I just started to work on updating my website and blog, and realized that this “about” section is ancient history… So, here I am, offering an update.

Red Alder Ranch is me, Mark Whitaker. I live on 15 acres of mixed forest land near the historic native village of Skamokawa, Washington, alongside the Columbia River. The Pacific Ocean is 34 miles away by river.

I also co-own, with my brother, a 40 acre parcel of fir and larch forest in the Okanogan Highlands, near Wauconda Pass. I spend a few weeks a year up there, spring through fall, working on some forest thinning, repairing the existing cabin and shed, and then deer and grouse hunting in the fall.

I have been, at turns, a conservation corps grunt, an Eagle scout, a dishwasher and prep cook, a bass player in a punk band, a mechanic and auto parts guy, a commercial dishwasher repairman, an antique/reproduction light fixture salesman and designer, a college student, a solar pool heater installer, sawmill headrig operator and lumber grader, tax preparer, all around handyman, firewood cutter, sheep rancher, eBay seller and kayak instructor/guide and rental shop manager. I still do a little bit of custom sawmilling from time to time.

My current full time occupation is teaching Wilderness First Responder courses for Wilderness Medical Associates, Intl, and also teaching WMA courses in the Pacific Northwest under my own company, Cascadia Wilderness Medicine. I travel all over the US for this, and once a year to Greenland.

I like woodworking and blacksmithing, but haven’t done a whole lot of either one. I have a very charismatic Brittany spaniel, and some elderly black cats. I like maps and charts. I hunt and fish whenever I can. I like to cook. I walk in the woods almost every day.

Thanks for visiting!
Mark Whitaker
March 25, 2019


  1. Welcome to the world of dynamic content, man. Nice site. Don’t neglect your patches:


  2. I would like to have you add your Red Alder Ranch and kayak tours to the Lewis and Clark forums on my website, at http://www.lewisandclarkroadtrips.com.
    The forum is just for this purpose. You can simply add a link, or photos and text, videos, etc. Whatever.
    I have featured your area in my book and on the website. If you go to Region 9 for Washington and Oregon you will find links to many places. If you post on the forums, I will publicize you in my monthly newsletter.

  3. I’m getting serious withdrawl pains looking at your site. (Spring and fall are nice in Utah, but you have to live here the other 50 weeks of the year, too.)

    Great pictures and stories. Every place has it’s beauty if you know where to look. The difference about Puget Sound, is you don’t have to look too hard.

  4. Hey Mark! Good meeting you at SSTIKS. So, this is your website! Cool!!!

    Hope to get a role under my belt and do the race around deception pass some day. Looks like a lot of fun!

    Looking forward to next years SSTIKS!

    David Tiller

  5. Mark,
    Could we use your closeup photo of scotch broom as a detail on a calendar I’m designing for the county of Marin? Since I admired all your paddling photos I suspect you know where that is! It would be quite small and we would give you a credit.

    many thanks,

  6. Hi Mark, Love you photography. I’m the editor of the NSW Sea Kayak club magazine here in Sydney and I wondered if we could reproduce a couple of you beautiful pics for an article I’m planning about Greenland.

    You can see the mag here

    The images I like are

    We’re a not for profit volunteer club so we can’t make payment, but would be happy to mention your blogsite.
    Thanks very much. Cheers
    Mark Schroeder

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