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I don’t have many pictures from the current ski season, so here is a backcountry trip down memory lane…
The time was January 1-2, 2011.
The place was the “Back Bowls” of Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, in Wenatchee, WA.
The weather was bluebird.
The solitude was magical.
The skiing was exceptional.
The snow was our art canvas.
Our Telemark turns were the brush strokes…
DAY ONE – JANUARY 1
DAY TWO – JANUARY 2
The conditions were a little different when we came “Back” to the bowls this year, Skiing Among Burnt Trees.
Canyon Creek & Damfino Lakes – Mountain Biking – September 29, 2012
Canyon Ridge Trail (#689) was our intended mountain bike ride for the day. Eric had been wanting to check it out because it’s the only trail in the Mt. Baker Ranger District open to mountain bikes. This trail is just a “stone’s throw” from Canada, immediately north of Mt Baker, in Washington State.
On our Green Trails map (#13, Mt Baker), Canyon Ridge is a dotted line trail, which can be code for “bushwhack.” As such, I started the day with an attitude of adventure, thinking that any “good” riding would be a “bonus.”
Little did we know that our adventure would start sooner rather than later. Right at the highway, the Canyon Creek Road (#31) was CLOSED. What?!
We found out from the ranger at the Glacier Public Service Center that the road had actually been closed for 2 years because of a partial road washout. (That shows you how often we frequent the Mt Baker highway!) When we got home, I found this page on the Forest Service website, showing the list of road conditions.
Instead of going elsewhere, we decided to ride up the road to see what was up there. As I have done before, I called this a “Gratitude Saturday.” To me, that means I’m open to how the day will unfold, instead of trying to make it live up to preconceived plans. It also means that I feel particularly content and appreciative of the “little” things. On this day, I loved just being on my bike, with my husband, in the mountains, under the trees, next to the creeks, and among the critters. Bliss
Canyon Creek Road (#31) leaves the Mt Baker Highway 542 at about 900 ft elevation. It terminates at 4200 ft elevation. The trailhead for Canyon Ridge Trail (#689) and Damfino Lakes Trail (#625) is located at road’s end.
We ended up biking the entire 15 mile road…a workout! About the first third was paved. The middle section alternated between pavement and gravel. The final third was gravel. By the time we got to the trailhead, we decided that the destination for the day would be Damfino Lakes rather than Canyon Ridge.
The short, 0.8 mile trail to Damfino Lakes (#625) was in surprisingly decent shape for being essentially cut off from the majority of civilization. (Although we did see motorcycle traffic that day). The trail climbed 400 ft. The lakes were small, but beautiful.
In these pictures, you will see some of the “little” things that I photographed during the day, with gratitude:
- Grey-blue glacial water flowing in the N. Fork Nooksack River
- Peek-a-boo views of the Canyon Creek Valley
- Fields of fireweed in a clearcut (I just had to imagine how intense the color must have been when it was all blooming)
- Old logging signage from the 1950′s
- Canyon Creek as it parallels the road
- Bridges, flowers, mountains, valleys, patches of snow
- Damfino Lakes
- Glimpses of Mt Baker
[Click on an image to enlarge and view in a photo gallery]
Mackenzie Dierks, from Pork Checkoff:
“One of the things you touched on was a lactose source, such as whey, and its importance, and also the challenges it can create as a part of the nursery pig diet. Can you expand on that?”
Joel DeRouchery, from Kansas State University:
“Lactose is a very common nutrient that we look at to formulate into starter pig diets. Lactose is the milk sugar, so pigs really like the taste. It’s highly digestible in that transition period from the sow on into weaning. So it’s very typical we have some sort of lactose source from weaning, up until the pigs are about 25 pounds.”
“One thing that’s happened over this last portion of this year is that the lactose price has greatly increased. In fact, spray-dried whey is priced around 75 cents per pound. And if we go back historical, 4 years ago, it was 24 cents per pound.”
It seems that everyone’s getting dairy products except infant cows.
And, it seems that baby animals of various kinds are denied their own milk from their mothers.
Let’s back up a second and review Biology 101…
Cow + Pregnancy = Baby Cow
Cow Lactation = Food for Baby Cow
Pig + Pregnancy = Baby Pig
Pig Lactation = Food for Baby Pig
Human + Pregnancy = Baby Human
Human Lactation = Food for Baby Human
That’s what nature intended.
Now, a step-by-step sequence describing how humans have screwed with nature:
- Humans want Cow Lactation.
- Humans take the Food for Baby Cow from Baby Cow.
- Humans feed Baby Cow a “milk replacer.”
- Humans calculate the economic usefulness of Baby Cow in order to determine his or her ultimate fate.
- Humans want to consume lots of Pig flesh.
- Lots of Pig flesh requires lots of dead Pigs.
- Humans breed lots of Pigs in order to kill lots of Pigs in order to consume lots of Pigs.
- Humans remove baby Pig from mother Pig as early as possible.
- Humans feed baby Pig “milk replacer” from a Cow.
- Humans like to breed, kill and consume one type of animal in order to breed, kill and consume another type of animal.
- Humans like to take what is not rightly theirs to take.
- Humans have zero requirement for (non-human) animal Lactation.
- Humans learn speciesist behaviors based on societal indoctrination.
- Humans are capable of challenging social norms.
It’s time to stop disrespecting nature.
Live vegan and let’s stop the insanity!
Backcountry Ski – South side, Mt Baker – June 2, 2007
“Our task must be to free ourselves . . . by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein