Twin Lake Crawl

On my own terms I tend to ramble the woods on foot or ski, trudging uphill one step at a time. Wheelers are pretty hilarious though and some are true pieces of machine-art. When you try to drive up sodden, snow covered logging roads for a few thousand feet vertical (past the trailhead and toward the ridge Yellow Aster Butte is part of) it’s quickly realized it’s about the struggle, not getting anywhere. Easily passed by snowmobile and hiker alike (without snowshoes…) these fellas managed to not slide off the cliffs and conquered each avalanche debris-pile with grace and winches.

Acadia

After fleeing Fort Collins  over thousands of miles of train track I ended up in Acadia National Park in Maine with Hannah. Due East as far you can go from my home in Cascadia, the place shares a lot in common with the rocky shores of the West.

Hop Breeding Co.

I spent a couple days at Perrault farms learning from Jason and his two-man, father-son field crew for the experimental hop yard. I included captions on the photos which tell some of the story for now. They’re a bit hard to read.

  • Cruising the experimental hop field at Perrault Farms. Each year this single hill field contains thousands of individuals.
  • A mother plant well after crossing. The upper branches are stripped of leaves and the bag is pulled up when the pollen is blown in.
  • Small samples are collected from promising crosses to test in the lab.
  • Crosses that are still promising after testing are harvested by hand and picked for yield and brewers cuts. Jas and his dad Jaime run the experimental field.
  • Each vine is a separate cross. They are run through the Wolfe picker at the Hop Breeding Company.
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  • A never before seen variety fresh off the picker.
  • Yield seems to be about 8-12 pounds, of which only a few pounds are actually dried for bailing.
  • Every day during harvest (20-30 days) new varieties are picked and dried for further scrutiny. If they pass muster in the lab and brewers rubs then they may make it to 7 hill trials.

Cascadian Summer

In mid August I took a short backpack trip to Yellow Aster Butte in the North Cascades with my brother Ian, our Dad, Mark and Ian’s lady, Malia (her first backpack). Somehow the northwest had a good snow year and the tarns weren’t even fully melted out. My Dad and I hiked out the ridge toward Excelsior picking early ripening cascade blueberries as we went.

Rocky Mountain Fall

Thanks to Dale, the friendly ranger, we managed to snag a recently cancelled backcountry permit for one of the hardest to reserve camp sites in the park – Andrews Creek. It’s one drainage over from Glacier Gorge with access to numerous high lakes and the last remaining glaciers in the park. Add in a full moon, a first dusting of snow, turning aspens and good whiskey and we had a perfect little walk in the woods.