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VIP Day, 2013

Now we think our public access to the backcountry is very important and we believe our forest roads are absolutely breathtaking!  So we decided this year to share this with some Very Important People!  We held a VIP Day to take a forest road tour and finish our trip at the end of forest road #2642, Grade Creek Road where we have put in 197 volunteer hours!  There we had our scrumptious midday meal provided by Friends of North Mountain.

Along the tour we talked about different types of drainage for roads and stopped to examine a concrete ford as we drove.  A concrete ford is a long time solution to an ongoing drainage problem where culverts are not feasible such as an avalanche chute where materials continuously come down.

Some of our trip was not so pretty and we had to address infestations to the surrounding forest such as the destruction of the Black-headed Bud Worm and Hemlock Looper Moths.

While the forest road tour was going on Friends Of North Mountain were preparing a warm welcoming and scrumptious midday meal several miles away up on a mountain.

Julien Loh and his wife Carmen of Congresswoman Susan DelBene's office enjoyed the magic of Rat Trap Falls along the tour.  It was a clear day coming down the road and we got to see the upper falls as well! We had a lot of fun, good discussions and creative thinking all day long!

As we traveled we met up with Adventure Cascades, our local rafting company and they shared refreshments by the shores of the Suiattle River.  We learned about the local rivers and how rafting provides local revenues.  Adventure Cascades are also FFPU volunteers/adopters of the White Chuck Boat Launch.

At the end of the drive we had a wholesome lunch of fresh baked bread, coleslaw and delicious lemon bars and lavender lemonade.  A hand-washing station and "Potty Room" with an herbal bouquet were all waiting for our Very Important People!  Yes we had fun with our preparations but then we do believe our guest were very special!

As we enjoyed our meal we learned about the Friends Of North Mountain's plans to restore the North Mountain Lookout as an interpretative building and vacation rental.  The enthusiasm was contagious

After our meal some of us headed back down the mountain and others took the short user trail to beautiful Tupso Lake.  It was a day well spent, we learned a lot about each other, our forest roads and the Darrington community.  We learned about the dreams and projects yet to come and examining possible solutions for keeping what we have.

A grand adventure on our VIP Day!  Thank you for being our VIP guest; Julien Loh for Congress woman Susan DelBene and his lovely wife, Sally Hintz for Senator Maria Cantwell, Kirk Pearson, Washington State Senator, Jennifer Eberlien, MBSNF Supervisor, Peter Forbes, Darrington District Head Ranger, Gary Yonaka for Snohomish County Search and Rescue, SRT & EMRU. Dan Rankin, our town of Darrington Mayor and Jim Reece for Hampton Affiliates, Darrington Mill. 

We would also like to thank Gale Fiege of the Everett Herald and Jason Miller of the Concrete Herald for covering this great story!