Sunday, December 30, 2007

My 2007 Hiking totals

My 2007 Day Hikes
Miles, Elevation Gain

Mount Ellinor 2.6 2419
Lower South Fork Skok 5 283
Pine Lake 6 600
Putvin 6.3 3800
Mildred Aborted 6.3 2100
Copper Creek / Shady Lane 6.5 2300
Mount Rose 6.5 3501
Mount Rose 6.5 3501
Mount Rose 6.5 3501
Mount Rose 6.9 3483
Big Creek to Ellinor 7.6 1800
Church Creek 7.8 2500
South Mountain 8.2 2480
Jefferson Ridge 8.3 2800
Rialto 8.3 103
Gold Mountain 8.4 1400
Upper South Fork Skok 8.4 1141
Camp Muir 8.5 4600
Lena Lake 8.7 1300
Colonol Bob 9.3 2600
Lower South Fork Skok 9.3 450
Green Mountain 9.6 800
Big Creek to Upper Ellinor 10 2800
Dungeness Spit 10.5 160
Green Mountain 10.6 602
Green Mountain 10.6 805
Duckabush River 12.3 3100
Mount Muller 12.8 3200
Dry Creek 12.9 2600
Lower South Fork Skok 13 408
Brothers Camp 13.2 2400
Mount Jupiter 13.2 3618
Big Creek Quinault 13.3 2284
North Fork Skok 13.5 848

Average Miles for Day Hikes
Average Elevation Gain for Day Hikes

Plus Backpaking trip of 32 miles with 2114 feet gain
2007 totals
Total  Miles 339
Total Elevation Gain 72,401 feet

Snow Tires are Good! LSF SKOK

Today I got to test out my new snow tires and I'm pleased. I never would have tried to drive in this much snow with out them.

There was about 16 inches of snow at the trail head and I did a lot of post holing. I only made it 5 miles round trip but my legs feel sore. When I stopped to decide if I was too cold and needed to turn around a tree lobbed an ice ball at my head. That made up my mind. Before I turned around I was sinking up to the top of my thighs in the snow. This was only when I had to go off trail to avoid trees. Alder trees bent over the trail formed impenetrable barriers in several places.

The weather changed from sunny and bright to dreary and gray several times. The snow on the ground was melting but snow was still falling from the sky. That always makes for a cold wet hike.

My feet and hands got very cold but I was prepared with dry socks and an extra pair of dry gloves. I changed into my dry gear during my brief lunch break. My new Seattle Sombrero worked well. It is size large and has a very wide brim; the brim really keeps the rain off. It's not an actual "Seattle" it's actually a "Nimbus". The Seattle is gortex and costs more. I got my Nimbus on sale for $17.00.

I tried to melt snow for my tea but it was a mistake, the water never boiled and I got really cold waiting for it. I'm going to switch to a different cook set and stove for the winter. My Heineken can pot and stove are great in the summer.

I've not totally recovered from my intestinal bug but I'm almost there. My entire family has been quite sick over Christmas Break.

On my drive out I saw dozens of people enjoying the snow. A lot of families had
Parked on the side of the road and built toasty campfires. The adults stood or sat around the fires while the kids went sledding. I want to try that some time.

The clear-cut where I did my research project has turned into a sledding hill.

5 Miles RT with 283 feet elevation gain.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Stewardship" Logging

Project Name: Pine Creek Stewardship Project

In the name of stewardship they are going to log 179 acres and in return they will decommision .6 of a mile of one road. The road is already used as a trail but has some culverts. This road is where you park when you hike the Upper South Fork Skokomish trail. I'm glad they are going to convert it to trail but I don't think its worth the price of 179 acres of trees. I don't think logging should be called stewardship.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Logging and Mass Wasting

Mudslide photo spurs look at logging practices

This was a slide-prone drainage. But a Weyerhaeuser geologist found "no potentially unstable areas" in the area to be harvested and the state approved the logging.

Well if Weyerhaeuser's own Geologist said it is was safe for Weyerhaeuser to log here he must have been telling the truth right?

OSU School of Forestry Logging Oops!

The College of Forestry's land where the initial slides began is known as the Blodgett Tract because the Blodgett Timber Co. donated it to the college in 1929 for research into reforestation. It's now managed for intensive timber production that generates revenue for the college, according to OSU's plan for the acreage.

