Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

June 13, 2008

Never speak ill of the dead

But I'm gonna anyway.

So last Sunday, all of the local meteorologists were predicting a storm for Monday, with snow in the mountains & the snow level dropping to 2,500 feet by 6:00 p.m. Monday night. Down here in the lowlands, it was damn rainy, cold and windy too. It looked and felt like a classic Northwestern winter wind storm, only it's June. Or "June-uary" as we've been calling it.

At some point, 3 experienced hikers, a husband, wife & their friend, decided to take a day hike on Mt. Rainier, from the parking lot at Paradise to Camp Muir, about 10,000+ feet up the mountain. The husband and the friend had summited Rainier twice before. So they start up the mountain and get caught in a white-out blizzard. Because it was a day hike, they had no camping gear. They had to dig a snow trench and ride out the storm. The husband took the brunt of the cold in order to save the lives of his wife and their friend. He, unfortunately, died.

The spring weather on the mountain is erratic at best. We can be in bright sun down here, but Rainier is socked in with clouds and it's snowing like crazy. The storms blow in without warning, and Rainier makes a lot of its own weather because of its sheer size.

Now I am very sorry for their loss. But, HELLO!!! What the hell were they thinking? We're not talking about a couple of flatlander rube tourists, thinking they can take a stroll up the mountain. These people were allegedly experienced climbers. I would have way more sympathy if they started out in good weather and a storm came happens all the time up there. But it was pouring down rain and windy here and snowing in the Cascades. Why would they take such a risk and attempt a day hike?

This morning we wake up to the sad news that a small flat bottomed boat has capsized in the fast moving & very swollen Nisqually River (fed directly by glaciers and melting snow from Rainier), a 5 year old boy's body was found, and another child and adult are missing. The mother made it to shore, as did the guy who was sailing the boat. No one had on life jackets. Alcohol was involved. The woman's husband is in Iraq. I cannot even begin to fathom how his CO is going to break the news to this poor guy, thousands of miles away, and what a looooong trip it's going to be for the father to get back up here.

What part of RESPECT MOTHER NATURE don't people understand? All the rivers here are running fast and deep, as they do in the spring. They are ice cold. The Green and Cedar Rivers have been closed to recreation. Yet people continue to make poor decisions that result in the tragic loss of life. I am caught between feeling bad for their losses but also thinking that they deserve what happens to them - with exception of the child that drowned in the river, which clearly was a really poor decision on his mother's part.

And on another sad note, RIP to Tim Russert from "Meet the Press" who died suddenly today.

Gas is now $4.39 in Bonney Lake.

Got an email from The Bead Factory, which is hosting the Puget Sound Bead Festival in July. The contents of the email had to do w/ the fact that hardly anyone has signed up for the classes offered during the weekend of the festival, and many of the teachers are being forced to cancel them. The main reason is that with our economy, no one can afford the extra money to take the classes, which run from about $45 to $200, depending on what it is. I looked into it myself but also decided not to spend the extra on classes. At this point, I'm not 100% sure I'm even going to go. I just don't want to use gas to get there, or spend $ once I'm there. Unfortunately, I was kind of annoyed w/ the tone of the email, saying that they can't reduce the prices of the classes but would accept the fees on a payment plan. It encouraged everyone to sign up anyway, because why should beaders give up something they love because of the economy?

This ticks me off for many reasons. For one thing, The Bead Factory is the most expensive bead shop in the area. Their prices are insanely high. I've taken a few classes there, but I haven't bought much because I can get everything WAY cheaper at Shipwreck Beads in Olympia, or by mailordering from Fire Mountain Gems. And the craft store, Ben Franklin, has put in quite a lovely & large bead section as well. I would suspect that other crafters/beaders have found this to be the case too. Why spend $100 at TBF when you can get the same stuff for $50 elsewhere? People are struggling to make ends meet, homes are in foreclosure, layoffs up the kazoo, gas and groceries are thru the roof, yet TBF shows little to no sympathy for the feedback they received from beaders who can't afford to take classes at the bead festival, and urge people to pony up money they don't have by using the "guilt trip" approach. Not cool.

I have to work on Sunday because we have a trial on Monday. I am annoyed with my coworker for not offering to work instead. She lives literally less than a mile from here. But no. I have to drag my sorry ass in from Bonney Lake to do it. However, I did offer; I would have felt like a real shit all weekend if I didn't. But not without a little "quid pro quo". I told Steve I'd work Sunday if he gave me next Friday off, so that I'm not out gas for the extra trip to Tacoma. Can you tell I've been working for attorneys too long?

Have a great weekend all.


  1. Lizzzard6:16 PM

    Most people have no true idea of what nature can do. We underestimate the power and overestimate our abilities.

    Good for you for looking for quid pro quo!

  2. with how the fine citizens of america live, it's no wonder people are such idiots. they have no idea how to really live in the wilderness without heat, electricity, water provided for them. i'm not saying i'm any better, but i know my limits. i'm a flatlander and i never would attempt something like that! at least not on a shitty day :P

    have fun workin this sunday. :) i'll be working too, if that makes you feel any better.

  3. I'm amazed that people don't respect the power of nature. Just before the tornado hit my home town people were standing out in the streets! The sirens were sounding, the police were telling people to get inside, and there they stood...What Idiots.

    I'm still in shock over the death of Tim Russert. I can't imagine Sunday mornings without him, and the fact that he won't be around for the 2008 campaign is just wrong.

  4. some people are idiots and self-important...there's nothing that you can do to stop their self-destructive ways

  5. Anonymous2:14 PM

    Thanks to a flash flood, a teenager over here recently drowned while 'playing' in a storm drain. If you don't respect the power of Mother Nature, she surely WILL bite you in the ass.

  6. I have no idea why people do such stupid things, but I do know that kids believe they are immortal. They think they can outrun volcanoes and burst dams.

  7. Happens all the time here, mostly people who go boating in storms. Yeah, I agree with you.

    These people seem to think they are immortal or can't be harmed. Apparently, they have this weird notion that the usual rules of nature do not apply to them. That's the only explanation I've ever come up with.

  8. darwinism at it's finest.

  9. I live here in "river city" and every summer (it has already started) many people or their children die in the unpredictable rivers (American and Sacramento). It is unbelievable to me that people insist on swimming in the rivers w/o life jackets. There are even life jackets stations where anyone can borrow them for free. And still they die. I can say 'oh well' about the adults, but the poor kids who have stupid parents...