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Nick Belcaster

The Problem With Drones

Imagine, if you will, a pleasant afternoon of tranquil rambling in the green meadows of the North Cascades. But then you begin to be aware of a high-pitched buzz above you. Not a mosquito. A drone, hovering just overhead. Approximately the size of a toaster, with four rotors spinning rapidly and a high-definition camera slung beneath it. The spell is …

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Mebee Pass Lookout: John Scurlock’s Labor of Love

  Lost things can be hard to find in the wilderness of the North Cascades, so when aerial photographer John Scurlock spied the rough angles of a man-made structure among a zone of alpine krummholz, that last green gasp of stunted subalpine fir at tree line, he must have thought himself lucky. Remembering the comment of a climbing friend who …

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Woodstock Farm: A New Chapter in an Old Story

Even if you’re paying attention you might miss it. Eyes glued to the bends and curves of Chuckanut Drive just south of Bellingham, the sign for Woodstock Farm is an unimposing brown flash against a green backdrop. But take the turn down toward the water, and what appears is a gentleman’s estate that looks transported from the early 1900’s, perched …

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Mountain Stewards: Angels of the Backcountry

On a bright summer day in the North Cascades, a father is hiking along with his two sons, their mother trailing far behind sporting flip-flops. The uneven terrain makes her feet look painful, and a passing man offers that flip-flops probably aren’t the best footwear for the trail. “Oh I know, my husband—that idiot— said we were going to the …

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