I'm off to Washington D.C. tomorrow for a week of awards, workshops, conferences, and, yes, a little bit of sightseeing. But it has been a busy week, with lots of news to pass on to you.
Donations: First, check out these awesome paintings painted by volunteer Allan Dreyer! Four of these paintings have been donated by Allan to Washington's National Park Fund, to be auctioned off at our gala reopening ceremony at the Paradise Inn next month. Allan has a real gift for painting Mount Rainier's landscapes, and capturing the play of light on snow and trees. If you're attending the auction, watch for his work. Some of the remaining paintings will be donated to offices at the park, and others will be available for sale.
Wonderland Repair: Plans have been released for repairing the Wonderland Trail in the Carbon River Valley. You're all encouraged to comment on the proposed environmental assessment. Find the complete press release here, and submit your comments online at parkplanning.nps.gov. (Choose Mount Rainier from the drop-down menu.)
Potluck Brunch for Meadow Rovers: If you're a Meadow Rover, or think you might like to be one, join us for brunch at the Mountaineers Clubhouse in Tacoma on May 10:
May 10, Sat., 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Potluck Brunch hosted by the Tacoma Branch Hiking & Backpacking Committee and the Mt. Rainier Sunrise Volunteers In the Park (VIPs), at the Tacoma clubhouse, 2302 N. 30th Street, Tacoma, WA 98403. All Mountaineers members are welcome to attend this event to find out about volunteering at Mt. Rainier National Park and to help the Sunrise VIP's kick off the 2008 Meadow Roving season. There are a number of Tacoma Mountaineers who volunteer at Sunrise during the summer, as well as other Mountaineers who volunteer at Paradise and in the backcountry on a year round basis. Opportunities at the Park abound - check out the volunteer opportunities listed on the Park website, http://www.nps.gov/mora/supportyourpark/volunteer.htm. It's a terrific "job"! If you have just a couple of days a month (weekends or weekdays) there is something for you to do at MRNP. If you've done all the trail maintenance and rebuilding that your body can handle, meadow roving might be just the ticket to get you out and let you give something back to the Park. Bring something yummy to share for brunch. We'll plan to start serving food at 9:30 a.m. Doors will be open by 8:00 a.m. if you want to come early to slip your treat into the oven to heat it up. Coffee, tea, juice, tableware will be provided. Questions or for directions, contact Amy Mann, firstname.lastname@example.org, 253-759-2796 or Martha Scoville, email@example.com, 253-752-5014.
News links: Perhaps some of you saw the notice on the Washington Trails Association blog or in the News Tribune newspaper about the ski hut that burned down near Ashford. Many of you, I know, love to ski on these trails, so this is a great loss. The Akron, Ohio newspaper had a short feature on our lead climbing ranger, Mike Gauthier. And Volunteer Eric Degerman has a detailed post on the blog of the Tri-City Herald, commenting on our especially snowy year here at the park.
Still snowing: Speaking of snow, it remains very snowy at Longmire, with more in the forecast. Paradise, of course, has been snowy too, though not quite on the record pace we've set at lower elevations. Ranger Stefan Lofgren writes, "There has been some interest in how this year's snowfall is shaping up compared to other years. We have just over 800 inches currently and two more months. If we get average amounts for April, May, and June, that will put us up to near 900 inches by June 30th." Here's a breakdown of the top 10 years so far:
1. 1971-72: 1,122
2. 1973-74: 1,071
3. 1970-71: 1,027
4. 1955-56: 1,000
5. 1998-99: 963
6. 2001-02: 855
7. 1975-76: 854
8. 1968-69: 829
9. 1974-75: 820
10. 1996-97: 795
Digital Photography Class: Our Museum Curator, Brooke Childrey, writes:
Last year I tried to schedule a photography class for park staff with John Chao and Loren Schmidt our VIP Photographers. Well, we finally have a class date--Two actually and field sessions.The class will be held on May 16th and repeated on June 27th. The class is a half day (9am -noon). Field sessions will be scheduled for July and August with each of the participants in the class, so that the groups are small and work with your summer schedule.
This class is open to all park employees (Perms, Terms, Seasonals, VIP, Interns, SCA, etc.). No camera is necessary at the first class. For the field classes, I will try to have extra digitals available for those who do not have one. If interested in attending, Please check with your supervisors first and then drop me an email or voice mail letting me know whether you want to attend the May 16 class or the June 27 class.That's all for now, folks. More news rumored to be on the way later today, and I'll try to post an entry or two from Washington next week as well.