Back online!

Note: I wrote this last Sunday but my computer died before I could finish. Finally in business again!

Hi. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. There was a perfect storm of technical problems here at casa beatgrl including a busted camera, two harddrive meltdowns, numerous software glitches and isp headaches (juno suuuuuxxxxx!). [Update: Oh, and my car broke down on the way to work Monday, 28 miles from home, in the middle of nowhere out of cell range. Yippeee!! Anyone got 800 bucks so I can get it out of the shop?]

The longer I went without posting, the harder it became to restart. The anti-posting inertia is stong!

Though I have not been posting, I have been reading. The Cunning Runt is being a saint, taking his talk about bridge building and turning it into action Saturdays at the town square, reaching out to the pro war protesters. And I was moved by his elder progeny’s comment on this post. How could a dad not glow after reading that? Dr Monkey has some important safety tips, Dcup and Mathman are back together, subservient no more is battling coconuts, Nathan is coming up here for visit, Shauna is close to being a mom, and shivering, like me, waiting for the sweet cherries to arrive. [update: dcup and Nathan also had computers die this week. Curious]

Well, its “Junuary.” The temps are 40s and 50s, it’s snowing in the mountains (2000 ft freezing level!) The heater is going. If this is how global warming is going to affect us I’m not complaining. We finally had a long snowy winter. Baker has received at least 800 inches (so far-another foot is expected in the mountains tonight.) Here is a picture from the ski area taken just a month ago. No, the trails are not open yet!

Mt Baker May 9th

Maybe this could stem the glaciers retreat a bit. We rely on glaciers for our survival here. They keep the water cool and flowing all summer long for the salmon and fill our reservoirs for hydropower. Speaking of power, I filled up my work truck’s gas tank yesterday and it cost 75 bucks. Gaaa!

In the couple months since you heard from me last I have gone back to work at the historic northern ranger station, talking about bears and glaciers and volcanoes. I am also working along the wild and scenic Sauk river.

The Sauk is a southern tributary of the Skagit. It gathers its water from the flanks of Glacier Peak, including the White Chuck and Suiattle Rivers. If you spend much time in Sauk country, you had better enjoy the color green, in hundreds of shades. It’s wet. Moss will grow on you if you stay down there too long. Things grow. Ferns and berries and huge conifers. Maples and cottonwoods. That water is powerful. Two huge flood events in 2003 and another in 2006 have cut off all our west side access to the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

The rivers swelled to 10 times their current size, taking out massive road bridges and giving the huge wilderness back to its non human inhabitants for a while.

So I’ll be exploring these deep dark and wet valleys the next few months, watching out for the human mutants who lurk along the road corridors (people who like to burn down portable toilets, dump computers in the ditch, manufacture dangerous chemicals in trailers and so on)

I’ll try to get my work to give me a camera and I’ll get some pictures for you this summer.

4 Responses to “Back online!”


  1. 1 DCup June 12, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Welcome back! You’ve been missed!

    The work you do sounds interesting to this person who is chained to a desk. I’ll keep my fingers crossed about the camera because I’d love to see pix of your very large, wild office.

  2. 2 littlebangtheory June 12, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Yes, welcome back indeed!

    Thanks for the mention, and yeah, I’m wicked proud of Elder Progeny. If you knew the adversity she’s risen above in her young life, you’d be equally amazed at where she’s gotten herself to!

    Hey, it’s cool to see Wilderness get a break from us Two-Foots, innit? I’m with DCup on the “Wow Factor” over your job!

    Looking forward to reading you again,

    Peace, Ralph

  3. 3 littlebangtheory June 12, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    PS, did you take that bear picture???????

  4. 4 beatgrl June 12, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Oh no. There was a “class 1” (reliable) sighting of a grizzly near Glacier Peak several years ago but no one has captured one on film, yet. “They” think their may be 10 or so bears in the entire North Cascades Ecosystem, both sides of the border.

    For the record, my job isn’t quite as glamorous as it may seem. But hey, picking up garbage in the woods beats sitting in an office!


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