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Hike Of The Month 2011


TotemLake
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A couple of remarks were made to me that I need to clarify this Saturday's HOTM is not the bushwhack 15 mile hike Andrew suggested. That is planned for the end of August.

So it's Stegosaurus Butte this Saturday. Will everyone be bicycling? This sounds intriguing.

I'll have my bike, but not because I'm riding it on Saturday. Friday I'm biking up to Calligan Lake off the North Fork Snoqualmie and instead of driving home and then back Saturday morning I'm going to camp somewhere along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie.

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Yup, I'm still feeling it today... along with a sunburn I picked up yesterday. :unsure:

 

Next HOTM is not for the feeble at heart. This will be a bushwhack navigational effort.

 

August 27th "On the way to Florence Rae"

 

More details to come.

Edited by TotemLake
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Just wanted to say that I had a great time on Saturday. That is a brutal elevation profile you have Greg.

For those wondering what Andrew is talking about, the below profile is a screenshot from my GPS. I didn't track the first shy 1/2 mile in. This was after we had entered the Stegosaurus trail.

Profile.jpg

Edited by TotemLake
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I have been thinking about this a bit and after talking with the cache owner, I am wondering if there is any interest in doing this as an overnight. I am not sure the details of where we could camp but that would cut the hike down a bit. Either way I am very excited.

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My understanding is there is no camping behind the gate per PUD links on the cache page.

 

Edited to add:

Yup. This document spells it out pretty clearly.

http://www.snopud.com/PowerSupply/hydro/jhp/jhprecreation/jhpspada.ashx?p=1501

 

We would have to camp at a nearby location which would help cut down driving time to the gate. Then bike it in to the trailhead and bushwhack our way in from there.

Edited by TotemLake
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My understanding is there is no camping behind the gate per PUD links on the cache page.

 

Edited to add:

Yup. This document spells it out pretty clearly.

http://www.snopud.com/PowerSupply/hydro/jhp/jhprecreation/jhpspada.ashx?p=1501

 

We would have to camp at a nearby location which would help cut down driving time to the gate. Then bike it in to the trailhead and bushwhack our way in from there.

 

Ok this (even after rereading what you linked too) is how I understand it. You can't camp on the PUD property.

But... The PUD Property ends just before the old Boulder/Greider Lake trailhead. IMO this means that we just have to be up the trail about the first 2 miles before it is legal. I understand that it is legal to camp at Boulder and Greider, which have the same starting point and the same parking location.

 

Maybe someone else has better information.

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Ok Yesterday took the family up to Spada Lake on a recon trip.

 

It took me an hour and 10 minutes from Duvall to the Boulder/Greiter Trail head. The road is paved until about 47 56.640 121 42.275 after this it is relatively good gravel. there are a few areas that have heavy washboarding and the occasional cluster of potholes. The construction is proceeding normally with minimal impacts to the road. They have backfilled each replaced culvert with soil but not really smoothed them well. some are like speed bumps and others are like large potholes. In addition they are so frequent that it is difficult to get up any speed before the next one.

 

The trailhead is located at 47 58.416 121 36.810 and hey have a new trail section that heads east before reconnecting with the old roadbed.

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That's good intel. I pored over the B&W and Color aerials and mapped out the old forest road. Right now I'm cutting maps for the Enchantments, but as time allows, I'll forward a couple of PDFs of the area with and without the road mapped.

 

As this area is deliberately not mapped, I'm not going to post it on this thread.

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I have contacted the last two finders as well as the cache owner. They agree that there really isn't a better place to camp once we cross the river. I was told that we could probably clear an area in the trees out of the bushes but that seems iffy.

So the question is how do we want to do this? I think that hiking in Friday and camping for the night would shave 2 miles off the trek, and that means a 12 mile hike out, or if you wanted a second night. Not everyone needs to have the same camping plans either. I was thinking that if someone didn't want to camp they could hike the 2 miles in and meet us at a given time before we headed out.

I am going to bring a small pruning saw with me for sure.

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I'm working out my logistics but I'm thinking of hiking in to camp on Friday afternoon. I haven't fully decided on a two night event although after bushwhacking 10 miles or so, I'm probably going to be less inclined to pick up a 50-60 lb pack for two miles.