I like how intensive logging is passed off as "reasearch into reforestation"
I'm not surprised at this twisting of words and meaning though.

Stewartship contract is another word for logging. ONF will log 69 acres in the name of stewardship and use the money to close .6 of mile of a logging road but most of the money will to pay for "pre-commercial thinning" of 120 acres. The remaining trees will grow faster and the "thinned trees" can be sold to the new bio-disiel plant in Aberdeen.

Did overlogging contribute to floods?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday Drive

Our Sunday drive is not my Grandparents Sunday drive. We always head for wilderness and the Olympic National Forest. I've been wanting to drive over the divide between the Satsop and Skokomish basins. We did not make it, there was snow at 2700 feet and the higher we went the deeper it got. We had to reach 3,400 feet to go over the divide. I'm all for testing out my new snow tires but not on a logging road where one small skid could mean death! The snow was getting deeper and the chasm on either side of the road was getting bigger and of course the road was getting narrower.

We had a good time in spite of not making our goal. I got out of my car at Spider lake and went for a little walk in the Climax old growth forest lining the lake. I was far too ill to contemplate walking the entire lake shore. The lake shore loop is is only 2 mile but I think I've got the flu. At this point I just hope I can hike again before the year is over.

Spider Lake, Lower Lena Lake, Jefferson Lake and Lower Dry Bed Lake may have all been formed by the same earthquake. (Schuster et all, 1992)

The short section of the Spider lake trail that I walked has a lot of storm damage. Multiple trees across the trail and the trail is washed out in places. The plastic sheet underlying the trail is exposed. I started on the little unmarked access on the North end of the lake and then took the left route when I reached the loop trail. I turned around at the first bridge. The bridge is in good shape.

We checked out Browns Creek Campground on the way home and I am happy to report that the campground was not damaged during the storm.  I don't know if the Nature Trail was damaged.

Forest Service Sheet:
Spider Lake Trail # 879
Hood Canal Ranger District - Quilcene Office
295142 Highway 101 S. P.O. Box 280
Quilcene, WA 98376 (360) 765-2200

ACCESS: Located northwest of Shelton in the
Skokomish River Recreation Area. Travel US
Highway 101 to the Skokomish Valley Road, (7
mi. north of Shelton, 7 mi. south of Hoodsport).
Turn west on the Valley road and drive about 5.5
miles to the junction with FS Road #23. Turn
right and proceed for 10 miles on FS Road #23
to the junction of FS Road #2353. Veer left and
continue on FS Road #23 (end of pavement)
another 8 miles to the Spider Lake Trailhead.
FACILITIES: Enter trail from either the North
or South end of lake.

NOTE: The trail and lake
might not be signed, look for Spider Lake below
the FS Road #23 on the east side of the road.
There is no toilet or potable water at the

SETTING: This trail loops around Spider Lake
through old growth forest. Lush plants along trail.

TRAIL INFORMATION: This trail receives
yearly maintenance and is in good condition.
Destination Miles Elev.
Trailhead 0.0 1,700’
Loop around lake and back to
1.9 1,700’

PASS NOT REQUIRED: A Northwest Forest
Pass is NOT REQUIRED at this trailhead.
Spider Lake
Trail #879

Prehistoric Rock Avalanches in the Olympic Mountains, Washington (in Reports; Ancient Earthquake)
Robert L. Schuster; Robert L. Logan; Patrick T. Pringle
Science, New Series, Vol. 258, No. 5088. (Dec. 4, 1992), pp. 1620-1621.
Stable URL

Abstract: Rock avalanches blocked streams in the Olympic Mountains southwest of Puget Sound during the past few thousand years. Limiting radiocarbon ages indicated that three or four of six avalanches occurred from 1000 to 1300 years ago or shortly thereafter. Most of the dates were from the outer preserved rings of trees drowned behind avalanche dams. These three or four avalanches may be coeval not only with one another but also with abrupt tectonic deformation in western Washington. No rock avalanches in the Olympic Mountains are known to have resulted from storms or earthquakes during the past century. The avalanches strengthen the case that a large prehistoric earthquake occurred in the Puget Sound region.

