https://picasaweb.google.com/katacarroll/PinnacleSaddle92013 The most beautiful Valley I’ve ever seen… If you are at Paradise at Mt. Rainier looking at the Tatoosh Mountain Range in the distance, Pinnacle Peak at 6562 ft. is one of many in the range jutting up into the sky in a Tolkeinesque scene of rugged beauty. http://peakbagger.com/range.aspx?rid=125136. We hiked up so far it hurt and was dangerous actually at points. Interesting that we saw more Amanita mushrooms here than ever before….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_muscaria and Wiki has to say, “Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita, is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the southern hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species. It associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees. The quintessential toadstool, it is a large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually red mushroom, one of the most recognisable and widely encountered in popular culture. Several subspecies with differing cap colour have been recognised, including the brown regalis (considered a separate species), the yellow-orange flavivolvata, guessowii, formosa, and the pinkish persicina. Genetic studies published in 2006 and 2008 show several sharply delineated clades that may represent separate species.
Although it is generally considered poisonous, there are few documented human deaths from its consumption, and after having been parboiled it is eaten as a food in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. Amanita muscaria is noted for its hallucinogenic properties, with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. The mushroom was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia, and has a religious significance in these cultures. There has been much speculation on possible traditional use of this mushroom as an intoxicant in places other than Siberia, but such traditions are far less well documented. The American banker and amateur ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson proposed that the fly agaric was the soma of the ancient Rig Veda texts of India; since its introduction in 1968, this theory has gained both followers and detractors in anthropological literature.”
Along the way, we passed Washington Trail Association volunteers maintaining the trail. Thanking them profusely, we learn that Jen, the trail-boss, works all over and she looks up to the task.If you’re drawn to this path of service to the World, volunteer here: http://www.wta.org/
Further up toward the peak, streams degrade the trail to the point we’re walking through them so this work is necessary. Donn takes a minute to divert the flow off the trail.
On the way down the peak, we had to grab tree limbs to keep from going over the edge around a few corners- very dangerous…but then whom do we meet at the descent but Charlie, dubbed by a fellow-hiker on the trail down.
He is the friendliest wild creature I’ve EVER met and he ate almonds (which I halved with my teeth) out of my hand. Biting me once on accident, he ran, realizing his breach of trust. “It’s okay sweetheart; come get the other half…” and he is right there again. But get this…when I leave, he RUNS after me! I have fallen in love with…Charlie.
I am a Child of the Forest and the Woods…a friend of fawns and fairies. Tolkien and Lewis…Yes, I can wear the dress and the heels and be charming but this is really who I am at heart, just a barefoot girl grounding out on dewy grass at dawn. I admit, I had to throw stones down the steep and rocky ravine to try to create a rockslide…so a little Elvish and Impishly Mischievious too.
We ran into about 10-15 people which makes me think mid-week will work best for me. I’m used to running into bears, deer, and elk- not people and need silence vs. the laughter of hiking groups. Interesting what Nature means to different people and at different times as I’ve been a part of those hiking groups in the past. For now, I need filling and profound serenity which is Pinnacle Saddle in a nutshell.
At the end, because of using downhill muscle I’m quite unaccustomed to using (very steep descent on slippery rocks) I lay on the wall of Reflection Lake. I am done…tapped out..wasted….
Whittaker’s Mountaineering http://www.whittakermountaineering.com/has become a “must stop” when passing through Ashford at the entrance to Mt. Rainier for wool tops to wear as layers over a wicking T-shirt (my new favorites: http://www.whittakermountaineering.com/brands/smartwool/nts-mid-250-zip-t-womensand http://www.whittakermountaineering.com/brands/mountain-hardwear/wicked-lite-ls-t-womens)on the mountain and great children’s gifts are there too.
An acrid note hung in the air mixed with late afternoon, sun-drenched sweetness from wildflower stragglers like asters, pearly everlasting, lupine, and some which bloom late and are worth coming to see specifically.
As we began to walk up the mountain on paved trails, every language and accent met our ears and children raced along with their families. For those who had walked enough for their little legs and were cranky, we shared the sighting of a deer with two fawns to distract them. In the past, we’ve seen a fox family every year as we drove to the mountain.
The park ranger told a story in the Lodge that really fascinated me. Some of us (okay, I admit it, I identified completely….) need continual challenges and must always be building and creating. Stephen Mather’s boredom and restlessness paid off as a gift to the World: “Stephen Mather was the first director of the National Park Service. He used his wealth and political connections to take the national park idea in important new directions.
