Tuesday, September 29, 2015

1896 geology field notes

Update.--The links to the original field notes and transcriptio of the field notes have been updated since the original post in April 6, 2009. Original post below.

During the 1896 expedition geologist George Otis Smith took rock samples and field notes while he, Bailey Willis, Israel C. Russell and George Landes explored the geology of Mount Rainier. Willis explored the north side of Mt. Rainier in the early 1880s' working for the Northern Pacific Railroad. Smith also explored the Mt. Rainier during the previous summers before the expedtion as part of the overall exploration of the geology of the western side of the Cascade Mountains, and specifically in the Mt. Rainier area in August 1895.

Doing the research for the expedition I discovered the USGS had the original 1895 and 1896 field books in the archives, and they provided copies of them. I have transcribed the 1896 field book to work with the report narrative for their travels on the expedition, listed below.

Original Field Book
Transcribed Field Book

The files are in PDF format and will either open in your browser window or dowload to your computer. I'm still in the process of transcribing the field book to the expedition timelime for dates and places so people know where the samples were taken, but it's likely most places won't be excactly known. They didn't have maps then to determine locations, only their own descriptions.

Anyway, it's interesting reading if only for historical purposes. I was notified later that my transcription of the field book is now part of the USGS archive with the orginal field book, so future readers have both.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Walk Through

Wandering around the Website I noticed quite a few Web pages have errors or broken links, or are need of updating for better organization, information, etc. This is been accumulating for some time now for a number of reasons.

So, over the winter I plan to take the sets of Web pages for each topic in the photo guide and update them to a newer standard with updated information. And with so many sets of Web pages, this won't be a short or easy task, but something I'll do over the next 6 month or so.

If you have problems with, or questions or suggestions for the Web pages, please let me know. If you see wrong or bad information, broken links or other obvious issuse, please let me know. It's hard to tell what people want with the Web pages if they don't say something.

The longterm goal is to work on the sets of Web pages into more detailed ones and eventually a book, but there's so much left to do and to add, a book on the wish list for now, but recent publications have prompted me to start thinking if not working on it.

Anyway, that's it, just a short note of work I'll be doing on top of new sets of Web pages for publications, topic, interests, history, etc. It's like my office, piles of ideas (documents, outlines, research notes, books, maps, reports, etc.) where I've lost track of what's where, which is why have the Web page for plans.

Photo Places Update

I have updated the Web page for photo places in Mt Rainier NP with a second map from a set of pamphlets with two maps by photographer Tom Haseltine, dividing the NP into southern and northern halves.

The places on the maps in the pamphlets different somewhat from the places in the chapter on the NP by Greg Vaughn in his book Photographing Washington but more often overlap with respect to the common areas and places photographers go in the NP.

The problem is that there is just too much to photograph in the NP and too many places to go so photographers have to ration their time for the few places they have time in the NP. Very few photographers have the access to return frequently enough to photograph in more places.

And fewer photographers wander more than a 1/4 to 1/2 mile from the road, into the backcountry, often for days at a time. Even I limited myself to long day hikes for personal reasons but still managed to get 5-6 miles into the backcountry, short considering the size of the NP.

Anyway, the Web pages are there for visitors and photographers. I highly recommend the book, especially if you're visiting Washington State and the NP is one of the places you want to visit and photograph.

And I recommend the pamphlets because they're full of places with a good map to know where you can go. But remember the NP has seasons and not everywhere is open outside of summer, so you need to take the time of your visit into account.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Green Trails Maps

Green Trails has redesigned their Website where the links I have to individual maps for the Web page for Mt. Rainier NP don't work anymore. I've changed the link on the table of contents for the photo guide to the pages for the Washington and you have to navigate to the central Cascasdes west and down (south) to the map for the NP.

I'll look to see how I can fix the link the Web page for the individual Green Trails maps, but barring luck, the Web page may be dropped as it doesn't work to what I want and what I think users want, but does what Green Trails wants.

It's a shame their Website doesn't have individual link to products. While the design works for browsing for products and may simply some functions and operations, it's basically bad design that users have to navigate through Web pages for a single product.