Mudslide photo spurs look at logging practices

Mudslide photo spurs look at logging practices

Did overlogging contribute to floods?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Term is over

The term is over and it has left a bad taste in mouth. In all my years of school and college I've never experienced this level of B.S... I've run into this type of B.S. on the job but never in a college. This is my first quarter at Evergreen and so far I'm not impressed. I've never had to pay to be treated this way.

Some of the students are very cut throat and I can not believe what I was accused of today. In all of my years of school and college I have never been accused of such a thing and I've never run into such a load of politics. The false accusation can not be proven so it will not hurt me academically but social and emotionally it will have a toll. Next quarter I'm going to watch my back and be very selective about who I talk to. I don't know who my accuser was or if there was an accuser. Perhaps there was no accuser and the prof was just trying to rile me up because I did so well on the final and I'm not one of his pets. I'll never know what really happened but I do know that I'm absolutely disgusted.

Next quarter has to be better then this. If nothing else I'll be getting away from a certain professor's groupies. Yes groupies. Evergreen is so small that students sometimes have the same professor quarter after quarter. My community college was bigger then Evergreen, too big for teacher’s pets and big enough that I had a wide range of professors to choose from no matter what subject I wanted to study.

Evergreen is plenty green (think cannabis) but it’s not so progressive after all.

I busted my ass this quarter but I got stuck with a group who think that getting intoxicated is a prerequisite to doing scientific work both in the lab and in the field. I think those people would be better off taking art classes where being intoxicated could be a good thing.

If people want to smoke pot and eat magic mushrooms every day that are their business unless it negatively impacts other people. There is a time and place for everything.

I learned a new word this quarter it is "Trustafarian" and it rings quite true for me after what I just experienced. For extra credit I wrote an essay on forest ecology but I better not turn it in!

What is a forest ecologist?
What does a forest ecologist do?

A forest ecologist stomps around ripping up the forest floor with their heavy boots. A forest ecologist mutilates and electrocutes trees. A forest ecologist cuts down trees by the hundreds just to watch them rot. A forest ecologist rips moss from logs and plucks mushrooms from the ground. A forest ecologist digs bugs out of their cozy forest floor home and then drowns in salt water so s/he can count them. A forest ecologist draws and quarters (or drills and cores) trees just to count their rings.

But the forest ecologist by dint of their violent destructive work proves time and time again that we need to save our old growth forests for they are a source of genetic diversity and provide the earth with a tremendous carbon sink. A carbon sink that may protect the world from global warming. The forest ecologist martyrs trees and sometimes entire forests to prove with science what we all know deep inside.

Industry and politics do not bow to things we know deep inside. So we need the violent and destructive forest ecologists to provide us with scientific proof.

Still that does not excuse the forest ecologist from admitting that their work is often violent and destructive.

Perhaps the violent nature of the ecologist is not surprising when you consider that the term Ecology was coined by Ernst Haeckel. The Nazi party used Haeckel's justifications for racism, nationalism and social Darwinism.


Yes, I know that was a bit over the top but writing it was therapeutic
The next two quarter went a lot better but I'm sorry to say that I'm not any less upset about what happened fall quarter. I'm actually more disgusted with my fall program now that I have been in a few good programs.

During my fall quarter evaluation I was accused of cheating on the final, during my Winter Quarter evaluation I was encouraged to go to graduate school.

Sermon of an Elder Catfish

Watch where you’re going, boys-
Light doesn’t dance down here.
Our eyes grow big as half-dollars,
But we still can’t see a fucking thing.
Whiskers, lead the way, pull our bellies
Across the muck we make our beds in,
Steer us clear of the troubles
That shake through the world,
Especially those fast-talking gar,
Their loose lips and flash of gold teeth.
We don’t want any trouble here-
Your skins are slick for a reason.
Depth is the key, gentlemen-if
They can’t find us, they can’t catch us.
I don’t care what those heathen trout say:
The surface is not our home. Heaven
Isn’t above us, the sun on our backs,
Rainbows bursting from our sides.
Heaven is deep, it’s black and cold,
Its still. Heaven is everywhere
Everyone else is afraid to go.

Miles Garett Watson

On Saturday I will go up the 101 to reach my trail head. 101 is supposed to be re-opened by then. The hike I have planned is a boring one but surveying the recent storm damage may make it more interesting.

