Thursday, May 18, 2017

Upper South Fork Skokomish



I made a video that shows where all of these were but it will take me overnight to upload it.

Decided to go up the Skokomish a little ways today.  Needed some old growth relaxation.  We only went to the second crossing of the Skokomish and turned around there.  I forgot to refill my fuel bottle, so I had to build a little fire to boil water to cook my ramen with.  It was difficult to start a fire after so much rain and with no fire starter, but I at least managed to heat some water.

Sage got very cold crossing the river, I should not have crossed the river with her.  She seems to get cold faster than Patches did.  This must have been an exciting hike for Sage, she is not used to such rough trail conditions. 



Drone footage of the Vance Creek Bridge and Harps Shelter at the end.


A lot of trees are down between the Upper Trailhead and the upper Skokomish crossing.  My video reveals where they all are and should be helpful for the WTA to do it’s planning.  WTA is going to have a work party here on Memorial Day Weekend.

Back to the parking lot early,  I flew my camera over to Harps Shelter.  Nice flying camera footage is on the end of my video.

On the way in I noticed that there was a sign saying “Welcome to Vance Creek Bridge” so I decided to check that out on the way home.  Greed Diamond has opened up the road to the bridge for walking down and viewing the bridge, but not for climbing on it.


The bridge foundation has been dug out and razor wire put around it, the ties have been removed from the fist 20-30 feet of the bridge.  I suppose at some board meeting run by old men somewhere, this sounded like a good way to keep people of the bridge.

The bridge is much more dangerous to walk on now, but people still walk on it.  It's like Green Diamon set a trap.   A man who had come all the way from L.A. arrived and walked out onto the bridge while I was there.  He was on a tour that included National Parks and the Vance Creek Bridge.  The bridge really should be turned into a proper tourist attraction because that could be an earner for the area, and folks are never going to stay off that bridge.

The visitor flew his drone out over the bridge and under the bridge too.  I flew my drone over the bridge until my battery went dead, that footage is at the very end of my video.

5.5 miles with 600 feet elevation gain


Skokomish River

Skokomish River

Skokomish River, Harps Shelter

Vance Creek Bridge






Hurt my back a bit lifting Sage up onto this
Smoky lunch on the Skok since I forgot to refill my stove fuel





These are the trees I found down and in the order that I found them in all between the trail head and the Skok crossing with no bridge.  I found one maple across the trail after I forded the Skok.









Sunday, May 7, 2017

Church Creek Shelter Shakedown



Weary of waiting for a weekend free of rain we set out on our first backpacking trip of the year.  We only made a little loop that totaled 2 miles and only spent one night out.  It was good to have a shakedown hike.

We learned that my tarp tent needs repair and my daughter has probably outgrown her ULA child's backpack.  Also my ULA pack has a broken clip.

Would you do it?











In the fire pit.  People came through and got all the rest before we could.




Thursday, May 4, 2017

Big Creek with the herd



Another hike with no pictures.   I woke up to my alarm at 6:45 looked around and realized the power was out.  My spouse is on home oxygen so I rushed to  help him get hooked up to his emergency tanks, but he had already hooked himself up.  I was all packed to hike, but I felt that I needed to stay home to help him with his tanks.  His oxygen machine that runs on electricity gives off a warning when it stops, the tanks do not.   My spouse is bad enough that he needs constant oxygen now, so the risk of him running out in his sleep was too great.

The power came back on at about 10:30 and I could finally get out for a short hike.  My spouse was creating a bunch of drama on the phone as I was leaving and I think that caused me to leave without my camera.

When I got to the start of my hike at Big Creek camp I saw a bunch of cars.  I did not want to have to deal with a bunch of people and dogs and I wanted my dog to be able to go off leash.  I went to a different location that takes me to the same trail but cuts about a mile off the hike.

As soon as I started hiking I realized that I needed to go back to the car to get something.  Then I realized that I did not have my car keys on me. I must have locked my keys in the car. Did I have a hide-a-key?  After getting good and muddy laying on my back under my car I managed to locate my spare key, but I could not get the hide-a-key case open.  People were driving by really slow looking at Sage,  I had tied her to a tree to keep her out of the street.   People can be so weird about dogs.  I had to smash the case open between two rocks to the key out of it, but I was so glad to have a spare key.

Then I started my hike for real, but I made a wrong turn and had to track back.  Things just were not going my way.  I have a little known trail that I take up to an overlook where I have lunch in solitude.  Okay that’s not true.  I used to have a little known trail that took  me to an overlook where I used to have my lunch in solitude.  It was years before I ever saw anyone else on that trail, but now I see people there a lot.  There are many more people hiking out at Cushman than there were just ten years ago.

Iphone photo

As I approached my lunch spot I heard a huge group behind me.  I decided to test out my iron stores and see if I could stay ahead of them.    I was huffing and puffing a lot, but I was able to stay ahead.  I’m looking forward to finding out how much stronger I will be able to hike when I get my iron levels up good and high.   My serum ferritin went from 4-18 in the last month.   4 is crazy low, but I managed to slow my iron loss with 48,000 IU of vitamin “A” a day and hemi iron pills. 

Doctors just don’t seem to know that vitamin “A” can solve the problem of losing way too much iron every 28 days.  My doctor said it was anecdotal.  I say B.S. to that.  I have primary scientific literature that says otherwise.

