Wednesday, March 18, 2009

John Muir, 100 Years on Skis, and Ken Burns: Three upcoming events

John Muir in Seattle
One last reminder! The National Parks Conservation Association is hosting a very special event tomorrow, Thursday, March 19. John Muir, the father of the modern conservation movement, is coming to Seattle. Lee Stetson is an actor who has portrayed John Muir for years at Yosemite National Park and around the country. On Thursday, March 19th, he will be visiting Seattle’s Town Hall to present The Spirit of John Muir. This show is a fun romp through some of the very best of Muir's grand, thrilling adventures in his beloved western wilderness. The show includes Muir's encounters with a mighty Yosemite earthquake, dangerous Alaskan ice crevasses, snow blindness, and much more - all liberally salted with Muir's wilderness philosophy. Doors open at 6:00 PM; Show starts at 6:30PM. The presentation will be at Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Avenue (at Seneca Street). Tickets purchased today will be $7.00 plus applicable fees at: Tickets purchased at the door will be $10.00. Cash or check only please.

A Centennial of Skiing
Acting Superintendent Randy King passes this along from Lowell Skoog, chairman of the Mountaineers History Committee in Seattle:

...For several years I've been working on a book about the history of backcountry skiing in Washington. Through my research I've become aware of a seminal event in Northwest skiing that occurred 100 years ago this month. It was a ski outing to Longmire by a group of professional people from Seattle and Tacoma. They included several prominent U.W. professors and the mayor of Tacoma. Prof. Milnor Roberts, the organizer, wrote an article about the trip for the 1909 National Geographic Magazine called "A Wonderland of Glaciers and Snow." Because of this important article, I think of this event as the birth of recreational skiing in Washington. A few weeks ago I started organizing an informal celebration of this event to take place at Paradise on Sunday, March 22. The celebration would be a gathering of backcountry skiers, perhaps a brief commemorative ceremony, and (weather permitting) a short tour to Sluiskin Falls, the high-point of the 1909 party's ski ventures. I'm planning to wear old-fashioned clothing and ski gear, and I'm hoping a few others will as well. I don't know how many people will come, but I imagine there may be ten to twenty of us. Our tentative plan is to meet at the Paradise visitor center after the road from Longmire opens in the morning. So far, the organization has taken place on the Turns-All-Year skiers' website, on the following thread:

This thread includes a few photos, background information, and the complete text of the 1909 National Geographic article. I've also been in touch with Craig Hill of the Tacoma News Tribune and I believe the paper will be running a story about this. I'm writing to let you know about this event and to invite you and any park staff who may be interested to join us on Sunday, March 22. I'm not expecting a big to-do -- just a light-hearted gathering of skiers to celebrate a unique date in the local history of our sport. I would be delighted to meet you or any of your staff there.

Best regards,

Lowell Skoog

Ken Burns Preview
And finally, a very special invitation to our staff (including volunteers) and supporters, from Acting Superintendent Randy King and North Cascades Superintendent Chip Jenkins:

You, your family and friends are invited to attend a Monday, April 20 preview of the 6-part, 12-hour documentary on the National Park System that will air on PBS in late September, entitled The National Parks: America's Best Idea. Noted film makers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan will speak and show a preview of their new film in Seattle. This is part of a series of events around the country intended to build public awareness and excitement about the forthcoming PBS documentary series, and about the national parks. If you make the trip to Seattle, you will find the event enjoyable and the film inspirational.

Download a flier from the National Parks Conservation Association and KCTS announcing the event, which will be held at 7pm at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The event is free, though to help manage participation free tickets are required and available through:

This is an opportunity for park staff, partners, friends and key opinion makers to get a chance to see previews as well as to hear from and talk with the film makers and author of the companion book. The goal is to have 1,5000 attend, so please share the information.

More information on the upcoming documentary can be found here.

Want a more personal introduction to the documentary? Consider joining Washington's National Park Fund for a preview of the preview, if you will, on Sunday, April 19. The evening's emcee will be Phil Ershler, world-renowned mountaineer and director of International Mountain Guides. The special presentation will be held in Seattle's Magnuson Park with a Northwest-themed dinner. Hear the latest news from the Superintendents of Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks; celebrate successful 2008 projects; and learn about new initiatives for 2009. The evening will conclude with a "Fund a Project" Auction, all benefiting Washington's national parks. Visit The Fund's website for more information.

1 comment:

Penny Musco said...

Wish I could be there...guess I'll have to wait for the series to air on PBS. Check out my take on it: