Unless you have been in the backcountry for a few months, or just actually live under a rock, you are aware that everywhere you go, there is talk about politics. In the grocery stores, in the papers, at work, at home and all over social media; it seems like political speech is around every corner. For many, the retreat into nature is to avoid this type of talk, letting yourself reconnect and be calm in the majesty of wilderness and the great outdoors. While I believe everyone should find a patch of wilderness to relax and meditate at, the time for naivety of politics not playing an important role in nature is over. 

Over the last 32 years, the forests of the Olympic Peninsula have slowly been returning. Recovering from the heyday of the logging industry, hillsides and valleys, ridge lines and fields have once again become filled with trees. Thanks to a series of satellite images, we can now see just how much of the Olympic Peninsula has been reclaimed by nature. In just over three decades, the region is starting to recover from the sixty years of mass deforestation and we think it looks awesome. 

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. 

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.

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. 

I consider myself a bit of a recluse, or self-described modern hermit. For as much as I love writing, communications via social media and sharing the gorgeousness of the Pacific Northwest, I also like to remain incognito. I like to focus on the beauty of the area and not on myself. That is why, when asked to take part in the Cascade Hiker Podcast, I was a little hesitant. Sure, I love talking about nature, but does anyone really care what I say? Apparently, they do and Rudy at the Cascade Hiker Podcast was eager to have me on to talk about my love, Olympic National Park. 

Washington Hikers, you aren’t all that bad.

On a perfect, sunny, Sunday in July, I climbed Mt. Ellinor with my family and about 1,000 other people. And I lived to tell the tale.

The reports keep pouring in, now on an almost daily basis. In just a few days at Yellowstone National Park, the following happened:

• Some folks put a bison into their SUV because the calf looks cold and could use a cup of hot chocolate.

• Wannabe Youtube brats decide it would be cool to just walk onto the Grand Prismatic Spring.

It’s not even “just American stupidity,” the idiots above are from Canada and last year, asshats from The Netherlands and Germany were fined for dropping their drones into the hot springs and Lake Yellowstone.

The National Park Services found a way to solve their $11 billion maintenance backlog crisis. That is right, a government agency just created a way to save the tax payers of America $11 billion. When was the last time you heard something like that come out of a federal agency?

…Chances are, you will hate this plan…