Thinking similar thoughts.

 

One option is to cross the river and set up camp at the picnic area if there is a good spot for some more privacy if we want to leave equipment in camp. I am also thinking of bringing a smaller day bag for the hike itself.

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Well that was a heck of a Monday and I can honestly say that I am getting fidgety to have the weekend arrive.

My food from packetitgourmet arrived and I think I am definitely going to eat well.

 

So its time to get this thing planned out. These are the people that have expressed interest in this hike to "On the way to Florence Rae" GCQR2P as a long day hike or a possible overnighter.

 

Yes

AndrewRJ

Landrover

TotemLake

SKS

verygeeky

 

Maybe

Criminal

GeoRoo

 

I think that I have everyone's email so I am going to take a lot of the planning off line but if anyone else is thinking about this let me know so I can fill you in on the details.

 

This is a 14 mile hike in total. 2 miles in along the road, 5 miles out and 5 miles back along an old road that is in places washed out, brushed over, flooded by beavers or a combination of all three, and then 2 miles back to the cars along the road.

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Not sure who you talked to, but it wasn't me. :rolleyes: There's all kinds of camping once you cross the river. The rules and regulations might deter you, but there's private land and Forest Service land in there, so seek that out. After you cross the river there's even a nice DNR campground with tables, outhouses and garbage cans about 2.5 miles in. At least there was 2 years ago. I hardly doubt anything has been removed and would be shocked if you saw anyone. After crossing the river at 3 miles is a large road junction that would be fine for camping. This is all private mining land. There's still several old buildings nearby and a tram station. The book Discovering WA Historic Mines Vol 1 is an excellent resource and must read to learn about the history of this area. With the price of gold going nuts I wouldn't be surprised if the road has been brushed out recently. I'm interested in going, but have prior commitments later in the week. DO NOT think about doing this hike if there's any chance of rain. If it's a decent day plan on getting wet and just forge through the water spots with wading gear. Don't bother fighting it.

 

If you can do an over night then that's the easiest way, but not essential. The extra 4 miles is all easy road walking, so it's doable for a day hike if you are accustomed to off trail travel and don't mind a little suffering. :) Do the side trip to the old DNR cabin and old growth trees. That's a must see. You'll be hard pressed to find a better example of low elevation old growth in the State. I'll keep a watch on this. Message me if you have any questions. This is a wonderful area to explore, shame it's going down the drain. Loppers and hand saws would certainly help out. Good luck!....:)

Edited by GeoRoo
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I'm working out my logistics but I'm thinking of hiking in to camp on Friday afternoon. I haven't fully decided on a two night event although after bushwhacking 10 miles or so, I'm probably going to be less inclined to pick up a 50-60 lb pack for two miles.

Thinking similar thoughts.

 

One option is to cross the river and set up camp at the picnic area if there is a good spot for some more privacy if we want to leave equipment in camp. I am also thinking of bringing a smaller day bag for the hike itself.

That's how I pack my tent.

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I'm not sure I understand this hike completely, but I must reluctantly decline. I don't have Sunday available and it's mapping out at just under 3½ hours one way, so 7 hours road time; too much for one day for me at the moment. Thanks Andrew for the invite! We'll have to try to get the whole group together before the summer is over. If the ham guy(s) come up with a radio plan I'll be sure to listen in. Have fun and be safe!

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We'll be in a valley following the remains of a service road covered with beaver ponds and an over abundance of undergrowth and Devil's Club. I don't know if there will be any repeater support in that area but I'll look it over and be sure to have it programmed and post it here. I just got approval for half the day off on Friday, so I'll be heading out straight from work after a quick change deep in the bowels of the garage.

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I'm thinking of joining you, but may not be able to go the night before. What time are you thinking of leaving camp Saturday? Is Onley Pass the parking area?

No Onley Pass is about 8 miles away from the parking area. Parking is at N47 58.416 W121 36.810 Given that most all of us are planning on camping the night before we hadn't really planned on a start time yet from the camp site. In reality we aren't exactly sure precisly where we will be camping either as we are tossing around a few ideas.

 

What time do you thing you could get there?

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It looks like a shy two hours from home, so I could easily be there by 7am (or earlier if need be). Two miles of walk should take no more than 40 minutes.

