Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dawn on Ross Lake

©Paul Anderson Ridge Lines at Dawn

Sometimes there are only seconds at dawn to capture the image. Changing weather pattern, changing light, changing color values all affect the image you have in your mind.

Remember, one of the best times to capture the mood of the landscape is during changing weather patterns and changing light conditions.

Try and be ready to capture the image as quickly as you can. With so many variables changing so rapidly you may only have seconds to get a usable image. Choose your primary composition and capture it - follow your instincts.

I remember hiking down to the bottom of Canyon de Chelly with my 75 pound pack. I quickly found a composition I liked of White House Ruins. I set up my 4x5 view camera and waited for the late light to begin its ascent up the canyon wall.

Another photographer soon joined me, set up his 4x5 and began his wait. But he soon decided to move to a different location - a process that took about 5 minutes. After a few more minutes he moved again, and then again, and again. By the time the light started to move up the wall I was capturing the image and he was trying to set up in a new position. I used approximately 30 sheets of film and one of those was used on a magazine cover, in several calendars, and in catalogs for photo tour companies. He never shot a single picture.

I believe that my hike back up the steep trail, with my heavy pack, in the dark, to the canyon rim was easier for me knowing I had captured a good image.

In a photo like this, don't be afraid to shoot many duplicates as the sky changes, you'll never know which photo is going to convey the emotion that you are feeling as you look at the landscape. Many times I fail to capture even one image that I have pre-visualized, but if I don't put myself into that position I will never capture what I want.

Your photograph, just like this one, may never be published, but this portrayal of elusive color and early dawn light meant something to me and so it was worth getting up early.

Kayaks Below Colonial Peak

© Paul Anderson Kayaking near Cougar Island

Kayaking, canoeing and camping on Ross Lake is a unique experience.

Quiet, serene, with relatively few and usually only small boats seen on the lake, waterfalls, canyons, fly fishing, and hiking all add to your memory bank of trips and life experiences you will be glad to have accomplished.

Moms and Dads if you take the kids, you will be sharing with them a gift they won't forget That is the power we have as parents.

You can bring your own kayak, or canoe or rent boats, canoes and kayaks from the resort. Just be sure to call ahead to see if any are available.

I've added Carol's write up on how to get your own kayak up to Ross Lake.

How can I get my own boat on the lake?
The resort will portage kayaks and canoes, plus motorboats under 14' and light enough to lift, via flatbed truck from Diablo Lake to Ross Lake. Put in at Colonial Creek campground and make way five miles up Diablo Lake. Look to starboard after the canyon for a gravel ramp just beyond the second dock- beach there and walk to the Ross powerhouse. There is a phone box by the front door with the Resort's number. Call for portage between the hours of 8 am – 4pm. For one vessel we charge $25. For more than one kayak or canoe: $15 per vessel. For more than one motorboat: $20. There is a public boat launch at Hozomeen campground on the north end of the lake. To get there, take the Silver/Skagit Road south from just west of Hope, British Columbia. Follow this gravel road 60 km to the Hozomeen Campground. Border crossing regulations apply. Bring at least two spare tires for your rig and for your boat trailer.

There are 19 boat-access backcountry campgrounds along Ross Lake. All have pit toilets, fire grates, picnic tables and wildlife-resistant food storage boxes. A backcountry permit is required for all over night stays in these sites and may be obtained from the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount or the Hozomeen Ranger Station on a first-come, first-served basis. Party size limit is 12 individuals.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jon Jarvis Testifies At Confirmation Hearing

Editors Note: Jon Jarvis who spent 5 years as a ranger here in North Cascades National Park has begun testifying before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Director Designate Jon Jarvis Testifies At Confirmation Hearing

Director designate Jon Jarvis testified at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources yesterday morning. The text of his opening statement follows.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Murkowski, and Members of this Committee. I am truly honored that President Obama and Secretary Salazar have demonstrated their confidence in me by nominating me to lead the National Park Service (NPS). If confirmed, I pledge to work closely with the Secretary, with Members of Congress, with our many partners, and with the public, in the stewardship and enjoyment of our national parks.

My father was in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the depression and he, like so many other young men of the time, connected deeply with the forests and streams of this great nation and instilled that passion in me and my brother as kids. We were raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, backed up against national forest land where we hunted, fished and roamed. I knew from that time I wanted to pursue a career related to the protection and enjoyment of the outdoors. I graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1975 with a degree in Biology and immediately took a road trip across the country, camping in many of our great national parks, like Yellowstone, Glacier, and Olympic. From that trip forward, I was hooked on the National parks.

In 1976, I was hired by the NPS to staff the Bicentennial Information Center here in Washington, helping to host the millions who came to celebrate their nation’s birthday. I spent the following winter with President Jefferson in his Memorial. Often alone there for hours, with the wind howling across the Tidal Basin, I absorbed his writings inscribed on the wall including excerpts from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,

From that time to this moment that I sit before this Committee, I have devoted a career to the National Park System which I believe embodies these principles:

The cultural parks of our country are the places where civic engagements, often confrontational, occasionally bloody, have shaped who we are as a people: Selma to Montgomery, Brown versus Board of Education, Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp, the Statue of Liberty, and Flight 93. These are parks where we learn not only of the people who left their marks on our future, but through this intimate contact, we learn how to take the next generation to a higher and better place.

