Association of Washington Cities Salutes Growlers Gulch Racing

The Association of Washington Cities selected the Castle Rock Bike Park build as the recipient of its project-of-the-year award for 2014. AWC was especially impressed by the volunteer commitment, the use of recycled materials, and the creativity that was the [Continue Reading]

NWTA Re-Publishes Classic Biking Story

  Trail Gnomes – Fact or Fiction? by Jim LeMonds The Legend Many riders believe trail gnomes are native to biking systems. Armed with rakes and shovels, these lovable dwarf-like creatures labor undetected under cover of darkness with a single goal – [Continue Reading]

Big Crowd Shows for 2013 Bike Park Blowout

Nearly 250 people were on hand to celebrate the Bike Park Blowout at the Castle Rock Bike Park on September 21st. Fifteen challenge stations were set up around the 2.5 acre bike park to test riders’ skills. The stations included log-overs, skinnies, pump track, [Continue Reading]

More Press for the Castle Rock Bike Park

The following story by Kim Colucci – “Volunteers Build Castle Rock Bike Park” – was published February 23, 2012, in the Town Crier, which is distributed in Lewis and Cowlitz counties. ********************* A volunteer crew of dedicated [Continue Reading]

TDN Highlights Castle Rock Bike Park

The following story by Barbara LaBoe was published in the Daily News on February 20, 2012. Photos by Bill Wagner With more than 1,000 volunteer hours behind them, builders of the Castle Rock Bike Park say they’re making good progress and hope to have the [Continue Reading]

When Logging Was Logging Now Available

The Appelo Archives Center has received its long anticipated shipment of their latest book, When Logging Was Logging, 100 years of Big Timber in SW Washington. With both historic black and white photos of early 20th century logging and modern logging shots in [Continue Reading]

JH Kelly Hires Jim LeMonds to Write Company History

JH Kelly has hired Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest to write the company’s history. The book will trace the company’s remarkable transition from a small-town residential and retail plumbing outfit to one of the largest mechanical contractors in the [Continue Reading]

R. A. Long Alum Inks Two-Book Contract

Long, long before I ascended to the lofty position of Board of Director, I was a high school English teacher, a frightening thought for those of you concerned about the welfare of young people. One of my students was 1998 grad Lyndsay Farber. The best thing I can [Continue Reading]

St. Helens Vid Offers Cure for the Blues

Next week, I will be doing a 60 @ Sixty presentation for my peers (Castle Rock senior citizens). Clearly, they are desperate for speakers. I decided to put together a slideshow that is more comprehensive that the one I published in July, which was about five [Continue Reading]

WriteTek Completes Web Build

WriteTek Northwest recently put the finishing touches on a website build for Capital Oncology. The project involved separate breakout sites for each of Capital Oncology’s three locations – Chehalis, Olympia, and Auburn. Jim LeMonds handled the writing [Continue Reading]

LeMonds to Contribute to Book

Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest has agreed to contribute a chapter to a book titled When Logging Was Logging. [caption id="attachment_6932" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Jim LeMonds"][/caption] LeMonds is the author of Deadfall: Generations of Logging [Continue Reading]

Castle Rock’s German Community

The following story by Jim LeMonds appeared in the December 2010 issue of the Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. During the first part of the 20th century, Castle Rock was home to a large contingent of German immigrants, many of whom were born and raised in Russia’s [Continue Reading]

Castle Rock’s German Community

The following story by Jim LeMonds will be included in the December 2010 issue of the Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. During the first part of the 20th century, Castle Rock was home to a large contingent of German immigrants, many of whom were born and raised in [Continue Reading]

TDN Runs Loney Story

Today’s issue of the Daily News has a story about Eric Loney’s silver-medal finish at the World Masters Championships in Brazil. You can check the story online at You can link to [Continue Reading]

60 @ Sixty Video

It’s sometimes difficult to explain why riding 60 miles of trail in a single day is a significant challenge. This video does a pretty good job of laying it out.   We rode through alpine meadows, east-side pine forest, and blast zone. We were in old growth [Continue Reading]

Elderly Man Nails 60 @ Sixty

It took a sterling support crew, spot-on logistics, and a take-no-prisoners ride pace, but we got the job done. The dream I’ve had for the last year – to ride 60 miles of prime trail in a single day to celebrate my sixtieth birthday – was achieved [Continue Reading]

Former Monarch Sokol Taking First Steps Toward Medical Career

The following story by Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest was published in the Daily News on June 30, 2010. Photo by Roger Werth. When Michele Peterson, nurse manager at Pacific Surgical Institute, hired former Mark Morris hoopster Tyler Sokol to work at PSI through [Continue Reading]

60 @ Sixty Details Here

The Mission Meet the Ride Team Interview with Jim LeMonds View List of Contributors I realize that all of you receive requests for donations and that there are many worthy causes, so if you choose not to contribute, I won’t be offended. I have provided [Continue Reading]

