Brief No. 034

Lyle Ruterbories, Glacier National Park Ranger

Project: National Parks   Location: Kintla Lake, Glacier National Park   Subject: Hazing Bears & Bullhorns vs. Rubber Bullets

Words and photograph by Daniel Wakefield Pasley.

You have a half-built tent pole in your hand and a tumescent tent flapping at your feet. You are in small remote, primitive campground at the end of a 14-mile, one hour-long fire road through which you passed Big Prairie and Round Prairie and along which you followed the North Fork Flathead River. The road dead-ends at an alpine lake surrounded by mountains and forest. You are pitching a tent on the edge of that very same lake in the middle of those very same mountains and forests. The afternoon was  sunny, hot, dusty, lazy, etc., and but now it's windy and considerably cooler, darker and foreboding. Currently canoers and kayakers are expediently retreating from the now choppy lake in search of, it would appear, proper headwear and moorings. Meanwhile the other campers appear to be collecting, securing and batoning-down myriad miniature dogs, children, laundry and nylon DWR-coated whatnots. You reckon you have five maybe ten minutes before it begins to rain or hail or whatever it does this high-up and this close to the real North, when Lyle,1an old guy in a Forest Service get-up, walks up, introduces himself and his role in relationship to the campground, and delivers a PSA-type announcement about a Naughty Bear and the bullhorn he gave Linda and Tom.2

"In 22 years I've never had a bear problem with food but lately a little Black Bear has been coming around. This morning it treed right here in camp. I just wanted to let you know that I gave a bullhorn-type siren deal to the Campground Hosts, Linda and Tom. So if sometime tomorrow morning maybe even before you're up about and you hear an air-raid siren, don't be alarmed, it's just a Black Bear in camp. What I'd like to do is put rubber bullets in my shotgun and shoot a few rounds at the bear's feet and educate it that way but that's not allowed anymore. So I reckon I will try hazing it this way instead." - Lyle Ruterbories

  1. At 93 years old, Glacier National Park Ranger Lyle Ruterbories is contemplating retirement from his seasonal position at Kintla Lake Campground, but isn't ready to make it official just yet. Ruterbories has worked as the  Kintla Lake Campground seasonal park ranger for the past 20 years and prior to that he was a volunteer campground host with his late wife Marge Ruterbories since the late 1980s. Kintla Lake Campground is the most remote frontcountry campground in Glacier National Park. Located in the northwest section of the park known as the North Fork, only a few miles from the Canadian border, visitors often come to Kintla Lake seeking solitude and recreational opportunities such as fishing or canoeing.Each week Ruterbories travels the rough and bumpy Inside North Fork Road from Polebridge to Kintla carrying food, water, and propane to the remote Kintla Ranger Station where there is no electricity, running water, or telephone available. The park ranger at Kintla Lake Campground must be skilled at rustic living, able to live and work independently, and possess a wide-range of skills to accommodate various resource and visitor needs. Daily duties include managing campground facilities, collecting fees, educating visitors on resource and park history topics, and conducting trail or lake patrol as time allows.-National Park Service (nps.gov/glac) []
  2. Linda and Tom are from Evantston, Wyoming. As a child Linda wanted nothing more than to visit Glacier National park. Though her father, a Beekeeper by trade, promised Linda he would take her to Glacier one day, that day never came. Eventually, as an adult, Linda made it to Glacier—and it was everything she imagined it to be. Linda and her husband Tom have been the Kintla Lake Campground hosts for the last ten years. []

Brief No. 033

Water Interface Experimentation (WIE)

Project: Motels & Hotels (Temporary Lodging)   Location: Las Vegas, Nevada   Subject: Aquatic Corndoggin pre WIE

By Kyle von Hoetzendorff

We are on the roof top in the newly non-renovated combination tennis court and pool area—accessible from the South Tower on the 5th floor and from the North Tower on the 7th floor—of the Plaza Hotel and Casino. The PH&C is located on Main Street in Old Town Las Vegas and is adjacent to Fremont Street, the second most famous street in Las Vegas after the Las Vegas Strip. Fremont Street is nicknamed Glitter Gulch on account of all the street's abundance of neon signs like the cowboy Vegas Vic.

"We are on our way to the Grand Canyon."