Evidently there are few places in the World one can drive right to the alpine area http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_linewhere the trees are sparse due to extreme conditions without hiking in. The endurance of the Alpines are particularly precious to me. Their usual spire-shapes accommodate to contortion under the weight of heavy snow. They are tough and persevering and remind us how strong we are too if need be. Surrounded by fragile and delicate flowers which live under snow and ice much of the year, the Alpine meadows are profound in their simplicity, power, and beauty.
Alexander’s has resident deer and one mama enjoyed apples knocked off the tree by the chef with a very long stick taped one to the other, sharing them with her two fawns. He said she had been a fawn just last year and now she is three. We have eaten many times at Alexander’s and the food is consistently good but a little expensive. We even enjoyed blackberry pie and ice cream, celebrating the end of summer- an unusual treat for us. Eclectic food made by the Sherpa’s wives is at Wild Berry- Yak Burger is on the menu and a good selection for vegetarians. Copper Creek is always busy as we near the exit to the National Park.
We first met Monte and Cher Wildey at the Packwood Flea Market over Memorial Day, 2013. Actually we met over Makalu, their beautiful Great Dane as we were thinking of getting one ourselves and stuck up a conversation about dogs. In talking we found out that they build Adirondack chair and table sets out of old wine barrels and instantly we connected the dots: their finely crafted furniture, Adytum Sanctuary (www.adytumsanctuary.com), and hopefully meeting Makalu again!
Their wine-inspired artistry fits right into our ever-expanding 120 vine Pinot Noir vineyard and Don Hatfield’s fine art inside ~ The Sommelier and numerous Modern Impressionism works we carry as part of our growing collection for sale to our guests and to the public. (See note at end) Late Friday afternoon on a beautiful summer afternoon in July, the Wildeys drove in from blistering heat in Eastern Washington, 103 in the shade, to the relative perfection of the Pacific Northwest summer on the Western side of the mountains. They unloaded their unique treasures (heavy!!) and we all decided they would look best against the wall of rocks with bee-laden lavender spilling down and in full view of the boats on sparkling Lake Mayfield. It created a new vignette; the perfect relaxation station, savoring sun setting on the vineyard with a glass of wine at day’s end in complete comfort embraced by the heart and soul of fine wine-nurtured wood turned fine furniture.
We learned why the Wildey’s chairs are unique but first, let me tell you why this couple is so unique. They have been married for two years, together for three. Monte works for the Department of Energy as a Network Administrator and Cher works in Imaging at Kadlec Hospital doing billing and coding. When she realized she wasn’t seeing her new husband much after work because, creative as he is, he was always in the garage working on projects Cher decided to join him in the shop.
“I got my own set of tools and learned from Monte how to become a finish carpenter. It’s not the first thing he’s taught me. I now own a cruiser motorcycle and learned to ride so we could be together on road trips.” These amazing chair and table sets are handcrafted by BOTH of the Wildeys and you can feel their great energy signature invisibly imprinted on every piece: “Made with love and a desire to enjoy life and each other fully…” Monte picked up the creativity gene as a child from both parents who were such craftsmen and painters that they started a successful business in retirement. In his youth, Monte made a rock fireplace and stone wall at his parents’ home. When I asked how he started making chairs, he and Cher told a story, each jumping in to fill in the other’s sentences like they’d been married much longer than 2 years. Cher explained that they visited a town caller Mosier and traveling with Makalu, they stopped into the only pub in town that allowed dogs, the “Thirsty Woman Pub” (http://www.thirstywoman.com/). Everyone sitting around the rustic campfire in Adirondack chairs drinking beer from mason jars had a story of extreme sports in the great Northwest to share. Monte jumped in, “But I didn’t like the chairs. They felt like they sagged back. Remembering the chairs on my grandfather’s porch I thought, I could make these…” Now, the garage is never without a work in progress but their mutual synergistic creativity didn’t stop at chairs and tables. They make bar-stools that are showcased in saloons, clocks, and also lighting made from beer growlers. (Yes, I had to look that up!)
Next on the list is a footstool to go with the chairs…Monte also makes glassware and I requested the “tipsy” kind I last bought from a German glassmaker.
The inventiveness of these two is boundless and they work together well. Cher humbly says,“I just do what Monte shows me.” Yet he has brought a side of Cher to light perhaps she never would have discovered, showcasing her innate talent and she had the initiative to leave her comfort zone and break into a field typically dominated by men. Monte’s loving investments in mentoring her and Cher’s desire to be with him has enhanced their business, their married lives, and certainly ours as we enjoy the fruit of their love and labor at Adytum. You will feel it when you sit in their chairs, trust me.
