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Saturday, November 28, 2009


Water has been falling out of the sky continuously now for …I don’t know…maybe a hundred forty two thousand days (or maybe it just seems like it).

Hiking at the base of mountains at this time of year means any significant storm front can drop a foot of snow on you in almost no time at all. The consequent scarcity of intelligent/cautious hikers makes for uncrowded trails - with little hope for rescue.

Spiteful winds and rain try to strip the trees of their golden leaves. Failing to denude the deciduous victims, the jealous clouds hang low and hide the brilliant colors in a dull gray blanket.

Here and there, autumn’s fire bursts through the gloom.

I know Mt. St. Helens is ahead, because I saw it at the end of September (above) when I broke my bicycle on this very same trail.

…but today… I walk in eerie limbo, consorting with the souls of unbaptized children and all the rightous who died before the arrival of Jesus (Roman Catholic theology is endlessly fascinating).

The much photographed, constricted throat of Ape Canyon.

A pair of mountain-bikers (to the right) reveal the scale of the canyon relative to hominids.

When the volcano blew, melted glacial ice made a dangerous slurry of rock and ash which poured down the mountain’s flanks like a cataclysmic belt-sander.

The Plains of Abraham – a vast sterilized pumice landscape which now serves as an immense Petri dish in which to examine the re- propagation of life.

Tell-tale red bushes delineate the arterial flow of life giving water.

A tortured tree makes due with the only available shelter.

A line of cairns beckon me ever further into the apocalypse. I’m keenly aware of the warning I read earlier that says, “If you encounter ashfall or ballistics, seek cover and act quickly to protect your head, airway and eyes.” It ought to just honestly suggest, "...kiss your ass goodbye."

The contrast between the stark plains and the remnants of ancient forests, preserved behind sheltering ridges and hills is striking.

Further north, along windy ridge, Spirit Lake serves as a receptacle for thrown away trees - those that were unfortunate enough to be standing in the face of the eruption.

Tree limbo

Mt. Adams pondering the example of his sister

Kind of like looking down the barrel of a loaded gun

Editor's Note:
Dear Mr. Beck,
Thank you for your comment. I've highlighted the second biker (see above), but I wasn't able to find any yeti(s).

Editors Note:

Mr. Beck,

I have re-examined the photo of the bikers and determined that the rider of the first bicycle is Monkey-cam. In the fog, Monkey-cam might very well be mistaken for a Yeti, and, since that is not his bicycle, you may indeed have witnessed the throwing of poop as the second biker gained on him.


  1. OK, I enlarged the pix of the 2 mountain bikers and I could see one biker on the ridgeline and a Yeti crapping by that Orange bush but where the heck is the other biker? sincerely, Fred Beck

  2. Mr. Beck,

    I've added a more detailed view of the two bikers to the end of the page and taken steps to reveal the location of the second biker. I was unable to find the Yeti, but suppose it will appreciate the privacy...considering.

  3. Hi Scott, excellent episode as usual. But, Uhhhh, the next time someone feeds you a setup question like the 1st one in this thread I think they're expecting a clever guy like you to do some hilarious photo shop thing or something......sheesh............................."fred beck"... that kills me.

  4. Mr. anonymous,

    The insinuation that I would photoshop or somehow alter these documentary photographs causes me significant emotional turmoil.

  5. typical cover-up....I guess the "poop throwing" isn't confined to monkey cam. My team will be paying you a visit.....J. Ventura

  6. psst Scott,

    Looking at the enlarged view of the 2 *cough* bikers if you look closely at the "burning" bush at the bottom center, directly in front of it there is a large boulder, rectangular in shape in an upright position with a smaller boulder sitting on top. Or at least that is what I saw the first time I looked. Upon closer inspection it occured to me the our Mr. Beck here shoudl have gone to the restroom before donning the ape suit and chasing the *cough* bikers...

    WolfEyes ;o)


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