We have done the research and the results are clear, hotel pools are responsible for 67% of all pool-related injuries. We took into account Olympic-size public pools, kidney-shaped backyard pools, above ground doughboys, and even those stationary lap pools built for the senseless. The unsupervised coliseum-like setting leads to a level of oneupmanship unrivaled by other pool types. Home pools cause a fair amount of damage to be sure but what we discovered is that hotel pools provide a potent combination of public space and the freedom from familiar surroundings that 8 times out of 10 lead to water interface experimentation. And it is this uncommon usage that leads to most injuries. In cases where injuries occur legal and illegal substances were at play 83% of time.  Do we suggest avoiding hotel pools? Are we recommending that you stick with typical water interface usage? Of course not.

Brief No. 032

OSOs & UOSOs e.g., Mt. Oberlin

Project: Waypoints—Scenic Overlook   Location: Glacier National Park, Montana   Subject: Mt. Oberlin USO

Words and photograph by Daniel Wakefield Pasley.

Official Scenic Overlooks (OSOs), as in those which our State and/or Federal government fund, build and maintain, effectively represent a place or "waypoint" from which something of significance1 can be observed. OSOs exist in National Parks and State Parks, on Scenic Byways, Highways and on various rural roads throughout America. They're called Scenic Overlooks, Lookouts, Observation Points, Overlooks, Vista Points, etc. Sometimes they're nothing but a gravel turnout. Sometimes they're a paved parking lot with parking spots and a gazebo-like structure for shade and to picnic under. Sometimes on a pedestal of sorts or built into a low stone wall there is historical plaque, or a map, or a diagram with information about a geological formation or the existence once, in the valley below, of an Indian Trade Route. Apparently, the only standard feature-function or common denominator among OSOs (FDA recommended vantages) is that they serve to encourage us (travelers) to stop what we're doing for a minute, and observe something of significance, i.e. something Pretty & Important.

"Hey buddy, quit speeding down Going-To-The-Sun Road and check out this really big mountain we're calling Mt Oberlin. It's pretty cool it's an 8,180 foot mountain located northwest of Logan Pass in the Lewis Range in Glacier National Park. Just below it's summit, water and melting snow spill into a 492 foot waterfall called Bird Woman Falls. Anyway, you should stop."

While Un-Official Scenic Overlooks (UOSOs) like a sudden break in the trees on a switchback half way up a mountain trail, or the top of a double-overhead boulder on the side of desert fire road, lack signage, bureaucratic validation and amenities of the concrete kind, their existence and function, while sometimes temporal and impermanent, is no less important, relevant and valid. In fact, because USOs are a found and/or user-generated situation, they can be more personal, more memorable, more rapture-producing, more conducive to nature-inspired epiphany, etc. And you get to write your own plaque.

In either case OSOs and UOSOs are an opportunity to stop, observe and consider significant (remarkable & contextualized) examples of the natural world.

  1. Something of Significance: Typically we're talking about a natural wonder/feature which when paired with some amount of historical or geological or topographical or cultural context is interesting and therefore significant. Or, something so big and so obviously pretty in a typical, nearly-platonic and/or universal sense, it's significant for simply existing. []

Brief No. 31

Louisiana Custom Cars

Project: Waypoints – Gas Stations   Location: Ft. Drum, FL   Subject: Gas Stations

Photograph and interview by Emiliano Granado

I just love the swamp and I love custom cars. Hopefully one day I can open up a custom car shop in Louisiana. I'm working on a pickup truck, I had a Nissan Maxima import tuner, I also had a Cadillac Seville low-rider, and hopefully one of these days I'll get me something old.

—Kenneth Aaron, Ft. Drum Service Plaza1

  1. Mile marker 184 Florida Turnpike, main line. []

Brief No. 030

Archaeologizing, Pt. II

Project: American Archaeology   Location: Paradox Valley   Subject: Pre-trip Planning

Photograph by Daniel Wakefield Pasley.

From: William Gardner
Date: Monday, August 19, 2013
Subject: Archaeologizing
To: daniel wakefield pasley <daniel@yonderjournal.com>

Hello Daniel

Great to hear from you. I hope all is well and I hope you guys are having a good summer.