As we sat in the Tower Room at Adytum, Monte explained that the life expectancy of a wine barrel is 4-7 years depending on the wine and the vintner. Then they are sold. They like using red wine barrels because of the color. “You will see wine barrel furniture stained dark brown. It’s because the wood-worker is using a gray barrel and bringing the color up with stain.” Cher pipes in, “We like our furniture to remain true to the wood tone and will hand-select barrels with the finished product in mind.” Sometimes a barrel is opened and the interior is charred black and rendered unusable. Personally, I wouldn’t mind that distressed look at all. Monte buys barrels with slat size in mind. A certain width will allow for extensive purposes whereas a whisky barrel slat is just too wide and too limiting for most projects.
They are in competition with many others also keen on obtaining barrels- mostly to use as planters and this was Monte’s original intention too. Wineries are routinely called and arrangements are made to pick up what they have for sale, usually for around $100. New French Oak barrels run $2500. Monte indicted a cooperage in Okanagan (http://www.winebarrels.com/) who makes new barrels by steaming the wood to create the curves and pressing it together – this factory might prove a fun side trip if you’re in Canada to see how it is done on site.
The cooperage even makes a dog-side car for a motorcycle that is made from a barrel! The Great Dane Makalu already has her own goggles, so next: the addition of a sidecar on the motorcycle and a trip back to Thirsty Woman Pub, who will hopefully commission an upgrade to their current Adirondack chairs!
Monte and Cher begin the long process of stripping the staves off, sanding, and reassembling into the chair and table. “When we open up the barrel the whole garage smells like wine,” his eyes roll back in pure pleasure. Nice working atmosphere! One barrel produces one chair and table. The metal strip from the barrel is cut and reused as a brace. Everything is sanded smooth before being installed. Monte builds for aesthetics and feel, “I think of my grandmother sitting in the chair, or a child. I don’t want anyone to snag their clothing on a sharp edge.” Cher adds, “We build them to last…”
Every barrel is unique and comes complete with its own markings, numbers or designs, from the winery. The tops of the chairs have a bevel I assumed was carved in- yes, but not by them. It is the actual lip which holds the barrel top. The sensuous curve of the chairs is appealing and seems to take a genius at cutting to create a seamless whole without gaps. This attention to detail is much appreciated by us at Adytum Sanctuary who have always seen deeply into art and the detailed artistry of fine woodworking.
In another display of creative perfection, they use the wine-stained sawdust to mix with the epoxy so that even the glue blends seamlessly into the whole. Each piece of furniture that will be outdoors is coated in a very expensive marine varnish, $120 a gallon, and then lightly sanded before adding two additional coats. Drying time is never just the 24 hours recommended on the container but can extend far beyond that making the chair a two week-long labor of love as they work evenings together on this endeavor. The only parts of the finished product that are not from the wine barrel itself are stainless steel screws and plugs to cover the screw holes, a step many other craftsmen choose to forego (sanding too, leaving rough edges to scrape oneself on…)
Next time we see the Wildeys, perhaps they scream in on their road bikes with Makalu sporting some sexy dog-goggles and looking adventuresome with a Snoopy-style white fighter pilot scarf around her neck flying in the wind as she hunkers down in her wine barrel side car for the ride. We raise a glass of future Adytum Sanctuary label Pinot Noir in salute to you Great Dane beauty who brought new friends, fine furniture, and a great love story to inspire us at Adytum Sanctuary!
For hand-crafted furniture or fine art purchase information of , contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Special commissions are available. Most of the furniture pieces are heavy but shipping is an option.
It’s fun to try new things! This was the first classic car show Donn and I have been to. Adytum Sanctuary has a full house this weekend with guests from Eastern Washington who came delivering handcrafted wine barrel Adirondack chairs and table (more on Monte and Cheryl’s craftsmanship in another blog- and how you can commission YOUR unique set), and a family from Frankfurt, Germany here to explore Mt. Rainier, St. Helens, and enjoy the luxury of Adytum at day’s end…
We set off for Packwood, not far from Adytum, in the late afternoon. When we arrived at the field where the cars were displayed we were met with a great deal of smoke tainting the pure mountain air of the tiny town of Packwood near Mt. Rainier. We stepped over elk droppings to join the crowd and find out what was so fascinating about the belching exhaust of a smashed truck…The Packwood Fire Department truck and crew stood ready to extinguish the flames…We learned that every year, something is blown up by putting a brick on the gas pedal and letting the truck run out of oil. One year they put sugar, bleach, vinegar, and more into the gas tank of a Pontiac and it never did succumb. Neither did this old wreck. Stubbornly it ran 18 minutes while we all anticipated the blast, “Aren’t they worried about a shrapnel effect? Look how close everyone is…” Only in Packwood! So in an anti-climactic move, it just quit running. And we felt stupid. (: For one who would never go to a demolition derby, it was pushing my comfort zone.
