Animals of Mount Rainier’s Alpine Zone

After climbing between 6,000-7,500 feet, one may notice a big change… no trees!  The air is freezing cold, snowfields and glaciers can be found.  The flowers grow short, and the animals are few.  It’s the hardest place on the mountain to live, and the air is the best I’ve ever breathed.  This is the Alpine Zone.

This is where we ended our hike from White River campground.  We were at the bottom of Inter-Glacier Snow Field.  If I had to pick any place on Mount Rainier to live in (during the summer at least) that place would be it!  I hear that Panorama Point is another beautiful Alpine area, found at the lower end of Muir Snow Field.

Most of the animals in the Alpine Zone only live there during the summer, when it’s not extremely cold.  Let’s look at a couple that you might see crawling about up there.



Hoary Marmots are the largest of North America’s ground squirrels.  Because of their high pitched warning whistle, and their pudginess, they’re also called “whistle pigs”.  They hibernate during the colder months in burrows, usually near or under boulders.  During the summer these large rats are seen a lot.  They don’t spook very easily.  Marmots are the largest animals that are regularly seen in the Alpine Zone, although other animals such as bears do venture through this cold region of Mt. Rainier.




Pikas are another type of critter found in the Alpine Zone of Mount Rainier.  They are small, hamster/chinchilla like Critters.  Like tailless mice, but big and fat with rounded ears.  Like their neighbors, the marmots, they let of a high pitched warning sound when they sense danger.  They’re not as brave as marmots though, if they see people they’ll likely hide.  You’ll have to look a bit harder to see these little guys.

Sometimes they are called “rock rabbits”, “coneys”, or “whistling hares”.  Pikas do not hibernate.  They collect grass, dry it, and stuff it in their burrows for warmth.  And they need all the warmth they can get in this cold area.


If you’re traveling this high on Mt. Rainier, there’s a good chance you’re going to want to climb up on the snow, and you may possibly be on your way to summit Washington’s greatest peak.  Make sure to get the proper gear, available from Whittaker Mountaineering.  They are experts on climbing and on Mount Rainier, and they can be found at the foot of the mountain.  Currently they offer free shipping on any order over $75.  Check them out!

Thanks for reading, and Lord willing we’ll see you in a couple weeks!  Praise God for our beautiful Mount Rainier!!!


CSFFBT- “Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow”

Alright, this month the book was “Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow” by the Miller Brothers.

My first impression upon reading this book was that I thought the idea behind the book was neat.

I liked the cast of characters and the intro into the book, but the further I read the more it reminded me of Harry Potter meets “Book of Names” by D. Barkley Briggs.  The illustrations looked to me like they were trying a bit too hard, making computer animation on paper, it just didn’t fit in with what I thought the book was trying to portray.

The cover art was good, but I think that is where they should have left the computer animation-ish drawing.

It wasn’t until I was around chapter 7 that the book started to intrigue me a bit more. I was still able to put the book down however and not pick it up again for many days….

Once I did pick it up however, I read on and was excited by what happens in Chapter 17…very neat I thought.

For those of you who don’t want the book spoiled- Don’t read the text in red. 

In Chapter 18, there is a riddle that I liked trying to figure out with the main character…I was searching my brain trying to figure it out with him and was pleasantly surprised to see “we” came to the same conclusion about it! lol

I liked the alliteration in the riddle.

I also liked the ending of the book.  I had a nagging suspicion about it and was glad to see it confirmed.


Alright, all done with spoilers for now.

I can honestly say that it was not until chapter 20 that I felt the need, the urge to keep the book by my side until I got to the last word of the last chapter. Some books you can’t put them down until you finish them, and it happens on page one, this book however didn’t reach that point for me until chapter 20.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised to find myself at the last page and feel satisfied that I had read through till the end. I would definetly recommend this to someone of a younger age, maybe between ages 10-16 or so. I think it would be right up their alley, but parents reading it to see what their children are into would get a smile out of it.

For more information on the book, please check out the following links:

*Featured book, Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow – .
the Miller Brothers’ Web site –
the Miller Brothers’ blog –

*Participants’ Links:

Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Shane Deal
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Marcus Goodyear
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Isbell
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Wade Ogletree
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson

Searching Craigslist With Ease

Have you ever tried searching for the same thing in multiple cities of Craigslist?  It’s slow.  You have to open each city individually and re-enter your search criteria.