Just say no to Novasure or Mirena, try 48,000 IU of Vitamin "A" per day plus Hemi Iron pills.


So anyway, I managed to stay ahead but I sure was huffing and puffing.  I wanted to stay far enough ahead that the group would not see me turn off to the lookout.  I hoped that they would just keep on going right past it.  I knew if they saw me turn off they might decide to  turn off too.

I made it!  I got there before they could see me turn off.  Yay!  Maybe I would get some solitude at lunch time. 

But to my utter horror there were already two people at the bench and they made no effort to move over so I could sit.   I’m sure they would have moved if I had made it clear that I wanted to sit.  Then even more horrifically that huge group arrived, that was my cue to leave.  It was going to be way too crowded and loud at the look out. 

I took off straight up the hill and into the brush leaving the trail behind.   I soon found myself a lovely little patch of woods well of the trail where I settled down to have my lunch and coffee with Sage. 

The forest there is so nice and it just drains all of the stress and tensions right out of me.  Ahhhhh sweet solitude and relaxation.  I recently read that  only children tend to need time alone to recharge, so that might be part of why I seek solitude.

  But also I have rather severe PTSD due to being abused and neglected as a child.   I need my alone time in the woods in order to recharge and in order to sort through all the things that happen to me during a week. 

It can be hard for me to make sense of my interactions with other people when I have so many defense filters in place.   Also my parents never showed me how to make friends or how to treat other people.  I need time alone to just sort things out.

After my peaceful lunch I went back down to the overlook and I had it all to myself.  I sat there for a while even though my lunch was finished.  I was tired.  I’ve been avoiding any hikes with elevation gain with my iron levels being so low.   With only 1,700 feet in elevation gain this was my second highest climb this year.  I used to go up and down Mount Rose a couple of times a week and that is 3,500 feet in elevation gain!  

I never saw another person on the trail after lunch and when I drove past Big Creek all of the cars were gone.  I must have arrived during rush hour, but I had the mountain all to myself after rush hour was over.


5.3 miles round trip with 1,700 feet elevation gain and I’m wiped out today.

Iphone panorama

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Up the hill again

It's tick season, so it's time for us to leave the logging roads and hit the trails.  Will the rain ever stop for long enough for me to get my car up the Skokomish Valley? Will they ever grade the road to Staircase?  Reports are that the road to Staircase are the worst that anyone has seen in thirty years.

That leave Big Creek and it's getting boring, so maybe I'll head up to the Hamma Hamma area next.

I flicked 4 ticks off of Sage but none of them managed to bit her.  She has a new haircut that makes it easier to see the ticks on her.



 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

What do you do when you are stuck in Belfair?

Green Mountain Summit


Green Mountain and Theler Wetlands of course!

I had two jobs in Belfair on this day and they were hours apart.  I thought about driving to Belfair and back twice, but that did not make a lot of sense.  Finally we got a day without rain too, it would be such a waste to spend the day driving!

This is the first time I have been up Green Mountain since they started charging folks to park at the trail head.  Luckily you can still park at the old trailhead without paying, so that is what I did.  I have a Federal Parks and Forest Pass,  and I have a State Parks Pass, but I can not use DNR land or park at a boat launch with those.  What a screwy system.  I'm not about to buy a Discover your Anus Pass just so I can hike up a muddy old rut in a  DNR clear cut while dodging motorcycles,mountain bikes and gunfire.  The DNR makes enough money selling off our forests.



This video has flying camera footage!


 First I drove to Belfair and had a great time taking pictures of the High School Marching Band.  What a nice group of kids they were.



Next, I went the Theler Wetlands and I really enjoyed the birds and the bird sounds in the morning.  It looks like a great place to fly a drone, but I would never fly a drone around birds, so I just enjoyed the quiet. Theler has a lot of pokestops and gyms too, so that added to the enjoyment.


Next I drove to Green Mountain timing just how long it took to get from Belfair to the trail head so I would know when I had to return.  My job was to photograph the North Mason High Band in the morning and the soccer team in the afternoon.

I parked at the old trail had and I had a brief chat with an old timer who was still a bit stunned by the trailhead changes.  My first trip up Green Mountain was after they moved the trail head, so I don't remember the old one.  I headed up the old trail and I think I was on the plummer trail for a little while.

Briefly left the trail and hiked up a road for a bit. I figured the road would offer more solitude and give me more chances to fly my drone.

 Eventually the road when through a clear cut and at that point I started to hike up the powerline trail before I came to my senses.

I left the powerline trail went across the clear cut and finally set foot on the Gold Creek trail in the middle of a recent clear cut.  I flew my drone a little there, but all my drone video footage was ruined by giant captions.

I made the final push to the summit on a confusing mix of parking lots, roads and trails.  The summit was noisy and I was a bit put off at first.  The folks on the summit were friendly and since the place is such a zoo I asked if anyone minded if I flew my drone over head.  Everyone was okay with it and two of them wanted me to take pictures of them.  I gave them both my card, if they contact me I will send them the picture above.

After my drone flight, I headed back down, time was running short.  I cooked ramen and coffee on the road, but time was too short and my ramen was too hot to eat, so I ate it while I walked down.

I  Made to back to North Mason High in plenty of time, took photos of the Soccer team and then drove home.  Overall a very productive day.