The natural parks of our country, in addition to their intrinsic beauty, stand as testimony to this nation’s willingness to impose self restraint. For example, President Abraham Lincoln set aside Yosemite during our civil war because perhaps he knew our country would need such places for healing.

The 391 units of the National Park System are a collective expression of who we are as a people, where our values were forged in the hottest fires. They are an aggregate of what we Americans value most about ourselves. They also deliver messages to future generations about the foundation experiences that have made America a symbol for the rest of the world. And of course our great parks are places we pursue happiness, as a respite from a fast paced and congested world. In my thirty-three years with the NPS, I have met thousands of visitors on the trail. They smile, they offer greetings, and most are not looking at their Blackberries.

I have served as a field park ranger in the most classic sense: delivering interpretive talks, working the information desk, conducting search and rescues, riding horse patrol, and ski patrol. I have fought fires, trapped bears, forded glacial rivers, rappelled off cliffs, made arrests, and helped thousands of visitors have a great experience in their parks. In my first 26 years of service in the NPS, I was an interpretive ranger, a protection ranger, a biologist and Superintendent in seven parks in seven states. For the last seven, I have served as the Regional Director for 54 national park units in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands of Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. My wife and I have moved nine times and lived in rural west Texas, the Snake River Plain of Idaho and if confirmed, I will be the first Director to have ever served in bush Alaska. In each place, I have always worked hard to become a contributing member of the local community and have encouraged my staff to do the same. Gateway communities and parks have an important relationship that needs to be grown through mutual respect and cooperation, particularly when tourism is an essential part of the economy.

I do not need to tell you of the challenges before us: the economy, climate change, connecting urban kids to nature, the concerns over obesity, and a concern about a loss of cultural literacy. I believe that the National Park Service has a role and a responsibility in each of these. As Regional Director in the Pacific West, I set high standards for the parks to achieve environmental and financial sustainability. We instituted programs to reach out and connect to the urban youth of the Los Angeles basin and the central valley of California. We studied and learned that we can attract the public to the parks for their health benefits and have pioneered cooperative efforts with partners in the health and fitness community. We facilitated good science and began to interpret the changes we could link to climate change. And we worked through our community assistance programs to help gateway communities to achieve both preservation and economic goals. In each case, the extraordinary employees of the National Park System responded to these goals with energy and enthusiasm.

Throughout my life long connection to national parks, a constant source of inspiration has always been the extraordinary employees of the National Park Service. They formed my second family along many paths of my career. It is with all of them in mind that I find the personal confidence to take on the daunting task of leading the agency in these very challenging and complex times. The employees of the National Park Service do great work every day across the nation, whether preserving places, cultures, flora, fauna and vast natural ecosystems or giving flight to the imaginations of millions of park visitors exploring a given park. At times the men and women of the National Park Service are asked to do difficult, dangerous and nearly impossible work. I am proud to be one of them.

Wallace Stegner said: National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst."

Never in its 200 years has this nation needed the National Park System more. It stands as a collective memory of where we have been, what sacrifices we have made to get here and who we mean to be. By investing in the preservation, interpretation and restoration of these symbolic places, we offer hope and optimism to the each generation of Americans. If confirmed, my pledge to you and to the American people is that I will bring all my energies to be the very best steward of America’s best places and America’s best idea. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crazy Hot

© Paul K Anderson Ruby Creek

© Paul K Anderson Doug near Cougar Island

© Paul K Anderson Taking the Plunge into Ross Lake

© Paul K Anderson - Cooling Off in front of the Peak Cabins

I know, I know, I know it's crazy hot out there!

To all you readers of Tom's View that have been stuck on I-5 in the Puget Sound lowlands, I'm telling you that I am empathetic to your pain and suffering because I too have been sitting in heavy, slow moving traffic on I-5 this week.

And I know it's hot in Spokane, over in the Palouse, down in Portland, Houston, Virginia, and Florida - OY!!!!!

It's hot in our factories, in our skyscrapers, in our universities. It's hot at Microsoft, at Boeing, and at our government offices!

But I know what we can do.

Head for the North Cascades!

Drive across highway 20. Get some fresh ice cream at Cascadian Farms, stop for breakfast or lunch in Marblemount, take a tour with Seattle City Light (but call ahead for a reservation), visit the North Cascades Institute and pick up a course catalog.

Stop at North Cascades National Park Visitor Center and view the most excellent exhibits.

Go ahead, be spontaneous, call now and reserve for the day a boat, kayak or canoe from Ross Lake Resort and go fishing, touring, hiking or camping uplake.

Find an ancient cedar or fir, sit down, and feel the embrace of old growth shade.


You're cooler already, aren't you?

Go now and jump in Ross Lake!

Hike down to Ross Lake from the highway parking lot, or catch the 8:30 A.M. Seattle City Light ferry.

Call the resort from the phone (follow the signs) near the lake at the end of the trail and have the resort water taxi take you up lake to swim, hike, fish or just relax.

Schedule a time to be picked up later and then either catch the afternoon ferry down Diablo or hike back out to highway.

It will work wonders in reducing your stress level.

But remember if you wait until next week.......... you are going to be a week older.

Note: if camping, stop at a ranger's station for your permit. Call ahead to the resort to reserve a boat since weekends are extremely busy in July and August.