LeMonds Interviews Eyewitnesses to 1980 Eruption

Jim LeMonds served as moderator for a series of interviews of nearly a dozen people who witneseed the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens up close and personal. The interviews – which were filmed by a crew from KLTV – were conducted at Hoffstadt [Continue Reading]

WriteTek Northwest Completes Website Renovation for Longview Physical & Sports Therapy

WriteTek Northwest, in conjunction with, recently completed an overhaul of the Longview Physical & Sports Therapy website. The project involved a code rewrite by John Howerton of, as well as numerous changes to the front end. Photos [Continue Reading]

WriteTek Northwest Completes PIC Project

WriteTek Northwest recently completed an upgrade of the Pacific Imaging Center website. The project included new MRIs that allow viewers to compare standard and axial-loaded images of the lumbar spine. John Howerton of handled the graphics work and [Continue Reading]

How Effective Is Your Company’s Website?

We live in a world where the Yellow Pages will soon be a relic. Today’s customers increasingly rely on online searches to access basic information and to gather data that will influence their buying decisions. Having a website and having one that is effective [Continue Reading]

Capstone Wine Tasting Available to Highest Bidder

Capstone Cellars of Longview has graciously agreed to host a wine tasting for 10-15 people, with the proceeds going to Girls on the Run of Southwest Washington as part of the 60 @ Sixty event. Founded in 2003 by Roy and Sandy Bays and Joel and Cathleen McNelly, [Continue Reading]

60 @ Sixty Contributors

Learn how you can get involved. DONORS TO: Friends of the Castle Rock Library Cage Aaron Aaron Althaeuser Becky Belangy Carole Belangy-Rutledge Bruce Blackstone Ken Burgoyne Riley Carlson Gloria Church-Haley Andy Crump Donna DeSpain Vicki Dobbins Larry [Continue Reading]

March Column – Cowlitz Historical Quarterly

The following column by Jim LeMonds will be published in the March issue of the Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. I recently finished editing a book manuscript for my friend Irene Martin. Irene is an accomplished writer whose publishing credits include Legacy and [Continue Reading]

WriteTek Completes SIENA Project

Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest recently put the finishing touches on a multi-faceted project for Olympia Neurology and Brain & Spine Imaging Center, both of Olympia, Washington. Brain & Spine Imaging Center has begun marketing its SIENA software service, [Continue Reading]

Phase One of Cowlitz County Tourism Project Wraps Up

Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest recently finished the first phase of a comprehensive edit of the new Cowlitz County Tourism website. The job included a line and content edit of more than 100 pages aimed at promoting Mount St. Helens and the surrounding area. [Continue Reading]

WriteTek Completes Project for Pacific Imaging

WriteTek Northwest recently completed a print project for Pacific Imaging Center of Longview, Washington. The job included a business card, flyer and trifold. Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest managed the project and handled the writing and editing. Minuteman Press [Continue Reading]

Meet the Ride Team

It’s a motley crew but when you’re this old, the pickings are slim. Jim LeMonds is celebrating his 60th birthday with the 60 @ Sixty ride. He taught English in the Longview School District for 30 years and has been mountain biking since 1996. LeMonds [Continue Reading]

No Worries! You Don’t Have to Pedal!

When I invited you to be a part of the 60 at Sixty ride this summer to celebrate my 60th birthday, I definitely didn’t intend to make you think you would need to come along! [caption id="attachment_3462" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Ape Canyon [Continue Reading]

CHQ Column – December

The following column by Jim LeMonds appeared in the December 2009 Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. This issue of the Quarterly features Steve Anderson’s story “By Any Other Name: E’La-cac-ca, Prince of the Cowlitz.” E’La-cac-ca was present in 1855 when Isaac [Continue Reading]

Print Overhaul Completed for Longview Orthopedic Associates

WriteTek Northwest completed a major print project in November for Longview Orthopedic Associates of Longview,Washington. The job spanned three months and included the creation of a tri-fold and a complete re-branding of appointment cards, business cards, [Continue Reading]

Floyd LeBaron Coached Basketball, Taught Life

This column was published in the Daily News on November 13, 2009 When I was a kid growing up in Castle Rock during the 1950s and ‘60s, I never missed a home basketball game. I dreamed of wearing the red-and-white and playing for Rocket coach Floyd LeBaron. I got [Continue Reading]

West Side of Mount St. Helens

Brian Mahon and I rode a great loop on the west side of St. Helens in late September. We started at Red Rock Pass and headed over to Blue Lake. From there, we rode up the Huckleberry Saddle and onto the Sheep Canyon Trail, which puts you on the Loowit. From there, [Continue Reading]

