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Nick Belcaster

The Finest Kind of Madness

Origin — a beginning. We all start somewhere. This is where the Madness begins, I suppose; In random passing, a glancing blow. Driving the sinuous byway of Washington State’s North Cascades Highway, some three hours after turning east from the high-test thrum of the Interstate corridor and onto the only road to cleave the wilderness of the North Cascades National …

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Sarah Finger: A Deeply Etched Love for Local Landscapes

After a quick burn on Galbraith or hike up in the North Cascades, Sarah Finger is likely to be the one across the bar from you slinging your après trail beer. But she also has a strong connection to that magnificent landscape you can’t stop staring at on the can of IPA you’re slugging down. She’s the artist who created …

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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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