I apologize for not checking this by now, but I'll see what I can do and update the Web page accordingly.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Access Map

I have updated the current news, information and access map for two things. First, I converted all the locations to WGS84 latitude and longitude so they will plot better on Google Map. Google uses WGS84 instead of NAD83 which are slightly, but not significantly, different locations, when you zoom in on places on the map.

The second is that I've added 8 new places and relocated some of the places for better representation on the map. The new places are mostly in the Longmire, Paradise and Sunrise areas to provide more information of the facilities and activities there.

I've also updated the information from the NPS schedule for winter closures or reduce days and/or hours at facilities and campgrounds. All the roads are currently open and will remain until the NPS begins closing them on schedule or with the first significant snowfall.

I'll update the information again when we get into October and the actual closures have happened, often at Sunrise, or will happen in October as outlined in the schedule. The closures usually align with the Columbus Day holiday, the last good weekend and holiday in the NP.

Horizontal Datum

I've been reviewing the map with the current news, information and access and discovered when you zoom in on specific places, the points I have for Google Map, which uses NAD83 latitude and longitude, plot differently on Google Map than for the map applications I use for locating places.

This is because Google uses WGS84 and not NAD83. This is due to the fact Google needs a consistent world horizontal datum and not one specific to North America which I've used throughout my career with the USGS and with the maps for the Mt Rainier photo guide.

The difference can be small, almost insigificant, or obviously close but not right. So, I'll be adjusting the map for the news to WGS84 and checking the locations with Google Map. If this works to correctly plot the locations, then I'll work through all the maps to correct them to WGS84, but that will take some time.

In the meantime the difference is small enough to still identify what the point is and where it is in Mt Rainier NP. But for the information on the maps for elevation, they will still be NGVD 1927 and not NAVD 1988. The USGS still uses NGVD 1927 for a lot of application, reports and uses, so that's still the standard I'll use on the maps with the photo guide.

If you have problems with the elevation, all computer and mobile device map applications have toggles to switch between the two vertical datums, so it's easy to translate between them for your needs or work. As they say, if anything changes, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Photography Places

Recently travel photographer Greg Vaughn published Photographing Washington of which a chapter is dedicated to Mt. Rainier National Park. I have reduced the information in the chapter to Web pages, Photography Places in Mt Rainier NP along with a map of the places in the book with a few variations.

While the book is an excellent resource for photographers visiting Mt. Rainier for many of the best places to photograph, it's doesn't present all of the places as the many are in the backcountry far from the visitor areas and locations and far off the roads requiring long day hikes or multiple day backcountry hikes.

That said, I highly recommend the book if you already photograph places in Washington state or plan to visit to photograph places in Washington state, and the chapter on Mt Rainier is the best presentation I've seen to date.

It encompasses many of the most and often photographed places in the NP and some of the lesser known or visited places. It opens the door to what other photographers will tell you, some of the best places are in the backcountry, where over 90% of the NP is open to photographers away from the tourist and photographers.

And this is good won't get old or out of date for information, the NP is always there waiting for you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Camp Muir

This is the view south from Camp Muir (NPS Webcam) with, left to right, Mount Adams, Mount Hood (center in the distance), and Mount St Helens. The view looks down the Muir snowfield between the Paradise (east) and Nisqually (west) glaciers.

Camp Muir is a long day hike to and back down for some but mostly the stopover site for summit climbs where the climbers stay for the evening to arise in the early morning hours for the climb to the summit and back down to Camp Muir and Paradise.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sorry about that

I screwed up and didn't upload the new table of contents with the changes for September-October news, conditions and access links. It's fixed. I apologize for the oversight. Too much work and too many other things in life I overlooked all the pages to upload.

I'll be updating them again in about a week or so when the NPS release its initial schedule for the reduction in days and hours and closures for the facilities, campgrounds, services, roads, entrances, etc. Those come out with the fall Tahoma newsletter which comes out after the Labor Day holiday.

I'll get the newsletter and update the Web pages with the specific dates and information.