WriteTek Northwest Completes Project for Olympia Neurology

WriteTek Northwest of Cowlitz County ventured north to the South Puget Sound area to collaborate on a comprehensive project for Olympia Neurology of Olympia, Washington. The initial phase saw the ground-up development of websites for Olympia Neurology and its [Continue Reading]

Former Student Hits Bestseller List

Five Easy Pieces, One Remarkable Novel Columbia River Reader, June 2009 It didn’t surprise me to learn that Lyndsay Farber had sold a manuscript to Simon & Schuster and scored a major publishing contract. A student in my American Literature, Shakespeare, and [Continue Reading]

Website Project Completed for Cowlitz County Tourism Bureau

Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest recently completed website modifications for the Cowlitz County Tourism Bureau and CCTB Director Mark Plotkin. The project included new content for the Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center and Awesome Mobile pages and an edit of more [Continue Reading]

Trifold Completed for LifePort Interiors

WriteTek Northwest recently created a trifold brochure for LifePort Interiors of Woodland, Washington. The document (shown below) was used by Chief Operating Officer Paul Norris and Sales Manager Chris Miller to market LifePort Interior’s product line and [Continue Reading]

Cowlitz Historical Quarterly – March 2009 Column

The following column by Jim LeMonds was published in the March 2009 issue of the Cowlitz Historical Quarterly. I taught a Shakespeare class at R. A. Long High School for nearly 20 years. The students loved the characters, and, despite the passage of four [Continue Reading]

National Launch Campaign for NSIA Completed

WriteTek Northwest recently completed work on a national marketing campaign that served as the launch for National Specialty Imaging Associates (NSIA) of Marin County, California. The campaign included a website build and copy for both a trifold and a print ad [Continue Reading]

Salmon for All Website

WriteTek Northwest, in conjunction with John Howerton at, finished a comprehensive website overhaul for Salmon for All in early March. Salmon for All is an association of gillnetters, fish buyers, processors, and associated businesses that are active [Continue Reading]

Beer Tasting Highlights Hoppy Holiday

Like most families, ours has a sacred holiday tradition. Ours just happens to involve beer. Christmas Day on Growlers Gulch Road, west of Castle Rock. Friends and family members had been shuttled over via four-wheel drive, the turkey was in the oven, and the [Continue Reading]

Pacific Imaging Center Website

This was one piece of a very large project that involved a splash page for Pacific Surgical Institute and breakout sites for Longview Orthopedic Associates, Pacific Surgical Center, and Pacific Imaging Center. WriteTek Northwest teamed with John Howerton of [Continue Reading]

LeMonds Scheduled at Catlin

Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest has been invited to teach a writing workshop for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students at Catlin Elementary in Kelso on Wednesday, March 4th. LeMonds will use student writing samples during hands-on activities focused on improving [Continue Reading]

LeMonds Remains Active in Pacific Northwest Publishing Scene

Jim LeMonds of WriteTek Northwest has published three recent stories, has another on tap, and will be included in an upcoming broadcast on KLTV. LeMonds’ most recent work includes “The Man Who Men Hemingway” (the Columbia River Reader), [Continue Reading]

The Man Who Met Hemingway

Columbia River Reader, January 2009

November. The lobby of the Cannery Pier Hotel. Astoria. I was drinking coffee, watching cargo ships slide across the large windows that framed the riverscape.

A guy came in wearing a Hemingway t-shirt, the one with Ernie in his 50s, sporting a gray beard and big smile, his cap cocked jauntily to the side.

I said I liked the shirt. Continue reading The Man Who Met Hemingway

Video Features Eric Loney, Al Hansen

This video was compiled by Sam Loney during the 2008 season. It consists of five clips that cover a variety of trails. Reminds me very much of my own riding style, other than the fact that these riders actually leave the ground.

Continue reading Video Features Eric Loney, Al Hansen

Fort George Brews Great Beer, Community Connections

Northwest Coast Magazine, Winter 2008

World-class beer is the most obvious product of the craft-brewing revolution that has swept the Pacific Northwest in recent years. But brewpubs that get it right are also great places, where a sense of comfort and community are at the top of the menu.

The Fort George Brewery & Public House in Astoria gets it right. Continue reading Fort George Brews Great Beer, Community Connections

Grace Dinsdale Generates Perennial Power

Digger Magazine, December 2008

When Grace Dinsdale says that Blooming Nursery is her dream, she’s not kidding.

On a trip to Mexico at age 24, she came down with a severe head cold that left her in what she describes as “an altered state.” That night, the nursery was the focus of her dreams. When she awoke, she immediately began putting a plan on paper.