Not anymore!

The other day I came across this page,  From here you can type in your criteria once, hit search, and get results from as many cities as you want… once!  There are other websites that do similar things, but this one is a bit different.  Instead of crawling through Craigslist (which Craigslist likes to block) it simply organizes the search on your browser.

If you’re searching for hard to find items, or maybe “work from home” jobs, try using this site.  It’s way easier!  Saved me enough time to write this post…

Roaming the Subalpine Zone of Mount Rainier

As you climb between 4,500 and 6,000 feet you’ll notice that the trees begin to thin into the famous meadows of Mt. Rainier.  This is the Subalpine Life Zone of Mount Rainier.  Some argue it is the most beautiful place in all of Washington.  And it isn’t just people that enjoy this area.

Black Tail Deer

Black Tailed Deer

Black Tailed Deer roam all around Mt. Rainier, but they love to graze in the sunbathed subalpine meadows.  These animals are a favorite game for hunters, but here in Mt. Rainier they enjoy protection from hunting.  They are not protected, however, from traffic.  These deer move about mostly during dawn and dusk, when the lack of light makes it somewhat difficult for drivers to see them.  Always be cautious and on the lookout for them when driving during these times.

These may be the most commonly seen large animals in the park.  If you’re quick with the camera you’ll find they pose nicely for your shots.  And thanks to William, my awesome Irish Wolfhound/Siberian Husky mix, I found out that the deer aren’t too spooked by dogs whining at them through car windows.  The deer and dog held each other’s gaze for quite some time.  I really wanted to let the animals interact, but letting my dog out would have been not only illegal, but dangerous for both animals.  At least they shared that moment through the window.



Elk can be found in the Subalpine Zone as well.  The moose is the only deer species larger than the elk, and occasionally a large Sambar deer will match an elk’s size.  Like the black tail deer, these big creatures roam about when the sun is close to the horizon.  So be careful when driving through the park at those times, the animal and your car will appreciate it!

The bugling of elks is a well known sound, and very easy to pick out.  The louder a male’s bugle, the more females he will attract.  Sometimes they use their large antlers and powerful front leg kicks to fight for mating rights.  Be careful if you are close to an elk, those antlers and kicks can do a man in.

Other animals can be found in the Subalpine Zone of Mount Rainier.  It’s a good place to get pictures of wildlife, especially during the spring when the meadows are ablaze with color.  God is amazing, and His creations are beautiful!

If you’re camping out in the Subalpine Zone of the mountain, remember that it’s pretty cold at night.  Make sure to pack warm clothes, good sleeping bags, and quality tents.  These and other resources can be found at  Check out their sales, and remember that submitting a product review could win you $200!

Some Graffiti of Mine

Most of you know I used to really be into graffiti. Here’s a few samples of my work (none of it was done illegally)…

This one was for the Seattle Youth Rally- “God’s Place”

Seattle Youth Rally- God's Place
This one is a picture I did for my niece, Calista
Calista graffiti

Calista graffiti

This one I did for the “Fable’s Biggest Fan” contest
Fable graffiti

Fable graffiti

Foundation Week- March ’09

Got some crazy ideas that you want to see thrown together into short stories and the like?


Wondering if you can give a writing challenge too difficult for an author to accomplish?


Bring it on!


Partake in the monthly feature: “The Writer’s Challenge”.  You brainstorm the story elements, you choose the story elements, and I write the short story.  This will be written from a Christian world view, so I thank you ahead of time for keeping it clean (inappropriate posts will be deleted). 


This first week is dedicated to brainstorming, and any related material needs to be presented as a reply to this post.  This is your opportunity to post your story elements, whether they be elements you think are cool or elements you think I don’t have the skills to handle.  Feel free to include any of the following:

  Mood (funny, serious, adventurous, etc…)

  Genre (fantasy, modern, sci-fi, etc…)



  Plot elements

  Items (weapons, possessions, animals, relics, etc…)


Please use headings for your choices so I’ll have an easier time gathering them.  If you have something that doesn’t fit under one of these categories, you can use the heading “Other”.  Please hold any comments on replies from other people, there will be opportunity for this later.  Any ideas for the month must be posted before the first week of the month ends (this week).


Please see the “Writer’s Challenge” page for further details.


Let’s make a story!