Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Washington State Parks Need Your Help Now!

As many of you know these are tough times for state budgets. Here in Washington our Parks have suffered budget cut after budget cut--just a few years ago the parks were getting about 50 million dollars a year(98 per bienium) from the general fund. This year they are only getting 8.9 million and only 8.3 million. This lack of funding has led the Park Commissioners to decision to start laying off employees at a startling rate. In my opinion these job cuts are going to severely effect our state parks and the trails and facilities we all cherish. I've already seen first hand negative effects from the years of budget cuts. Some workers have already been laid off and more are getting pink slips this week and even more after those are on their way. Many of the current park rangers will be faced with losing their jobs altogether or take a 5 month season position. This is no way to treat these fine people who I have found to be hardworking, dependable, capable, and friendly in my years of working with them. And it is no way to manage our public lands and infrastructure.

Do your part to help save our parks:

#1 Buy a Discover Pass 

If you already have one by one for a friend.

#2 Email or call your state represtentatives  

Ask them to support Senate Bill 5977 and Senate Bill 6387. While you're at it ask them to introduce and/or support a bill to increase the funding for the parks. If you don't live in Washington you can use my address(3305 Allen Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225) to contact my reps and tell them even though you don't live here you come here to use our parks and you don't want to see them deteriorate.

Contact Form for State Reps:

Writing to all Members of the Senate Energy, Natural Resources, and Marine Waters and the House Environment Committees will help too. 

#3 Email the Parks Commissioners

Ask them to discontinue the layoffs and re-instate those who were recently laid off due to the budget cut. Tell them you are contacting your state reps and asking them to increase funding for the parks in order to save jobs and to protect the parks.


#4 share this with your friends!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Have you heard? We have come up with a cute little series of cute little trail races in and around our new home Bellingham, WA. Candice and I were only willing to relocate to Bellingham because we knew that there are lots of fun, scenic and tough trails right in the city limits and close by on county and state lands. One such network of trails is just a couple hundred feet from our door. Another network of trails is less than a mile away. And within a couple miles from our house, in every direction, there are even more trails to choose from.

Of course we gravitated towards those trails that are steep and surrounded by dense old forest and often have vistas of the city, Mt Baker/North Cascades and or the Puget Sound/San Juan Islands. Living here we quickly realized there is a very strong community of runners and a great history of well organized races to choose from. But one thing that seemed lacking was tough, scenic, short, trail races. Other than the 10 year old Padden Mud Fest and the brand new Lake Padden Trail Classic there didn't seem to be any cute little trail races that had all the characteristics that we love about our longer races that we direct all over the Northwest-- steep climbs/descents, technical yet fun single track trail, good views, and inspiring scenery.

So being the kind of folks we are here at Rainshadow Running we decided to just create exactly the kind of races that we wished existed using these great trails that surround our home. It makes it hard(read darn near impossible) for us to actually run the races ourselves but it does fill a need we think exists in our community. So with out further ado please let me introduce to you the brand spanking new Bellingham Trail Race Series (aka B.T.R.S.) and it's five races:

Feb 12 Fragrance Lake 10km/20km (Registration Now Open)
Mar 11 Stewart Mountain 4mi/8mi
Apr 15 Alger Alp 2mi/5mi
May 12 Sehome Hill 5km/10km
Jun 9 Raptor Ridge ~20km

DISCLAIMER: Each of these races are at different stages in the permitting/birthing process so there may be changes to little things like date of the race, location of the race, distance of the race, etc.

DISCLAIMER TO THE DISCLAIMER: Even though I just said there might be changes we do feel like we've got things pretty well figured out and the permit process is moving forward on all of these and we don't anticipate at problems arising. And hopefully any changes that are made to the current plans are to make things even better! Also so far we only have opened registration for the first race which seems to be all set to go and there should no significant changes to that one. We'll open the registration for the other races only once we feel 100% confident that there will be no significant changes made to that race. All this said we're pretty confident in all the details otherwise we wouldn't have posted anything yet so please puts these dates on your calendar now and please start getting excited about them!