In regards to transport, is Sunday the 3rd a solid arrival date or is it possible to arrive Saturday the 2nd? I only ask as we were thinking of pushing out from Denver on Saturday and then get a good full day tour of the valley / project area on Sunday. No worries if Sunday is the earliest you can arrive as we can make other arrangements. For example, one possible option is for you to fly directly into and out of Grand Junction, Colorado. There are a few dirt road options out of the project area that can have you in Grand Junction in little less than 2 hours.

Of course this is coming from my father who has worked in northwest Colorado for decades now and as such he is a bit of a salty dog when it comes to these things - the other day he and I were checking out a site in Delta, Colorado, he was like "hey lets go check out Paradox, I know a back road that will have us there in an hour" - we arrived four hours later and in the dark. The more I think about it, my father may not be the best barometer of travel time, although he has a billion different paths memorized, speed of travel is entirely dependent upon the amount of coffee he has consumed and the excitement associated with whatever story he is reminiscing about. But to be honest, even though it has been a while for me, I do think it is a pretty quick trip from where we will camp up to Grand Junction. This would also work well in regards to your shorter stay as we could very easily pick you up and drop you off directly at the airport - which will probably be a lot more convenient than trying to catch a bus or renting a car - also possibly a bit more cost effective.

In regards to your shorter stay, that is totally cool. The first 2/3 days will be more varied anyways, so you will get a nice sample of everything. I will recommend 3 days instead of 2, because Monday the 4th will be kind of a wash - we have to drive into Delta, Co to meet with the BLM people - first time project meet and greet thing. Typically these things are more fun in Mongolia as there is generally vodka involved - probably won't be so lucky here. However, it will be good for you to come along and meet these guys as well. I just found out that because of the 'protected' status of archaeological sites, the BLM will ask you to send them all your 'field' write-ups for clearance before publishing (all they want to make sure is that you are not publishing site location information). I do realize that this is a bit of "big brother is watching", but it is typical protocol and it will also be a lot easier/faster of a process if they get a chance to meet you in person and realize what you/yonder journal is all about.

Alright good buddy, I better run but I will talk to you later.

Take it easy,
Will

P.S. Even fried zucchini? Fried stuff's goooood.

Brief No. 029

Archaeologizing, Pt. I

Project: American Archaeology   Location: Paradox Valley   Subject: Pre-trip planning

Photograph by Daniel Wakefield Pasley.

From: William Gardner
Date: Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Subject: Archaeologizing
To: daniel wakefield pasley <daniel@yonderjournal.com>

Hello Daniel

I hope all is well. Things are moving along nicely in regards to the Paradox project as we have gotten pretty firm dates from our South African colleagues as well as money - so baring any personal injury we are pretty much 100% a go.

As it stands right now we are all looking to arrive in Denver on Friday November 1, rest there (maybe) at my uncle's and/or grandparent's house for the day (mainly to let our foreigners battle through jet lag). Strike out for paradox early Saturday - begin work in honest on Sunday Nov. 3rd and work until the next Sunday (the 10th) at which point we head back to Denver and catch a flight to our respective destinations on Monday the 11th (the goal is to get 7 days of work in). Main research goals are to 1) survey / test a topography contingent survey methodology that is aimed at better understanding how people and archaeologist move across a landscape with extreme topography 2) map in a small village site that Xander (our South African colleague) may want to excavate in the coming years 3) excavate a small test unit in order to collect material that can be c-14 dated from a site my dad found.

Tentatively speaking, the crew will consist of my father (an archaeologist at a small community college in Wyoming), Andrew Blandshard who is a kiwi archaeologist for the New Zealand Department of Conservation, Andrew Antonites who is a South African archaeologist and professor at the University of Pretoria, my wife, my Mongolian colleague Jargalan Burentogtokh, you (and whom ever you wish to bring), and me.

With that being said, if this works out for you, how will you be traveling to the project area? If you wish to fly into Denver and meet up with us there we can make arrangements to have space for you in our caravan out to Paradox. Also how many people will be accompanying you? We don't care but we do want to make sure we have enough food for you all. Oh yeah, food in the field camp is on us - well as long as you don't have any crazy expensive diet restrictions (if that's the case your on our won - sorry).

