemag
Enjoying some quality time in SEA with this savage while plotting a return to his homeland and the mountains of NZ.
Dancing with shadows of then and now,
We step out across self created voids,
Flirting with the forever swirls of tomorrow.
Meanwhile, a coyote cackles out his self conscious laugh, and an abnormally big eared rabbit does jumping jacks to stay awake.
Intentions crystallize in the blinking of stone eyes and
knowing nod of the twisted juniper.
Seasons pass, but these things do not.
Great to connect with old friends and new to share some stories around the fluorescent #ORshow campfire these past few days. Safe travels back to your respective rivers and trails, cliffs and coves, or secret mountain hideaways.
Stoked to see our #whatswithin campaign photos in action today as Vasque celebrates their 50th anniversary.
If you’re at the #ORshow, swing by their booth from 4-6 for picture stories, cold beer, and high fives!