“Things aren’t always rational,” Dinsdale said. “But it’s worked out well so far.” Continue reading Grace Dinsdale Generates Perennial Power

WriteTek Northwest Signs On for National Marketing Campaign

WriteTek Northwest has been hired by Strategic Ancillaries of Centralia, Washington, to provide copy for a marketing campaign highlighting the services of National Specialty Imaging Associates (NSIA) of Marin County, California. Continue reading WriteTek Northwest Signs On for National Marketing Campaign

Cowlitz County Tourism Website Now Up

WriteTek Northwest has completed a comprehensive overhaul of the Cowlitz County Tourism Bureau’s Mount St. Helens website. The new site, which went live in October, is expected to receive more than 100,000 visits per year. Continue reading Cowlitz County Tourism Website Now Up

Jim LeMonds on Book Chat Program

I know this is going to be difficult to swallow, but I was on television recently. Alan Rose, who heads up the local WordFest programs, has teamed with KLTV and the Longview Public Library to produce a show called Book Chat, which features local writers. Continue reading Jim LeMonds on Book Chat Program

Setting the Pace

Digger Magazine, October 2008

Some people in the nursery business believe Gordon Gleason is a genius. But Gleason, who invented a series of machines that revolutionized the industry, says his success is simply a product of laziness.

“Even as a kid, I was lazy and looking for a quick way to do things,” said Gleason, 81, who designed, fabricated, and marketed a series of machines during the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s that reduced overhead  and streamlined production for nurserymen. Continue reading Setting the Pace

St. Helens – Ape Canyon and Mount Margaret

Got a chance to ride at St. Helens twice last weekend. The weather was phenomenal, and the rain earlier in the week made the tread as good as you’re ever going to see it. Continue reading St. Helens – Ape Canyon and Mount Margaret

Former Logger Tries His Hand at Country Music

Northwest Coast Magazine, Fall 2008

Carl Wirkkala would love to make a splash on the country music scene. But if it happens, it will be on his terms.

The 33-year-old Castle Rock resident has written nearly 200 songs – a handful of which are currently being considered by publishers and producers – and released four albums. His sound is a combination of blues, folk, and old-school country. Something you might hear if Johnny Cash and Buzz Martin sat down to jam with Bob Dylan and Tracy Chapman. Continue reading Former Logger Tries His Hand at Country Music

Dirty Dozen Survives Ride ’em All

Twelve riders completed the first-ever Growlers Gulch Ride ’em All on Saturday, July 12. The event gave participants an opportunity to ride nearly every foot of the best single-track west of Castle Rock. Limb droop and heat posed problems, but the tread was in sterling condition. Continue reading Dirty Dozen Survives Ride ’em All

A Week in Seattle with Nick and Sam

Sher and I spent a week watching our grandsons, Sam (2) and Nick (1) while their parents jetted to San Diego and Las Vegas.

The Nananator and I had nothing in the tank when we returned home, but the slideshow that follows helps explain the positives.

Continue reading A Week in Seattle with Nick and Sam

WriteTek Northwest Contributes Copy for Jammie’s Environmental

WriteTek Northwest recently assisted in the creation of a new website for Jammie’s Environmental of Longview, Washington. The project was completed in conjunction with John Howerton of, with WriteTek Northwest handling the site content. The new [Continue Reading]

Inscription on a Human Canvas

Columbia River Reader, March 2008

There are things old people are supposed to avoid – Speedos, nose piercings, saggy pants. For the most part, I play by the rules. My recent tattoo is an exception.

You might be wondering why someone would be interested in getting his first tattoo at fifty-seven. As my uncle Ed used to say when he ran across a road grader or Czechoslovakian tractor he couldn’t pass up, “I always wanted one of those.” Continue reading Inscription on a Human Canvas

Kids are a Precious Resource to Oil, Mining and Timber Industries

“Kids are a Precious Resource to Oil, Mining and Timber Industries” – Northwest Education Magazine, Winter 2003 One September day in 1969, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson announced from Seattle that the first Earth Day would be celebrated come [Continue Reading]

Eruption of Mount St. Helens a Watershed Moment for Timber Industry

“Eruption of Mount St. Helens a Watershed Moment for Timber Industry” – Columbia River Reader, November 2005 Twenty-five years ago, the timber industry in Southwest Washington was on the cusp of change. But the eruption of Mount St. Helens brought [Continue Reading]

Dr. David Hawkins Announces New Book Project

WriteTek client David Hawkins has announced that he is collaborating on a book project with Jim Fay, best-selling author, parenting expert and co-founder of the Love and Logic Institute. Hawkins is the author of more than thirty books, including Are You Really [Continue Reading]

Adams to St. Helens on the Boundary Trail: Epic Extraordinaire

If anyone tells you they’ve cleaned every hill and obstacle on the Boundary Trail between Adams and St. Helens, they’re full of shit. This 50+-mile mountain biking trek is an epic on steroids, far more difficult than any ride I have previously attempted. Continue reading Adams to St. Helens on the Boundary Trail: Epic Extraordinaire