Also we do hope to mountain bike a bit while we are there. Most of us are out of shape, but it's definitely worth bringing a bike if you can.

Super pumped to have you guys come along on this.

Take it easy,
Will

Brief No. 028

Mather Point

Project: Waypoints – Scenic Overlooks   Location: South Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ   Subject: Mather Point Scenic Overlook

Words and photograph by Daniel Wakefield Pasley.

Weather in the Grand Canyon1 varies according to elevation. The forested rim is high enough to receive winter snowfall, while along the Colorado River path of the inner gorge temperatures are similar to those found in Tucson and other low elevation Arizona desert locations. Conditions in the Grand Canyon region are generally dry with substantial precipitation occurring twice annually. These follow seasonal pattern shifts in winter (when Pacific storms usually deliver widespread, moderate rain and high-elevation snow to the region from the west) and in late summer (due to North American Monsoons), which deliver waves of moisture from the southeast, causing dramatic localized thunderstorms fueled by high daytime temperatures. Average annual precipitation on the South Rim is less than 16 inches (35 cm), with an average of 60 inches (132 cm) of snow.

  1. The Grand Canyon is one of Seven Natural Wonders of the World; 1) Grand Canyon 2) Great Barrier Reef 3) Harbor of Rio de Janeiro 4) Mount Everest 5) Aurora 6) Paricutin Volcano 7) Victoria Falls. []

Brief No. 027

Sarah Plummer Lemmon & Matt Hall

Project: Mt. Lemmon   Location: Santa Catalina Mountains, SE Arizona   Subject: Sarah Plummer Lemmon & Matt Hall on Mt. Lemmon

Words and photograph by Daniel Wakefield Pasley.

Sara Plummer Lemmon (b. 1836, d. 1923) was an amateur librarian, nurse and self-trained botanist. After marrying her husband (also a botanist), Civil War veteran John Lemmon, she sold her library in Santa Barbara, CA and traveled to Arizona to honeymoon with John. While documenting and painting plants in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Sara and John (with the help of local E. O. Stratton) scaled the tallest peak in the range, at which point they promptly named it after Sara by giving it the name she took from John, ergo the mountain, which mountain lies just outside the town of Tucson, Arizona, was and is called Mount Lemmon.1 Before returning home to California, Sara managed to discover and catalog for the first time a variety of species native to the mountain and surrounding areas.

Now a paved road leads up one side of the mountain to the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter2, a 4x4 track leads up the other, and running from top-to-bottom-bottom-to-top is a network of world class singletrack; Aspen Draw, Green Mountain, Bug Springs and Molino Basin—which singletrack when strung together and ridden in succession is called The Lemmon Drop.

Featured: Matt Hall in the middle of Bug Springs in the midst of one of the coldest winters on record.

 

  1. It's name in the language of the native Tohono O'odham is Babad Doʼag. []
  2. Operated by the University of Arizona's science program, the observatory offers various learning opportunities and workshops to the public in addition to its higher education and research functions. []

Brief No. 026

Kangaroo Lake and Fran

Project: Swimming Holes   Location: Callahan, CA   Subject: Swimming Hole Recon

Words and photograph by Daniel Wakefield Pasley.

While in the Pursuit of provisions and Local Swimming Hole Intelligence/Knowledge deep in the Mythical State of Jefferson, we (Greg Johnson, David Marchi, Moi Medina and Daniel Wakefield Pasley) visited the Callahan Emporium,1 where we met Fran, the establishment's owner/operator. After a few drinks and some lite chit-chat we started asking her about local Swimming Holes, a somewhat touchy subject in a water-rich rural area famous for it's recent anti-federalist separatism tendencies, Gold Rush past (and present), and illegal/hidden/dangerous marijuana operations. The locals are suspicious to the point of xenophobia. However Fran, who was as nice and welcoming as homemade pie, openly confirmed that Kangaroo Lake (our immediate next stop) was in fact an excellent Swimming Hole, "that's where you hop back to heaven." She introduced us to her her dog who she keeps in an office in the back, showed us a large gold nugget that was legally and locally prospected out of one of the area's many amazing rivers2  and we discussed a genuine Miner's Canary Cage she kept hanging on the paw of a stuffed bear mounted to the wall behind the counter of her bar.

