When Goat Creek built up steam with spring runoff, it gathered substantial debris on its way down the mountain. Lower Goat Creek Bridge — a vital link for winter and summer users on Founders Trail — did not withstand the fury of the water loaded with large woody debris. Logs, sticks, branches and other forest rubble partially knocked the bridge off its foundation.
Methow Trails is currently working on a plan to repair the bridge but expresses that “it’s complicated.” This is the third time the bridge has washed out, so a new design must be able to stand up to future floods. Methow Trails has a design drafted currently but it needs to be approved by engineers and agencies that govern what can happen in the creek.
Other factors delaying the repair include waiting until the creek is at its lowest, which is generally later in the summer, finding additional funding sources for the expensive rebuild project, and keeping up with other trail work planned for the year. Methow Trails says, “We’ll do our best to have it repaired by winter.”
In the meantime, the bridge can be crossed with caution by bicyclists, runners and walkers. Horseback riders are safest to lead their steeds across the bridge, given the potential for an unexpected spook at the unfamiliar pile. As an alternative, Goat Creek can be forded on horseback.
Have you heard that “fast fashion” is the new plastic, becoming one of the most polluting industries in the world? Over 87% of the 100 billion garments purchased ends up in a landfill or an incinerator. Consumers rush to keep up with catwalk trends and high fashion designs by purchasing cheaply made, mass-produced lookalike clothing items that will as quickly be discarded for the next new look. This cheap way of keeping up with fashion comes at a heavy price for the environment.
Ting Chi, who chairs the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles at Washington State University, says, “The production is growing. The consumption is growing. The amount of textile apparel disposed of every year has continued to grow.”
There are ways to reduce fashion pollution, many of which are already healthy practices in Methow Valley. Iryna Komazova wrote the following list in “Fast Fashion is Destroying Our Planet: What You Can Do:”
• Buy fewer and more-durable clothes — choose slow-fashion.
• Avoid fast-fashion companies and support small local businesses instead.
• Rent clothes you’re likely to wear only once.
• Buy used items.
• Swap clothes with friends.
• Repair and upcycle your clothes.
• Resell or give clothes for free online.
The Methow Valley Senior Center in Twisp is a reliable source for second-chance clothing. The center asks that clothing donations be brought in clean condition and good repair to be resold and not end up in the landfill.
I was a great fan of James Herriot and his series of animal tales gleaned from his years as a veterinarian, especially “All Creatures Great and Small.” Having an affinity for animals, it was invariably a time for a good cry when any of my pets met an untimely demise. When Silver the Malamute snatched one of my baby rabbits or my cat Popeye managed to catch a bird, I cried to my mom, whose response was consistently, “It’s just their nature.”
My sons grew up with the same sensitivity to animals. When I had to put a cat down due to illness, my then 3-year-old, looked up at me with tears streaming down his face, “Meowty died.” Recently, that same spirit prompted him to give a tiny hummingbird — that had exhausted itself to death while trying to find its way out of a structure — a proper box for burial. RIP, Rufus.