I've got a fever so I won't be hiking this weekend after all. 101 is open again but is only one lane in some places. There is a sign on the freeway outside of Shelton warning people to expect delays on 101.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Lower South Fork Skok After the Flood of 2007

Huge piles of driftwood are lodged against the pasture fences on the Skokomish Valley Road. The Skokomish River broke its record last week, the water has mostly retreated now but signs of flooding abound.

The trail is in rough shape once again. I'm pretty sure that last year's damage to the trail was cleaned up and all the damage I saw today was fresh. Between miles 2 and 4 the trail is a mess with fallen trees, mud holes and washouts. I had to go well off the trail to get around blow downs and mud holes. In one spot the trail is totally obscured and all I could do was simply follow the river until the trail re-appeared. I found some old puncheon that was abandoned years ago when the trail was re-routed. The old route was easier to follow but I did not feel safe walking on old and rotten puncheon so I got back on the current trail as soon as I could find it.

About 200 feet of the trail has been washed out by the river and an extensive re-route will be required to fix the trail. The washout is just past where the camp comfort shelter once stood.

I hiked out on the road via the spur trail just past camp comfort. By hiking out on the road I turn the hike into a 9 mile loop instead of a 9 mile out and back. The 2353 road is washed out in several places. A crew was up there working on the road and the crew tole me that the forest service is going to do some logging up there and then sell the trees to a biodiesel plant. The Forest Service needs to repair the road so they can cut the trees so they can get them money to close the road.

Simpson and other private interests should be footing the bill for road
decommissioning but in actuality the Forest Service is stuck with the bill. Private interests built the roads but the Forest Service subtracted
the cost of road building from what they charged the private interests for the raw timber. So in effect the Forest Service paid to build the roads and now has to pay to decommission them . That said the salmon paid an even bigger price for all those logging roads.

The road washouts on 2353 will not prevent access to the dry creek or the dry creek extension trail once wildlife gates re-open in the Spring. There could well be other washouts on other roads leading to those trail heads.

Forest Service road 23 is washed out before Spider Lake and it will be repaired soon.

I had a lovely hike and got some good exercise climbing over all the blow downs. All the bridges that were good last year are still good this year.

9.3 miles with 450 feet elevation.
This years running total: 302 miles with 70,004 feet elevation gain.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Flood of 2007

Why did the chum cross the road? To spawn on the other side.

101 at purdy cut off road.

Turner Street Down Town

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mildred Lakes Aborted

I got off to an early start because the days are getting short and I had a tough hiked planned.  It was tougher then I expected.  I kept losing the trail.  I wasted so much time searching for the trail that I knew I had to turn back before the lakes.   Stupid orange ribbons led me astray.  I ignored the damn ribbons on the way back to the car and I only lost the trail once.

I made it to Huckleberry creek and lost the trail.  I mean really lost the trail, I just could not find it so I turned back.  After I turned back I found the trail but then lost it again thanks to a misleading orange ribbon.  Why the Fuck was that ribbon there? Anyway I found the route but by the time I found it I decided it was too late.  It was 11:30 and turn around time was only 1 hour away.  I still had to gain 1000 feet even though the lakes were only .60 of a mile away by crow.  I looked back at the trail to my car and up to the trail to the lakes.  My car had more appeal then the lakes did.

The only possible way I could have made it to the lakes and back before dark would be to hike like superwoman and never lose the trail.  I knew from the guidebooks that the trail is really bad beyond the river and I was not feeling like superwoman after all of my wandering around lost.

Damn those orange ribbons. The striped ribbons were great and the red ribbons were OK but the orange ribbons were misleading and should be torn down.

According to my GPS I hiked 6.29 miles and my TOTAL elevation gain was 2,100 feet.

I'll try again in the summer when the days are longer.

I made it back to my car at 1:45, 4 hours up and 1 hour 15 minutes down.

On my drive out I saw a van parked on the side of the road near the icicles.   A Mom and Dad had parked there to let there kids out.  The kids were destroying the beautiful icicles.  I would not have allowed my kids to do such a thing.  It's destructive and thoughtless.  Maybe they were type who think mother nature is there just for them to exploit.

