Sunday, May 12, 2013

Whatcom County and Komo Kulshan

              I love the place where I live:  in Whatcom County.  The mountains divide
the western county from the east.  And in the west is the bay.  There is lush green almost everywhere in Whatcom County.  When I drive through the county, I cannot help soaking up the beauty of the trees on the rolling hills. 

              One of the most prominent part of the scenery is Mount Baker.  It is the tallest of the mountains in our area.  There is always some snow on Mount Baker, although in the summer there isn't much. The volume of snow and ice on Mount Baker is greater than that of all the other Cascades volcanoes (except Rainier) combined. 

              Mount Baker, along with Shuksan, have a special place in the lore of the native people of this area.  also known as Koma Kulshan or simply Kulshan, is an active volcano.

              Komo Kulshan, a very tall and handsome young man, had two wives, as was the custom of his tribe. One was named Clear Sky; the other, Fair Maiden.  As you might guess, there was quarreling.  Eventually Clear Sky packed her bags and left.

               Fair Maiden became an island, and Kulshan, left with his children in the mountains of the Northwest coastal range, kept stretching upward, trying to see his wives. So did his children.

                The Three of them grew taller and taller and became high mountains. One is Shuksan, a little east of Kulshan and almost as tall. Some people say the others are Twin Sisters, a little west and south of Kulshan.

                 A long journey south of them stands their mother, Clear Sky.
You know her as Mount Rainier, (seen in the 'Paramount' pictures at the end of movies, in the cinema! )

                 The seeds and roots she planted there grew and spread, and that's why the lower slopes bloom with flowers of every color. Often on a clear day or night, the mountain dresses in sparkling white and looks with longing at Komo Kulshan and the mountain children near him.

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