But moving on, the car show became interesting as we learned about old cars, how they are insured (quite cheaply- $250 per year for 3000 miles of use), and how readily available parts are. Plus, they are just beautiful! Shiny chrome, big, classy interiors…the 50’s music made me feel like dancing and I swept up Donn’s hands to twirl me in the grass. He wasn’t buying it. The 50’s were such a light, happy time and the cars evoke that era (before my time- I’m a child of the 1960s) so the day left us feeling happy.
Donn owned a ’56 T bird and showed me how you can see through to the trunk through a little slit behind the front seat. He told a story of putting a friend, Monty M. and his girlfriend in the trunk where they could supposedly lay down and ‘neck’ in privacy- shut in the trunk! Lots of room and air space though…Sounds like a Twilight Saga abduction to me; I wonder how much psychotherapy it took for her to get over that one?
We stopped off at the Packwood Museum, open by appointment and Friday and Saturday. It is rich in logging, Indian, and pioneer history. So many of the names in the museum are familiar as they or their family members are our patients at Medical Vision Center in Morton (www.medicalvisioncenter.com) where Donn has practiced 32 years. One day, I imagine we will be in that museum. It teaches me to live life fully every day and embrace the present because we will soon just be a part of the past- important as it may have been.
There is much to do in the Pacific Northwest in the summer. We, who dwell in gray and rain, know how to make the most of our long, lovely summer days. Next is the Mossyrock blueberry festival; http://mossyrockfestivals.org/ the first weekend in August. I took my first order of organic blueberries last night- $75 for 25 pounds. They will go into the freezer for our daily shakes. If you’re on Hwy 12 stop into the Pan Pacific blueberry farm store for a great selection of their blueberry pies, jam, and products. They now offer organic too but I am partial to a locally owned You-Pick field near Adytum Sanctuary (www.adytumsanctuary)where they have a good separation from the occasional crop dusting from the Pan American field (no drift/little drift) and the berries are enormous and sweet.
Put the Morton Logger’s Jubilee http://www.loggersjubilee.com/schedule.htm on your calender as well- the second weekend in August on the 9th this year. Loggers come from all over the World to compete in true feats of skill and strength. I learned to throw an axe in 2011 at this event! It is also fun and perhaps something we wouldn’t naturally have been drawn to, but were so glad we experienced it. We will go again this year and the flea market is really eclectic! Enjoy your summer and make space for a transformational experience reconnecting with all that really matters in life in the beauty and peace that is…Adytum Sanctuary.
Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins? ~Rumi Rising about 3:30 a.m. as I like to do, enjoying the extravagant privacy of a house surrounded only by water music and darkness, I’m watching for a marauding, fat doe when first light breaks. She’s accustomed herself to enjoying breaking her fast at Adytum in the Children’s Garden on plump organic blueberries, then heading to the ¼ acre fenced garden to nibble on tender lettuces, cruising the plum and apricot trees, and finishing with raspberries on the fence.
Life on Birley Mountain in Washington State, overlooking Lake Mayfield, the Tilton and Cowlitz Rivers, the blueberry and flower fields of the DeGoede Bulb Farm is serene and peaceful. No wonder this doe feels right at home raiding my gardens. The blue jays are the ones who usually let me know she’s doing it again- unless of course, they are ratting out their own out of jealousy that one of their cohorts reached the ripening plums before they did. The bird song begins before 4:30 a.m. – before first light. I heard once that if you visit a zoo before dawn, you will be greeted with what seems to be cacophony, but in their own unified dissonant way each of the zoo’s occupants greet the dawn with their voices raised in song. Animals…ever the shining example to us all with their focus and priorities in the right place.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. ~Rumi So life is peaceful for the wildlife here on this mountain, and for me…I’m watchful. We are in the first years of these gardens- the 6th now- so there isn’t quite the bounty to share yet particularly in the vineyard or with the 50 or so Old English Roses lining their rows and the larger gardens. One day we won’t mind feeding them all and we’ll have plenty to share. Isn’t that just the Tao of Nature? Walking barefoot, I “ground out” on grass soaked with heavy dew and feel the mist on my face as I walk the grounds to make my presence known and make sure the Doe isn’t in the vineyard which will stands to produce a better yield of Pinot Noir grapes in this third year. Jays dip into the fountains to prepare for the heat of the day which lately emerges around 2 in the afternoon when the fogs burn off. This weather transition, marked by the Breath of the Dragon rising in a chill fog off the Lake, is the era of spiders- big ones – and it reminds me I dreamed of one last night; always a good sign of creativity on the rise. This is, as Keats said, “The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.”