 

I'll be by myself this weekend, but have a cat that needs meds twice a day, so I need to dose her in the morning before I leave.

email sent with extra details.

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Thanks for setting this HOTM up, Andrew. I gotta say... I'm beat, but in a good way.

 

A quick summary:

Mental and physical preparation is necessary. You need to decide if you're wading through beaver ponds or attempting to criss-cross the dams and if you're going to use waders or your Tevas. You need to be ready to cross a river... without the benefit of a bridge. You need to be ready to navigate your way across washouts from where you lose the road to pick it back up again. You need to be ready to beat the brush back when you are on the road... it's that overgrown on a lot of it. You think it might be easier to go off the road and into the woods, but the footing is sure to be just as much an issue as the brush is on the road.

 

In the first half mile to get to the trailhead, you had to navigate a small beaver pond after discovering what it means to pull out the culverts. They dug the culverts out, pulled them out and left the ravines be as they were, from a couple of feet deep to as much as 30 feet deep which you had to traverse, and there were lots of them to navigate. Once at the trailhead, you have a few more to deal with when taking the road down towards the old DNR cabin plus a major beaver pond which you have to decide to wade through about 200 feet or navigate the maze of beaver dams to find your way across. As there is a new cache being published, I won't describe what it will take to find the DNR cabin. Apparently, there is a current ban on new geocaches in the area. The river has washed out part of the access road to the cabin. It's a cool location: N47 58.773, W121 34.240

 

Crossing the river was icey cold yet a welcome respite from the muggy day which was making the forest feel like it was on the cusp of becoming a rain forest. Even in midday, the brush was still wet with dew.

 

You'll be going over, under, and around logs, trees and old culverts. I can think of a couple of washouts that are a navigational nightmare of which Sam gets my vote for super navigation skills to finding the next piece of the road or pink flag marking the way. The brush on the road was so thick, you couldn't see more than 10 feet in front of you, and if someone was in it, 50 feet was the vanishing point. The forest at our side had better visibility of 100 feet or so. Our heads were down so much watching the footing we missed sighting some of the old growth, but caught it on the way back because of the work Jester, Sam, Andrew and LandRover did to help clear the way. Some of the brush closed back in so thick it didn't look like anything went through there. Some of this was nothing more than a game trail now. There is one section of road that was wiped out from a landslide from the opposite side of the river. That was still very loose and unstable footing. A park sign was noted with the poles uprooted on top of the rubble indicating it may have come from above.

 

Apparently a Spot message didn't get through where we turned around that we were turning back, but it was about 2/3 of the way in and the forested area was pretty thick overhead. We had just finished navigating another washout. Jester and Sam went a bit further than the rest of us, but ultimately couldn't find a track to follow on the other side of Vespa Creek. I had forgotten to give them the map to help.

 

On the way back, we found the abandoned and collapsed DNR cabin which was pretty cool. The rest of the way out was uneventful. LandRover and I decided to stay at camp for another night while everyone else hoofed out the final 2 miles.

 

For the next few days, You can see my Spot Map with the track points here.

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=088bqIxp2F1CXRLV6EzjdIGzkunFPxFD6

Edited by TotemLake
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Looking at my track from this hike, it shows about 17.5 miles roundtrip from the Site 2 parking lot. And that was 1.6 miles short of the cache.

Do you mean Site 3 where the cars were parked? (Site 2 is where we found the last cache of the day on the way out)

 

If it was Site 3 take 4 miles off that and you get ???!!!!????!!!! a lot more then 10 miles round trip.

No wonder I hurt.

 

Side note, I found myself hiking up Sauk Mountain today, stiff legs and all.

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Looking at my track from this hike, it shows about 17.5 miles roundtrip from the Site 2 parking lot. And that was 1.6 miles short of the cache.

Do you mean Site 3 where the cars were parked? (Site 2 is where we found the last cache of the day on the way out)

 

If it was Site 3 take 4 miles off that and you get ???!!!!????!!!! a lot more then 10 miles round trip.

No wonder I hurt.

 

Side note, I found myself hiking up Sauk Mountain today, stiff legs and all.

Yeah, I mean Site 3 (I edited my orginal post). Thanks for pointing that out, I'm not familiar with the area...

