Boy howdy, do I have a hodgepodge of news from Mazama for you this week! First, the North Cascades Highway reopened on Thursday. But you probably knew this by the stream of cars and campers coming from the west. This means you had better take a second look to the right when you are heading onto the highway from the junction. Tom Leidholt Sr. says he is not going to do any such thing and will continue to just blow onto the highway like he always has. Listen, I don’t condone the news, I just report it. But I do think he’s mostly joking.
So, the Thursday opening of the highway means that the winner of the Mazama Store contest of guessing the opening date (which is lovingly named after Red McCombs) was Claire Bunney! Or was it? There is a scandal brewing because the highway then closed again that evening for a few hours. This is unprecedented. What to do? Who decides? Will Claire take home the money and the honor or will those go to the person who chose April 19? Should they wrestle for the title of winner? Or maybe play a pickleball game to decide? Perhaps Mazama residents should vote.
The next news comes from another contest. The Mazama Store Easter Jelly Bean Guessing Contest! Every year the store puts out both a large and a small jar of jelly beans on the counter for people to guess just how many jelly beans are in each jar. This year’s winners were Jo Cole winning the big jar and Paul Butler winning the smaller jar. Apparently, Jo actually came in second, but the real winner, a gentleman named Jared, couldn’t come in and pick them up for some time, so he generously passed them along to Jo.
Now from jelly beans to bears. I heard from Marielle LeDuc that the Campions, who live in the Arrowleaf area of Mazama, recently spied a mama bear and her cub eating spring beauties near their home. Did you know that spring beauties are a vegetable? It’s true! This pretty little plant has tiny underground tubers that can be eaten just like potatoes. In fact, another name for the spring beauty is the fairy spud.
Marielle also gave me the news that she had stumbled across the first snake of the season. She was up on the Spokane Gulch trail and saw a gray-ish snake. She is not sure what type of snake that it was, but it is a good reminder that it is never too early to be alert when in some of the well-known snake habitat areas, particularly when you have a dog with you.
Speaking of dogs, have you seen Geoff Gode on his longboard being towed up and down Lost River Road by his dog? The whole scene looks like it could be a great commercial for Patagonia or an outdoor gear company. Gotta love Mazama.