Exploring Nature

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Trail Talk | Reflections on a Life Reared Outdoors

I was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut; the largest city in one of the country’s most densely populated states. Located 50 miles east of New York City, Bridgeport was an industrial powerhouse from the late 1800s to just after World War II. The city attracted waves of immigrants and was, and still is, incredibly diverse. I lived in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood where Italian and Yiddish were freely spoken. I remember a lot of little old ladies in black dresses. My parents were not outdoorspeople, nor were my friends. My neighborhood of tightly-packed two and three family homes was no Walden Pond. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Gordie Swartzman

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Gordie Swartzman, a naturalists leader with the Seattle Branch who encourages new leaders to lead out of their passion! Read more…

The Mountaineers Gear Library Orientation Signups

The Mountaineers’ Gear Library is deeply committed to helping everyone explore the outdoors. Since launching in August 2018, we have partnered with local youth-serving agencies in a joint effort to increase access and to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoors. Read more…

Winter's Beauty on the Old Sauk Trail

My knees sank into the snow. I had my face close to the quilt of white that covered the stair-step moss. In a few places, their feathery green leaves showed through. These are one of the biggest mosses in the Pacific Northwest. A new leaf grows each year from the stem of last year’s. An elegant bryophyte, with lacy foliage, it can form a matt a foot or more, thick. The combination of snow and moss made the forest floor look like a thick and fluffy winter comforter had been thrown across it. The leaf tissue looked frozen and shriveled, but it smelled alive; vibrant life was just waiting for a warm day. Read more…

Introducing "We Are Puget Sound"

As Washingtonians, we know firsthand that Puget Sound is home to astonishing wildlife and beauty. This spectacular inland sea is a rich, life-sustaining home shared by two countries, a province, a state, and over 50 Native American Tribes and First Nations. But the vibrant blue waters can be deceiving - hiding stressed wildlife, pollution, and impacts from thoughtless development and climate change. We can change that, but we need your help. Read more…

Did You Know? Hole in the Ground & Crack in the Ground

Two geological wonders are hiding in Fort Rock State Park. Learn more about these hidden gems in our second installment of a blog series we're calling "Back-Road Adventures in Oregon". If you haven't, read the first blog about the history of Fort Rock State Park.  Read more…

Trail Talk | Reflections at Walden Pond

"After a still winter night I awoke with the impression that some question had been put to me, which I had been endeavoring in vain to answer in my sleep, as what -how -when -where? But there was dawning Nature, in whom all creatures live, looking in at my broad windows with serene and satisfied face, and no question on her lips. I awoke to an answered question, to Nature and daylight." -Walden, Henry David Thoreau Read more…

Did you Know? Fort Rock State Park

Fort Rock State Park is a geological wonder located just outside Christmas Valley, Oregon. It's a horseshoe shaped volcanic maar, formed of tuff breccias that tower some 325 feet above the flat desert floor between fifty and one-hundred thousand years ago. It was formed when super heated basalt magma came into contact with ground water, causing an explosive eruption. Read more…

Did You Know? Tumwater Falls Park

Tumwater Falls is a small historical park set in the midst of two bustling city centers. The falls, as it is locally known, is a great in-town walk anytime of the year. This means that even in the worst weather, you can still enjoy the falls and the park. Read more…

Trip Report: Mini Mountaineers Explore Magnuson Park

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 marked the official kick off of the Mini Mountaineers! The sun was shining and we enjoyed a beautiful nature walk through Magnuson Park. Read more…