Snow has fallen all around the lowlands of the Pacific Northwest, so you know what time it is!
Welcome to the first of many snowpack updates for the Olympic Mountains for the winter of 2016-17. As I am writing this, I am watching the four inches of snow we received last night in Olympia melt away while looking at forecasts for more snow in the Olympic Mountains. So far, this winter has been great for building up our snowpack and the trend of snow in the mountains without serious melt-off looks to continue. Did you see the Olympics, covered in snow, from space?
Join us in downtown Olympia at Three Magnets Brewing on December 19th. There will be stories, laughs, calendars and good times!
Our LIVE events are held at Three Magnets Brewing in downtown Olympia.
They have delicious beer and food and have a family-friendly atmosphere.
Three Magnets Brewing Co. – 600 Franklin St SE Olympia, WA 98501
Another day, another ridiculous political story.
Like a monstrous earthquake along a huge fault line running the length of the Washington Cascades, Eastern Washington wants to break away from Western Washington. Legislators from the eastern side of the Evergreen State are hoping they can form a new state, called Liberty. They are apparently hoping to break free from the evilness that Western Washington has plagued upon the pastoral region.
Every now and then, we get cool satellite images of the Pacific Northwest that leaves us in awe at the beauty of our home. Under clear skies, we get to see incredible glimpses of our corner of the world in ways unfathomable a few generations ago. On December 6th, 2016, after what seemed like months of rain and then a cold streak that brought lowland snow, the skies parted and let us stare in wonder at the snowy summits surrounding the Puget Sound.
Each year, when daylight hours start to dwindle and the temperature hovers around freezing, an excitement builds around the Pacific Northwest. As newscasters pretext not whip us into a frenzy over incoming winter weather conditions, the freezing level starts falling toward sea-level, raising our expectations for a chance to experience a winter wonderland. When it snows in the Pacific Northwest, our normal world full of endless green transforms, wrapping itself in a silent blanket of white. The first winter snowfall on our favorite trails leads us into an unexpected wonderland, inspiring snowy adventures in what no feels like a foreign landscape.
Winter in our National Parks can give the most spectacular memories and experiences of any season. America’s seventh most-visited National Park, Olympic, is home to seven of the most unique winter experiences in the country. From skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing on snowy ridges, to walking along rainforest rivers full of salmon, and watching storms on the coast, Olympic has something for everyone. 611 miles of trails await you in this park that is 95% wilderness, making Olympic a perfect destination to get away from it all before and after the holiday season.
With Christmas approaching, one of Washington’s cash crops is quickly being harvested and is getting sent around the globe. The Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association boasts that Christmas tree sales bring $35 million to the state’s economy, making The Evergreen State the fifth largest Christmas tree producer in the nation. Over 2.3 million trees in Washington are cut down each year for Christmas celebrations around the world, with 90% of production going out of state, the majority to California and Mexico. Many of the trees come from Thurston, Mason and Lewis Counties, which means that around the South Sound, we have some of the best Christmas trees in the world.
Not those kind of bars, although a cool brew pub, pouring local beers at Paradise would be pretty cool too.
What we’re talking about is cell coverage & internet connectivity.
Mt. Rainier National Park received an application from Verizon and T-Mobile to install a wireless communications facility at Paradise. Mind you, this is not a giant tower.
On January 1st, 1925 the United States Forest Service released four mountain goats near Mount Storm King above Lake Crescent. The goats, from the Selkirk Mountains in Canada, were placed on Mount Storm King as an experiment to see how adaptable they would be to the rugged mountains of the Olympics. The goat’s ability to adapt, as well as reproduce, saw their numbers increase rapidly, making mountain goat sighting a frequent event on numerous peaks on the Olympic Peninsula. In July 2016, wildlife biologists from the National Park Service and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife counted mountain goats from a low-flying helicopter, focusing on ice-free areas above 4,500 feet in elevation in Olympic National Park and adjacent areas of Olympic National Forest. Now, thanks to an official report from the USGS, WDFW and the National Park Service, we finally have an official count.