 

Some of the distance could be signal drift, some of the track looks like switchbacks where the trail ran straight. And SKS and I were doing some back and forth hunting at the end looking for the road.

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Just a follow up note on the Aug HOTM. The wife and I headed back out there to retrieve the cache we tried to place at the DNR cabin (land manager's issues with caching). The beaver ponds were down about 8-10 inches from last week and we could still see the path we beat thru the grass to cross. After the cache retrievial we decided to go for Lady Willowrose's multi. It's a good thing we didn't try for it last week on the way out - it took us an hour to fight our way up to the final from the river. And I took a good (bad?) slip and bruised a shin, quite the lump there now. I don't want to think how much time it would take to try and find the other micros... It took only about a half hour to come down - we found a series of fallen logs that we were able walk down and across the bad spots (which start next to the river and go on up to the final :P ). Second to find 5 years and 11 days after FTF!

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I probably missed the good weather to go after this one, but rain snow or shine, I'm targeting this short hike to Cache at Lodge Lake on Saturday. I'll be there by 8AM to be on the trail by 8:30. NWTP is required. Trailhead starts at the very end of the Snoqualmie West Summit parking lot. There are other caches to grab while we are there as well.

Snoqualmie (Blue)

Beaver Lake

Snoqualmie (Black)

400 @ 4000

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I probably missed the good weather to go after this one, but rain snow or shine, I'm targeting this short hike to Cache at Lodge Lake on Saturday. I'll be there by 8AM to be on the trail by 8:30. NWTP is required. Trailhead starts at the very end of the Snoqualmie West Summit parking lot. There are other caches to grab while we are there as well.

Snoqualmie (Blue)

Beaver Lake

Snoqualmie (Black)

400 @ 4000

Sounds like fun, but it's a few thousand miles too far to join you. I'll be in/around Shanghai China then... :rolleyes:

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I probably missed the good weather to go after this one, but rain snow or shine, I'm targeting this short hike to Cache at Lodge Lake on Saturday. I'll be there by 8AM to be on the trail by 8:30. NWTP is required. Trailhead starts at the very end of the Snoqualmie West Summit parking lot. There are other caches to grab while we are there as well.

Snoqualmie (Blue)

Beaver Lake

Snoqualmie (Black)

400 @ 4000

That's a hike I was hoping to do before I went under the knife, but didn't happen. I can't hike for another month, so y'all have fun and I'll watch for the trip reports.

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:blink: Duh... You need the Mutt to tag along with my BCBP [blue Cheese Burger Pal]?

 

I got a pass to go out if I get all my chores done. :lol:

Let's hope we can get better service than last time. <_< Oh, and it won't be an outside sitdown either. I doubt the weather will be conducive enough. :) Let me know where you want me to pick you up at.

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I probably missed the good weather to go after this one, but rain snow or shine, I'm targeting this short hike to Cache at Lodge Lake on Saturday. I'll be there by 8AM to be on the trail by 8:30. NWTP is required. Trailhead starts at the very end of the Snoqualmie West Summit parking lot. There are other caches to grab while we are there as well.

Snoqualmie (Blue)

Beaver Lake

Snoqualmie (Black)

400 @ 4000

That's a hike I was hoping to do before I went under the knife, but didn't happen. I can't hike for another month, so y'all have fun and I'll watch for the trip reports.

I can sympathize. My wife was ready to kick my butt out for all the moping around I did the last couple of months on my stressed tendon.

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Totem et all

 

I found this mapping program in another blog I read

www.cacheye.org Lots of options to look at GPX files.

That's cool Andrew.

 

Alright, with exception of working on the artwork today, I'm ready and rarin' to go. I'll probably be a little slow as I work out the stretching of my tendon.

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I probably missed the good weather to go after this one, but rain snow or shine, I'm targeting this short hike to Cache at Lodge Lake on Saturday. I'll be there by 8AM to be on the trail by 8:30. NWTP is required. Trailhead starts at the very end of the Snoqualmie West Summit parking lot. There are other caches to grab while we are there as well.

Snoqualmie (Blue)

Beaver Lake

Snoqualmie (Black)

400 @ 4000

 

We're going.

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