Thursday, August 29, 2013


Update.--The Jackson Visitors Center Webcams are back up, so there's only two down, the air quality one in the administration building looking to the southwest and the Sunrise east one awaiting work on the window.

Just a quick note to say a number of the Webcams are having problems. Two of the ones in the Jackson visitors center (west and east) are dated over a week ago. The Webcam in the Mountain Guide Center is mispointed (at something inside the building). The air quality one looking down southwest is down. And the one in the Sunrise visitors center is still down.

These are a great asset for visitors and many thanks and kudos for the work of the NPS to have and opearate them, and it only shows how much we need the NPS to be adequately funded for their work protecting and managing our National Parks.

I know many in Congress know this, but it sometimes seems it falling on deaf ears of the leadership and many Republicans in the House of Representatives to fully funded the government we all need and want. I won't politicize it much here, just when it obvious.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Note About Pets

Occasionally I run across some Websites, blogs, etc. where the person not only brags about taking their pet hiking to Mt. Rainier NP, but sometimes these people show photos of their pet on trails and other places pets where aren't allowed or without a leash.

Remember folks, pets should not be taken to Mt. Rainier NP because of the narrow restrictions on pets and the ban on taking them on trails, outside of  campgrounds and visitors facilities, and always on a leash. You can only take pets on a leash in parking lots, picnic areas, campgrounds and along highway (turnouts). This means when you're anywhere else, pets must be in vehicles.

I've run across hikers and visitors with pets, all dogs of course, walking around the NP like it's their neighborhood, and every time I remind them it's illegal and not appreciated by other visitors and hikers. And consider if the pet ran off hiking on a trail or elsewhere, would you be able to find them before they become completely separated and lost from you.

Remember it's not about you having your pet with you, and what you think the pet enjoys being outside in the NP. It doesn't matter how well trained your pet. It doesn't matter how important your pet is to you. It doesn't matter your pet makes a great hiking companion. It doesn't matter you take your pet hiking everywhere else in the Cascade Mountains outside National Parks.

It doesn't matter. Read and follow the rules on pets. And better yet, leave them at home.


I've added a description and map Web pages for the trailheads in and around Mt. Rainier NP, which you can find on the photo guide in the second group and "Places" section. The trailheads correspond to the day hikes and backcountry hikes Web pages, which I review to integrate the pages together.

In addition a Web page and map for the Wonderland Trail is in the list of projects, which is currently included in the backcountry hikes. There are plenty of opportunities for photographers on the Wonderland Trail but is only hiked in sections by a few photographers.

In other news I'll start producing the news, access and conditions Web pages in two-month periods as it seems to fit the NP and makes the work easier for me to focus on other projects. The September-October will come out, hopefully, before the Labor Day holiday weekend.

As for the NP, it's in the last stages of the wildflowers as the weather changes from summer to early fall and the number of visitors decreases after the holiday weekend, but is often the best hiking month as the weather is cooler with fewer hikers.

I'll keep you posted and enjoy the NP. Remember to take photos and memories and leave no trace.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Website Host

I've used a local Website hosting service company since 2006. A few years ago their computers didn't accommodate hosting Websites, so they moved their customers' Websites to a server in Florida and became a virtual server and just through put for visitors.

This meant people going to my Website went to the company's server which redirected the visitor to the Florida server. And I used a FTP application to upload files to the Florida server. Ok, it was slower but worked and the Florida server didn't have any quotas.

Last week they reconfigured their system to accommodate hosting Websites locally but they didn't move the files until yesterday, but it broke the DNS links to Websites, which was why the notice posted yesterday. They fixed it by going back to the Florida server.

Fast forward today I uploaded a bunch of files to that server and then they called to say they moved the files overnight and connected the DNS correctly, so that all the files I uploaded weren't on the new server, so I had to test their new Web administrator Website.

It sucks and really irrelevant for me as the FTP application (Fetch) works with them too, and it's slightly quicker since it's local than going through all the connections to Florida. I uploaded the files I edited or added.

So, all's well with the world, but if you see problems with the Website, please let me know. They supposed walked through it as I did but with over 400 individual html files, a few hundred images and about 100 documents, it's possible something got missed or corrupted.

Selected Unnamed Lakes

I've added two new Web pages for some unnamed lakes published in a report by the State of Washington in 1961 and updated in 1965 and 1973, the last year adding township and range locations for unofficial names to the lakes.

There are over 400 mapped lakes in Mt. Rainier NP, but only about 50 have names, and a few of the remainder have informal or unofficial names used by a variety entities for a variety of reasons, but none of these names have been officially adopted by the Board on Geographic Names.

I haven't found reasons for the state selecting about 40 unnamed lakes for the series on the selected lakes of Washington, especially since the bulk are in the northeast quadrant, but they're in the report and now on Web pages for the description and a map of the lakes.

The majority of the lakes are inaccessible except by difficult off-trail scrambling through forest or in the upper elevations, often with extensive elevation gain or loss from existing trails. A few in the northeast quadrant are accessible off the Palisades trail via the road to Sunrise.

I would caution folks to exercise care with hiking off-trail to any of these or any lakes to respect the environment and the lake. A little damage takes time to heal.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Website Down

Update.-- 3:10 pm.-- The Website appears to be back, but I'll keep checking to see it's not a temporary fix.

Folks, I apologize the Website is down no thanks to the Website hosting company. Last week they sent an e-mail they're moving systems around along with Website servers. I followed their instructions and everything was fine until today when only the home page is there.

When I called them they said they're moving all the Website from the hosting servers in Florida, locally they were what's called a virtual server being the host for the domain name and thru-put for visitors to the real hosting server.

They first said, "We didn't do anything.", but a few minutes later gave the sheepish, "Oops" response that the link on the Domain Name Server (DNS) was wrong, but the tech didn't know how to fix it, and would call me back. Like an hour ago.

It appears they want local copies now but when they moved to the Florida server, they had me buy a FTP application and upload all the files directly, so I don't have access to the local server anymore to upload to them.

I told them if they give me the access I'll upload the entire Website, assuming it won't run into a quota for my Website, but they said they were transferring all the Websites back. I said, "So, where's mine?" and got no answer.

I suspect they decided to let owners of broken Websites call if they find or have problems. Like that's good customer relations. I have my domain name and Website hosting with them almost 13 years (December 2000), but apparently older customers don't count.

It's why you get the URL not found on this server error messages. For now, that's the only news I have, nothing works, and they know I'm not happy with them. And all I can do is wait.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Reports

The reports for the conditions, access and information for August are now available at photo guide for Mt. Rainier NP. These should work through the Labor Day holiday weekend in early Septmber. While August is past the peak for the wildlflowers, there's still plenty of them around the NP.

Otherwise, everything is open and busy. The weather is normally good in early-to-mid August, it changes to cooler, even cold, in the last half of the month. This is great as the bugs disappear after the first sub-40 degree night.

Except for fixing mistakes, I'm off on other things for awhile, but I would appreciate feedback if you feel the guide works for you or you have suggestions to improve it, add to it, or whatever else you'd like to see.