Two miles off the Washington Coast in 2014, near the fishing mecca of Westport, a fisherman had quite a shock when he was pulling up his crab pit. As his crab pot came into view and he looked through the contents, he discovered something odd. What he found was part of a human head in a crab pot. He called the police, they impounded his crab pot and the skull and ran DNA tests with the FBI. No matches were found and the mystery of the head in the crab pot was forgotten. For two years, the skull was studied and analyzed and we finally have part of the mystery solved. Now, after Radio Carbon Dating tests were run at Beta Analytics in Miami, Fla., we have a few answers.
On Black Friday 2016, when many will be shopping indoors, nature lovers of all ages and abilities will be having a whale of time in Tacoma, Washington. Starting at 11am at Owen Beach along Five Mile Drive and Point Defiance Park, whaling enthusiasts will be gathering to hear from local whale watchers and possibly see some of them as they swim near the shore. Choosing to #OptOutside in the Pacific Northwest, we have many unique opportunities. This event in Tacoma is yet another example of why living in Washington State is so incredible.
Two of Olympic National Park’s most-popular regions have been closed to the public since October storms washed away sections of the road. Now, after being closed for over a month, the Hoh Rainforest and Rialto beach will once again be open to your off-season adventures. This is great news for those hoping to #OptOutside on Black Friday and gives outdoor recreation enthusiasts yet another reason to head over to the western side of the Olympic Peninsula.
You now have ten more reasons to visit America’s National Parks in 2017! Starting in January, America’s National Park’s will open without entry fees for all who choose to explore the Nation’s best idea. From our stunning national parks and national historical parks, to our national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores, 2017 is yet another year to #LoveOurPublicLands. There is at least one national park in every state, so don’t keep this message local. Spread the word!
Did anyone else notice that the majority of the outdoor industry and nature writers remained silent regarding the 2016 election. Rather than take a stand for public lands, the environment and their survival, they didn’t utter a peep. Seeming overcome with fear of offending or losing a few precious followers, so called “outdoor experts” sat on their hands and hoped for the best. Perhaps driven by greed and profits, reputation and protection of image, their social media accounts barely mentioned an election, much less a plea to vote for nature. Those people are cowards, plain and simple.
What is there left to say that hasn’t already been said these past 18 month. It has been endlessly long and here we are, mere days before the election. Doug and Mathias at The Outdoor Society have decided we’ve seen enough and it’s time to speak our conviction and officially endorse candidates and issues which are important to us.
In the midst of election season, after record rainfall this October, living in the Pacific Northwest can make anyone feel down.
Fear not- remember that there’s always sun after the rain.
Inspired by the famous children’s book ‘Frederick – the Mouse‘, here are some of our most sunniest photos of 2016, helping us remember the good times.
You might remember a story this summer about five bros from Canada who decided to disregard National Park laws, common sense and Leave No Trace Principles to bro out in America’s National Park. From Flying drones in wilderness regions and protected areas, to leaving the boardwalk at Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Hot Springs and numerous acts in-between, the five guys from the great white north angered nature lovers from around the world. With a blatant disregard for not only their general well-being, but also for rules and regulations, the guys from “High on Life” started a discussion about what it means to be proper stewards in our public lands. On November 1st, 2016, two of the five plead guilt to charges from the National Park Service.
As America’s National Park Service turned 100 years old this year, hundreds of millions of visitors flocked to our public lands, hoping to enjoy wilderness, recreation and outside exploration. Out in the corner of the Pacific Northwest, Olympic National Park had a busy summer, seeing large number of visitors exploring the rainforests, beaches, ridges, lakes and waterfalls in this huge and diverse park. While road closures, forest fires and lack of sunny weather impacted visitation, 2016 will go down as a successful and busy year in Olympic and all National Parks in America.
In what appears to be yet another casualty of the wettest fall in Pacific Northwest history, access to one of the most pristine wilderness regions on the Olympic Peninsula is restricted. During one of the many storm events of 2016, the bridge crossing Lena Creek, leading into the Brothers Wilderness, was severely damaged. The bridge is impassible, with the National Forest Service issuing a strict warning to hikers to not cross the bridge at all. The impact of the damaged bridge also restricts access to campsites at the north end of Lena Lake, one of the most popular destinations on the eastern side of the Olympics.