The early dawn light was a welcome relief to Jack Rowley as he awoke from a fitful night’s sleep. It was spring, 1877 in the Washington Territory. For the last five years Jack had been yearning to search for that elusive mother lode of gold rumored to be in the upper Skagit River. As he opened his eyes that morning, Jack knew that somehow this time it was different. He had found the way to the gold.
This week marks one month that I have been at the Pacific Northwest Trail Association (PNTA). Like any new job, it has been a whirlwind, but I'm steadily making progress. Since my start date in late March, I have been busy with the website, summer planning, and learning the ins-and-outs of our different programs. I'm excited to share some of the happenings that have kept me so busy.
This week, our first Service Knowledge Youth (SKY) trail crew of the 2015 season hit the trails at Blum Creek along the East Baker Lake trail in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The East Baker Lake trail is an alternate route to the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail and allows users to avoid US Forest Service roads in the area.
Tucked inside a small valley, just east of the Washington-Idaho border on the PNT, northwest of Priest Lake, lies Hughes Meadow. Today it stands as treeless, boggy marsh with chest-deep grass. The stream running through the meadow is filled with beaver while migratory birds fly overhead. Look carefully in the black moist soil for bear tracks. This majestic natural meadow hides a rich history that is almost forgotten.
The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail (PNNST) stretches 1200 miles from the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park, Montana to Cape Alava on the Pacific Ocean in Olympic National Park. Washington. Along the way there are many isolated remote sections, where relatively few humans have ventured and left their mark.
An installment of our "People of the PNT" blog series featuring Mary Hodges-Cates, a woman who wears many hats. PNTA board member, trail angel, mother, community advocate, and business owner.
A big part of the PNTA is the behind the scenes work of trail advocacy. Each year a staff representative from the PNTA visits men and women of congress and agency officials to build lasting relationships and request funding for the Pacific Northwest Trail. It is that time of the year again where the PNTA will head to Washington along with the Partnership the National Trail System to spearhead the advocacy work for national scenic trails this year. This annual meeting of the trails ends in an event called Hike the Hill! We encourage all those avid hikers interested in advocacy to get involved with the Partnership and Hike the Hill.
A message from the Director of Trail Operations: As we start off 2015, we really want to extend our thanks to everyone who made 2014 the success it was! Our youth crews in Washington along with volunteers along the entire length of the Pacific Northwest Trail accounted for 38,800 hours in labor! This amounts to over $859,000.00 in volunteer labor costs and we couldn’t be more proud of this accomplishment.
On behalf of the Pacific Northwest Trail Association, its board, volunteers, and donors, we would like to welcome you to our updated website!