Friday, May 7, 2010

The Thirty Mile Fire tour...

On July 9, 2001, the fateful Thirtymile Fire ignited from an illegal campfire. What was thought to be a relatively simple suppression operation took a deadly turn during the peak burn period the next day. By the end of shift July 10th 2001 fourteen firefighters had been entrapped, four were dead and the fire was heading towards 9,000 acres in size and would cost over four million dollars to suppress.

Since that time hundreds of firefighters have traveled up the Chewuch River not only to pay their respects to fallen comrade but to learn from the lessons of that incident.

We started out at the Winthrop Memorial to Fallen Firefighters;

I was fortunate to once again be in the company of the Orcas Island firefighters. Adding to the learning experience were two local firefighters Pete Soderquist and Tom Leuschen who were to be our guides for the day. From here I'll let the phographic captions tell the story...

Winthrop Firefighters Memorial:
Orcas Island Fire and Rescue:
Fire Vision LLC:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tapteil Winery...

Down south of my home grounds, near where the Yakima River meets the mighty Columbia look to the west and you'll see Red Mountain. Home to Tapteil Vineyard belonging to my cousin Larry and his wife, Jane, Pearson. Many years ago Larry researched the area and chose to name his vineyard after the nearly forgotten people of the Yakima river valley ~ the Tapteil.

Wines NW describes Red Mountain in terms of wine making: "Red Mountain Appellation is Washington State's smallest viticultural appellation, federally authorized on April 3, 2001. It is an area (3,600 acres) in the southeastern portion of Yakima Valley Appellation. Six hundred acres are planted to vineyards that have developed over the past 25 years to earn their owners top dollar for the premium grapes grown there."

Recently daughter Rose and I had the pleasure of visiting with Larry & Jane as well as my cousin Jacquie and her husband David Stephens and cousin Ashley. Although too short we enjoyed the time at the vineyards and given the fact it was spring barrel tasting weekend, well that was an added bonus. Here are a few pics of Taptiel, the family and friends...

Wines NW:
Tapteil Estate: