Author Archives: Tracy

Rockslides

Rockslides, Earthquakes and Nature. Oh my.

I was travelling to Lake Chelan via Route 2 East near the aptly named Earthquake Point. I came across this gigantic boulder in the road. And the dump truck was ready to move it. If this hits your car well… you’re toast.

How crazy is that? I guess it’s not that crazy. Just over a hundred years ago there was a massive earthquake in the area where a rockslide came down and spread across the Entiat River. It was so expansive it actually damned up the river. This is earthquake country and it shouldn’t be surprising to see mammoth boulders roll down a mountain now and again. The area was sparsely populated at the time.

Check out the USGS site of earthquakes in the last 7 days. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/

Many right? Be aware, be safe.

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Rockslide, Entiat, Wa near Earthquake Point

Lunch with a Cougar

View from the top of the Lake Chelan Butte

View from the top of the Lake Chelan Butte

I spend a lot of time in beautiful Lake Chelan. A 55 miles mile long lake that follows the eastern side of the Cascade Mountain range about three hours from Seattle. It’s said to be the fourth deepest lake in the United States right behind Lake Tahoe. The roads stop following the lake about 25 miles up it. From there the only way to see the rest of it is by boat. To me it’s the most beautiful lake in the world. I see big horn sheep, mountain goats, mule deer, osprey and eagles on many of my visits. And a few people out to enjoy the pure beauty of it.

There is a small mountain called the Chelan Butte that is directly behind a condo I stay in. “The Butte” as we call it is known for hosting world hang gliding competitions. At 3835 feet it’s a modest mountain. Maybe even classified as a hill? The Chelan Butte road traverses up the mountain, the pavement ends and then turns into a primitive one lane dirt road to the top.

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One of many nice hikes around Lake Chelan

And I call it a hike but I’m really following the road up the mountain until it meets a service road used utility workers looking for access to a cell tower at the top of it. I walk up the butte road every chance I get. Breathtaking views and the incline makes it a real bun burner.

On a crisp Sunday morning Last October me and my husband ventured out to hike up the butte. For the most part, the wildest creature I’d come across on the hike was a harmless gopher snake.

Things were about to get interesting.

About forty minutes into the hike my husband had advanced ahead of me a little. He was about 10 yards ahead of me when I heard a deep long growl of a cat in the tall grass next to the dirt road.

I halted in my tracks and held my breath so I could focus on what I thought I heard. A second growl came from the grass a few feet away from me. I called to my husband “Mike, I was just growled at.” He ran back to me and said you’re kidding. I said No. We stood there and heard another low deep big growl.  I turned to him and said “RUNNNN”. We bolted down the hill like Olympians and did not look back.

Oh yes. I was growled at by a cougar.

Cougars have really large territories. I think sometimes we think just because a place has a small population and a road going through it that we’re safe from wildlife encounters. Not so much.

Meow.

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