Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2007


It seems that one of the consequences of staying alive for a long time is that you begin to gain a sense of appreciation for the cost of change. This is achieved through the accumulation of memories, through the death of more and more of your contemporaries, through cycles of human construction and demolition, and occasionally, demonstrations of environmental tinkering via Mother Nature’s big box ‘O’ tools. Evidently in November, Mother Nature determined that a portion of the Sandy River needed a make-over

It used to be that you would drive to Zigzag and turn North at the Lolo Pass junction, drive a little over four miles to forest road 1825 and then…but then it doesn’t really matter because forest road 1825 has a gate across it now. So it’s get-out-of-the-car-and-walk-time.
At first, as you walk along the trails that snake along the river, you marvel at the delicate ground cover and the tenacious tree-like things that struggle to grow out of the moss and lichen covered rocks. But then …

Propagation of Our Root-bound Cohorts

My January 16, 2007 blog entry, Invasion of the Alien Pods (, turns out to have been incomplete and its sensationalistic title essentially misleading. A comment from alert blog reader Cynthia astutely points out the incomplete part. She said, “And let us remember our dear animal companions who share the planet with us. Very helpful in assisting our root-bound cohorts with propagation.” Upon reflection, I realized also that the seed pods can’t possibly be ‘alien’. While it is fun to make metaphors about foreign invaders and the logistics of warfare as applied to vegetables, it is probably more informative to remember that plants share the same genetic code the rest of us do and that somewhere down the line, evidence implies, we all come from the same replicator. We are a big interconnected family, dependent on each other for our very lives.

The interrelationships between species are so complex that it leads many o…

TABLE MOUNTAIN: Columbia River Gorge Geology

In a previous blog entry, Bridge of the Gods (, I noted that some geologists have posited a link between a landslide that likely occurred in the 1200s and local myths/legends describing a land-bridge across the Columbia.

Current, apparently misnamed, Bridge of the Gods.
John Eliot Allen, author of The Magnificent Gateway, writes, “The lobe of the latest (“Cascade”) slide covers about 5 ½ square miles. It diverted the river a mile to the south, and contained a dam long enough, in all probability, to give rise to the Indian legend of the “Bridge of the Gods”

Mr. Allen describes the unstable geologic situation like this. “Heavy Grande Rhone Basalt-flows cap Greenleaf Peak and Table Mountain, resting upon 1000 feet of weak, clay bearing Eagle Creek sediments.”

The trail I took to Table Mountain starts at the Bonneville trail head. It’s on the Washington side of the river across the highway from the Bonneville Dam’s visitor cen…