"I know all sorts of swimming holes around here, places with waterfalls that fall into clear blue holes, but all the best ones are on private land—and no they're not growing weed, they're just regular ranchers. I'm sworn to secrecy. Nobody wants the word to get out because before you'd know it there'd be 80,000 people trespassing on their land. And nobody wants 80,000 strangers in their hole."

Yonder Beta: Callahan Emporium / 12511 California 3, Callahan, CA 96014 / 530-467-3395

  1. A Bar & quasi-Grocery occupying a building originally built in 1858 to house, incidentally/apparently, the first Wells Fargo in the area. []
  2. larger arteries like the Sacramento and Siskiyou Rivers as well as any number of smaller tributaries: Rail Creek, Rock Fence Creek, Kangaroo Creek, et cetera. []

Brief No. 025

Minor Religions of the Mt. Shasta Region

Project: Swimming Holes   Location: Kangaroo Lake, CA   Subject: Mt. Shasta's Spiritual Significance

Around a campfire at Kangaroo Lake with Mt. Shasta’s white peak dominating the horizon miles to the east1, David Marchi, owner-operator of Crow's Feet Commons in Bend, OR, and a native of Mt. Shasta, CA, explains a few details on the religions based upon legend regarding the mountain.2 What follows is a direct transcript of his elucidation. Photograph by Daniel Wakefield Pasley.

The Lemurians are descendants from the lost land of Lemuria. There was Pangaea,3 and after it broke up part of it went missing— according to those around here that’s the lost continent of Lemuria. The Lemurians are people that have descended from Japan who live inside Mt. Shasta. They use their ability to produce powerful, inaudible harmonics to dig tunnels through the mountain. From time to time the Lemurians come out of the mountain when a lenticular cloud forms around the peak.4 They come out and do whatever they do, maybe grab a couple of Animal-Style burgers at the Redding In N Out?

Including the Lemurians, there are 9 unique religions based on the mountain.

There're also the Yoctavians who produce powerful harmonics, but with bells and instruments unlike the Lemurians who only use the power of their minds. The Lemurians are small and have a bubble on their forehead, created by the cosmic power of their brains. The Yoctavians are another people that live on the mountain; they're seven feet tall and wear long white flowing robes. They're the bellmakers, they have the harmonics but in a different way.

That's the hoofy-foofy stuff really, but there's also a Christian cult or religion kind of like Mormonism, in terms of development. There was a guy named John W. Ballard from Illinois. He was on the mountain around 9000 feet, dehydrated, it was like 1910, and he found a spring and met someone who said he was St. Germain. So St. Germain gave him golden scrolls—similar to Joseph Smith of Mormonism—that contained info on the coming of Christ. He went back to Illinois and started the St. Germain I AM foundation. People come back every August and pilgrimage to the site. They have a seven million dollar ampitheater they use for one weekend a year. Nobody in the religion wears black or brown or red; it's all simple, light colors. You see people all over town in August wearing nothing but white. They have something like 50,000 members.


Editor’s Note: At this point David and the rest of the Yonder Swimming Hole Expeditionary Force lapses into silence due in equal parts to the profound (and confusing) revelations about the mountain, its people, and the overwhelming waves of consciousness resulting from the potent mix of exhaustion, alcohol, and psilocybin.

Editor's Note II: Of the nine religions mentioned, YJ can confirm the existence of a number: the Lemurian Connection, the I AM/St. Germain Foundation, The Summit Lighthouse, Church Universal and Triumphant, Kryon and the Hearts Center—in addition to the number of Native American belief systems from the area. If you have any further information on legends or beliefs based on Mt. Shasta, please contact us.

  1. A Swimming Hole guide to Kangaroo Lake is forthcoming []
  2. Before providing this in depth account, please note that David has just finished a 235+ mile bicycle ride (A forthcoming Brovet, to be precise) and consumed a baker's dozen of cold beers accompanied by handful of wild mushrooms. []
  3. Before the seven continents we know today had their own identities, the landmass of Earth was all stuck together. []
  4. Many pictures of Mt. Shasta show a big lenticular cloud over the mountain. Usually they're created by super high winds, it's a vortexual cloud, and they look like big hats or a tall stack of pancakes. []
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