Saturday, August 28, 2010

Alpine Lakes Wilderness
The stated goal of this blog is to "map the universe from a Christian perspective, one blog at a time." I hope to touch on such topics in the coming months as cosmic and biological origins, how the Gospel fits in with world religions and ancient traditions, and the influence of Christianity. (The first three blogs were on this latter subject, and I do plan to get back to my clash over slavery with Dr. Avalos before too long.)

But if we're mapping the universe, why leave out the Alpine Lakes Wilderness?

Most famous Cascades woods stand in the shadow of tall, glacier-covered volcanoes: Mount Rainier, the North Cascades, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic monument, Crater Lake, the lesser-known but brilliant Glacier Peak Wilderness. Closer to home, though, chains of hundreds of lakes high in the Central Cascades beckon. This year I've mostly stayed home and pounded keys -- a yet-unpublished book on origins, and two chapters of my dissertation -- escaping however to the wilderness whenever possible, alone while the family was in Japan, with my brother Peter to Surprise Lake, sometimes with my boys. The dog often tags along.
The pond in Arctic pose is Silver Lake, up a steep mile and a half from the old Monte Cristo mining area, where gold, silver, and copper were among the extractions. This picture was actually taken in July; hard to believe that was last month.

Here John, James & Jake pose by a waterfall in late spring, making our way towards Melakwa Lake. We also hiked to Talapus and Ollalie lakes a bit in towards Seattle.
Our overnight hike for the summer this week was to the Rampart Lakes. This is a series of ponds scoured out by some ancient glacier at an elevation of about 5,000 feet. Within two hundred yards of the campsite to right, four different lakes, cool and clear, waited for us to swim, jump off the rounded rocks, and catch hungry rainbow trout. The little creek above flowed from a lake by our campsite to one just below, where we jumped off a little cliff into a deep chasm, and emerged from the baptism restored.

Here's the view of one of these little lakes from a hill behind it. The moon was bright, and we didn't see more than 7 dozen stars or so, including the Big Dipper shining into the front entry of the tent. The dog frightened about midnight and barked at some animal behind us. All I could find in the morning were human, dog, deer or elk, and mule or horse prints. (Hard so see how a horse could get up the steep trails to this little paradise.)
James caught a couple trout, and fried one in blueberries that were coming ripe, for want of other seasoning.

Next time, we'll have to bring some salt and pepper, if not barbecue sauce. No doubt the fish Jesus prepared for the disciples was seasoned: if his wine was the best (John 2:10), why not his barbecue (John 6:12, 21:13)?


Jason Pratt said...

Any unshoed human footprints found that next day maybe? {g}

Nice weblog setup; good to see you up and running one (at last!) More Pacific NW pictures always welcome!


David B Marshall said...

Thanks, Jason. When's your next book coming out?

The terrain is mostly easy on bare feet, actually -- the rounded glacial boulders are smooth, we swam across one lake and scrambled to the next with no shoes. The muck at the bottom of the lakes was at most a few inches thick: grossed the boys out, but felt good on my toes.

Laurel Fullington said...

Wow, David! Beautiful photographs. How about creating a meditational/inspirational Pacific Northwest book with your photos and thoughts?

David B Marshall said...

Laurel: Not a bad idea, and sounds like fun.