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Kettle Crest

Spacious-mind musings on the map

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For four consecutive summers, my attunement with and relationship to the Kettles has been the axis of my spirit’s turning. 

2016: A force that focused me and gave me hope when I was deep in a haze of postpartum anxiety. Choosing to listen to myself when it made no logical sense.

2017: Cosmic cairns the moment of the total eclipse that validated that listening to the tiny voice of wisdom in my head was the right decision. Creating art with alpenglow, Eagle, and feet; thin, tanned limbs flapping. Giardia.

2018: Alone/not-alone, feet weaving the broken land, heroic dose. Serendipitous connections making possible the seed of an improbable intuitive notion from back in 2016. Artistic fulfillment.

2019: Making my part-time home on a granite bluff overlooking the complicated landscape that holds every bit of my heart that doesn’t already belong to Rumi. Feet meeting dirt making map.

I welcome the uncertainty and hard work it will still take to birth the map. I recognize the map is still only the beginning: unfound bull trout lurk near northern banks in my dreams, springs well up and cascade down cliffs, unclimbed granite looms large under it all and I wonder: 

“Will I ever find the years to become intimate with this place, the sacred Sinixt H'a H'a Tumxulaux?”

read more:

Spokesman feature

Kettles Map Project update

Kavu feature

Kettles Map Project featured in The Spokesman Review

The Kettles are this tiny microcosm of all the conservation issues facing the northwest.

Our little map project is picking up steam according to the Spokesman Review’s article in today’s paper.

Go read the feature piece for yourself!

Brittany Raven

Update on Kettles Map Project

 
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a full room for the REI talk

a full room for the REI talk

Dear forest freaks,

When projects on which I’m working are successful, moving forward, and making serendipitous connections, I find it difficult to report out about them. In the afterglow of a beautiful twenty-four hours spent in Spokane mid-January, I’m finally forcing myself to sit down a pen a debrief for you.

REI invited me to present about the Kettles Map Project back in December and, as a result of that invitation, the events manager graciously introduced me to The Lands Council, a local non-profit with deep roots doing conservation work in the Kettle-Colville area. After learning more about the work Marc and I are doing with the map, TLC agreed to be our fiscal sponsor which will be a huge support as we seek grant funding to get our project off the ground.

The evening of the speaking event at REI went so smooth it felt like a dream. The room was already beginning to fill when I arrived to set up my presentation and get oriented to the room. We tacked draft maps to the walls and got the lighting just right as the final seat was taken. I decided, in integrity to my true nature, to share my full story of how I became interested in working in the Kettles. This tale included episodes of listening to the voice of the land, hallucinating that I was a raven, and how I feel about the wolf killings on the range. A few friends who attended said the audience was riveted; the room was silent until I called for questions. The questions I received in response to my presentation indicated a diverse audience: “where do I go to hunt bear on the Range?”, “are you working with the tribes to include indigenous place names and sacred sites?”, “when will the map be available?”

Through our initial fundraising process, Marc and I realized there is a deep need to first educate would-be recreators on what the Kettles are, why they’re important, and the basics on what to do when they visit. We’re also fortunate to have connected with Conservation Northwest, who co-presented with me that evening at REI, and TLC throughout our public outreach work.

Looking forward to providing another update soon on the project. There are exciting pieces falling into place that aren’t yet ready to be public.

Brittany

 
 

Presenting about the Kettles Map Project at Spokane REI

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REI Spokane has invited me to present about the Kettles Map Project on Wednesday, January 16th at 6pm.

Come join to learn about the Kettle Range, the project, and ask questions after my presentation. At the event, REI staff will have on hand relevant texts by project collaborators David Moskowitz and Craig Romano.

Brittany Raven

Kettles Map Project featured by KAVU

light drunk in the Kettles, cr. David Moskowitz

As the Kettles Map Project marches forward, my friends over at KAVU generously asked to feature the story of how I fell in love with the Range.

Give it a read and share it on your Facebook or Instagram. The wolves and lynx will thank you.

Brittany Raven

Kettle Crest Trail recovery

The Kettle Range: Barnaby Buttes, Snow, Sherman, Columbia, Wapaloosie, Copper, and Profanity

The Kettle Range: Barnaby Buttes, Snow, Sherman, Columbia, Wapaloosie, Copper, and Profanity

Many of you have been asking how my physical recovery from the Kettle Crest Trail went this time around. My spirit experienced the running culmination of this event in epic hallucinations where I became Raven and even stranger things. While I've been wildly ruminating on the existential aspects of the experience, which are vast and still needing more time to process, my body quickly integrated the event.

The Kettle Crest Trail encompasses about forty-six miles (“about” because estimates range from forty-one to forty-eight and the trail sorely needs re-mapping) and about 8,000 feet gain between elevations of 4,800 feet and 7,200 feet. Unlike other epic mountain runs I’ve enjoyed like the Wonderland or any number of long routes in the Rockies, the KCT is a wily journey and often indistinct or unmaintained. Two old wildfire scars sling their black and silver remnants over the trail. In my seven runs on the Crest I’ve encountered five bears and three moose. The North Kettles are wolf country and are also challenging to navigate due to a recent fire there which has allowed brush to encroach on the faint path. Running this year, I saw a total of two people over the course of the better part of a day.

As with my last run on the Kettle Range in 2017, the latent effects of fetomaternal microchimerism rendered me unable to get sore. The female body is the ultimate endurance machine.

On last year’s run, I was forced by a great dearth of water on the trail to drink from a cattle trough. Consequently, I got giardia (my fourth bout with those little fuckers since 2009) and so my internal recovery from the run took until my course of antibiotics was over a few weeks later. This year, though, I armed myself with iodine tablets and thankfully my gut has felt solid since completing the run.

The day after the run I took a recovery hike. The day after that I took an easy run. The day after that my legs made me run like I was possessed––bottomless energy once again even after the FKT rolled out of me. Though I have attempted to turn my energy to climbing once again, my fire for running continues to burn and so I’ve spent six days a week hammering dust with joyful feet.

Most remarkably, my period has maintained its thirty day cycles. I strategically programmed this run to happen on the summer solstice in the first days of my luteal phase, knowing that I’d have ample light, lots of energy, and given that I’d have already ovulated it was unlikely that the big effort would disrupt my cycle.

Finally, last year I ran about five pounds lighter and my autonomic nervous system was a good deal more sensitive. In advance of my 2017 run, I found it difficult to fall or stay asleep and I functioned in a slight sleep deficit for most of the summer. Through winter 2017/2018 I packed on about ten pounds, downed an indica edible every night, and built more consistent bedtime habits. As a result, this year I slept well all but the night before the event (because I was just so damned excited to run). In the taper leading up to the event, I clocked about eleven and a half hours of sleep a night plus naps three days a week.

 

read more:

Perfecting the Taper

Psychedelia