Longtime Mount Rainier civil engineer retires Byway passport challenge

After a career of more than 37 years with the National Park Service, Mount Rainier National Park’s civil engineer Eric Walkinshaw has retired.

Having spent 24 years at the park, Walkinshaw retired July 31.

He began his Park Service career as a civil engineer at the Denver Service Center in October 1976, advancing through the civil engineer ranks in construction management and design.

In August 1985, he moved to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, working as a civil engineer and then facility manager. In December 1989, Walkinshaw accepted a position at Mount Rainier as a supervisory civil engineer (chief of maintenance and professional services). During a reorganization, he took on the chief of planning and professional services role in June 1992, primarily working on updating the park’s general management plan. In 2001, Walkinshaw returned to the maintenance division in his most recent role as park civil engineer/project manager, implementing projects identified in the preferred alternative.

During his time at Mount Rainier, Walkinshaw was involved in a number of major projects. Among them was the rehabilitation of the Paradise Inn, construction of the new Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise and recovery and reconstruction of the park after floods and storms in 2006 closed the park for six months.

Walkinshaw said he and his wife, Catharine, are planning to sell their Eatonville home and will spend the fall and winter in Denver. The couple has two adult daughters, Alexandria and Camille.

Retirement plans also call for a 21-day raft trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and more travel around the country and abroad.

Communities, agencies and businesses along the White Pass Scenic Byway have created the Discovery Passport Challenge to inform travelers along that stretch of U.S. Highway 12.

The purpose of the passport is to create an interactive visitor guide showing what there is to do and see along the 124 miles of the byway between Interstate 5 and Naches. The small pocket guide offers explanation of amenities and geographic information about the various points of interest.

Travelers can collect a stamp at each of the 20 locations along the byway, with 10 stamps required to complete the passport.

Passport stamps will be available at many locations in Lewis and Yakima counties, including the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery, Salkum Timberland Library, DeGoede Bulb Farm, Morton Depot and Visitor Center, BCJ Gallery, Cowlitz Valley Ranger Station, White Pass Country Museum, Destination Packwood, Kracker Barrel Store, White Pass Village Inn, Rimrock Grocery, Rimrock Lake Resort, Trout Lodge, Silver Beach Resort, Oak Creek Wildlife Area, LaKat Gallery, Naches Visitor Center and Naches Ranger Station. Visitors also can pick up copies of the passport at visitor centers, lodging establishments, campgrounds and many businesses along the byway.

You can learn more about the passport at whitepassbyway.com.