Just when we think summer has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest with a week or two of welcome sunshine, the mists come with the dawn illuminating the work of the Weavers and we remember that good or bad, all is fleeting and we must savor life before it passes us by. If moments are all we have, moments are the silken strand with which we weave our life. We must always be planning our next garden, tending to the ones we’ve established and not neglecting the most important one of all ~ the garden of the Interior.
Set out now, while you’re strong on the heart’s vast plain: You’ll never discover joy on the plain of the body. The heart’s the only house of safety, my friends: It has fountains, and rose gardens within rose gardens. Turn to the heart and go forward, travelers of the night; There’s where you’ll find trees and streams of Living Water. Mevlana Rumi (1207 – 1273) On a Tuesday in mid-July, I answered a spontaneous invitation to leave my work behind and visit some lavender farms in our area. It did me and my nurse practitioner friend, Margie, so much good and we both kept remarking about the power of a little change of scene and a break in routine. It was so lovely and the air so rich with the seductive lure of summer in each purple blossom that I decided on the spot fields of lavender would be my next garden. We interviewed the owners of Castle Rock Lavender Farm and I’ll share it with you in a separate post because it was rich with information. I came back to Adytum with a book which they suggested having used it themselves to set up their acreage with a productive lavender farm, and of course, I returned with lavender… two pounds of lavender buds for drawers, pillows, and gifts, essential oil, massage oil which I will also use with vinegar to mop the wood floors with.
Margie suggested we stop at the Chehalis Farmer’s Market on Boistfort Street, only open Tuesday from 11-4pm. There too we found more lavender from a local farm – a handmade wreath tightly woven.
The Market was small, just taking up a street on either side, but it was sufficient and we enjoyed some raw treats of nuts and dates made into little balls as we walked along to each stall and learning about raising Emu for their oil. When Margie found out they were killed at 18 months, and we’d seen their fuzzy baby pictures, she decided to forego the oil she’d intended to buy. “Why do they have to kill them for their oil?” she lamented. “Yes, they should just give them lypo (suction)!” I offer. “That is a typical “Kat” statement!” (: Well it made sense to me. If they could create the goose that laid the golden egg by fattening the Emu and siphoning it back off a few times before they slaughter them (they eat the meat, and the timing of that most likely had much to do with their 18 month life sentence) then perhaps we’d buy their oils and lotions.
We finished with the farmers, leaving with the wreaths, plants, and vegetables that were actually a bit wilted from the heat toward the end of day. Morning is the time for Marketing…We decided to visit some of these farms and get some inspiration and instruction for our own greenhouses and the land devoted to feeding us.
Weekends at Adytum in summer are spent outside as much as possible, whether eating every meal on the deck watching the boats on Lake Mayfield or hiking waterfall trails. We found Nature’s gardens in the Goat Rocks area abounding with water music and the characteristic beauty of the Pacific Northwest. We have taken much inspiration at Adytum Sanctuary from Nature as we’ve planned gardens here.
Little wild strawberries and lupine, Alpine Fir with their whimsical contortions gained not from a Bonsai master’s hardwiring them but from bending under winter snowpack, ferns of every variety, and early wildflowers like Indian Paintbrush and Beargrass. The downed trees become sculpture and nurse logs for future forest inhabitants. The natural gardens from the hand of the Creator are the most satisfying and artful evoking soul and fantasy and mystery…and inevitably they send us home with desire to recreate them here.
And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous. ~Rumi Don’t neglect the garden of the Interior. As we transition through seasons we can’t depend on outward displays of color and beauty to ravish our senses and buoy us up with delight. Everything beautiful begins within and it is that garden we must always be cultivating. It is from that sacred garden we gift the World with love and the magnificence we are here to offer.
“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells. Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep, Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours. III Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, – While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue; Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.” ~ Keats