On the way back home I stopped and walked on the Hamma Hamma Beaver Pond Trail.  It is a lovely little trail that I'm sure my family would enjoy hiking.  Just over 1 mile long with only 200 feet of elevation gain.  On the Beaver trail I found a cauliflower mushroom that was frozen solid.
I don't know if they thaw well so I left it alone.   I found a 20-30 pound cauliflower in Oregon this year so I've had my fill of them .  I saw several frozen bears heads on the Mildred Lakes trail as well.

The only mushrooms I brought home today were a couple of huge hedgehogs. It's been a great mushroom year and I'm getting burned out on eating mushrooms.

My aborted track log

Trail head sign

My aborted elevation profile

It was cold today

This may as well have been the ridge between me and the lake.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Steepness vs. Miles

This graph shows a slight relationship between the length of my hikes and how steep they were in terms of feet gained per mile.

Now if I toss out my beach hikes and valley hikes the relationship between steepness and miles is strong

The shortest and steepest hike (dot in the upper left) is Mount Ellinor from the Upper trailhead. The longest flattest hike is Big Creek (Quinault) to about 1 mile past the steel bridge.

Now if I only keep the hikes where I gained over 3,000 feet in elevation ( Duckabush to 6 mile
Mount Muller Loop, Mount Rose, Mount Jupiter, Putvin to Lake of Angels and Camp Muir)
I get an extremely strong relationship.  Proving you can "prove" just about anything with statistics.

Annual Skokomish Salmon Kill

The chum run has reached it's peak and the Skok flooded last Friday leaving these salmon stranded when it receded. The river floods with every heavy rain because the channel is filled with sediment thanks to all the logging and logging roads upstream. Ninty percent of the South Fork Skokomish river drainage has been logged. Almost all of it by Simpson during the 100 year "sustained" yield agreement between Simpson and the Forest Service.

"Research published by Montgomery and S. ChereƩ Stover in the Journal of Hydrology shows that the amount of water carried by the Skokomish hasn't changed appreciably, but the river's main channel has gotten 5 to 6 feet shallower since the early 1960s because of sedimentation. "

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fun with stats

I've been learning how to use Excel to make graphs and do statistics this quarter. So far this year I have gone on 31 day hikes and on my dayhikes I have hiked 282 miles and climbed 67,454 feet. My Average dayhike was 9.1 miles with
2175 feet elevation gain.

I'm not done yet, there is still over a month left this year. I have also hiked 32 miles on a backpacking trip this year and I've gone on several 1-2 miles hikes with my family. No wonder I go through so many shoes!

The R Squared Value is .016 showing there is no relationship between the length of my hikes
in miles and the elevation gain in feet.

Looking at the chart the dot that shows the highest elevation gain represents my hike up to Camp Muir. The dot that show the highest combined mileage and elevation gain represents Mount Jupiter.

My hikes on Rialto Beach and Dungeness spit were of the lowest elevation gain.
My hikes to Camp Muir, Lake of Angels and Mount Jupiter had the highest elevation gains.

Just a fun little bar graph.

This shows that Mount Ellinor is the steepest in terms of elevation gain in feet per mile and Rialto Beach was the least steep. This graph reflects elevation change from trail head to end of hike and does not take into account ups and downs in the trail.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Brothers Campground

Lena Lake from Lunch Rock

I woke up for the umpteenth time last night but this time was different. This time my neck did not hurt and it was actually morning. Not just any morning, it was hiking morning! My neck has been hurting since my field trip, I think its mostly stress. The pain reached its peak last night after I argued with my husband.

I arrived at the trail head at 9:00 am. I enjoyed looking at the Hood Canal on the way up. Most trails south of the Hama Hama have been closed until April 1st so I made the trip North to the Brothers trail. The Brothers are the most distinctive peak in the Olympics when viewed from Seattle. I used to look at them from the window of my downtown apartment, I did not know their names back then but I often wondered what it would be like to sit up on one of those peaks. Finally 10 years after I moved out of that apartment I got my chance to find out. I've been on the summit of Mount Buckhorn but not on the summit of the Brothers.

I saw an amazing sight at the trail head. I could not believe my eyes! There was no one parked at the Lena Lake trail head. I don't think I've ever witnessed that sight before. The days are getting short and I had just seven hours of daylight to work with so I gave myself 4 hours to hike up and 3 hours to hike down I decided that at 1:00 I would turn around no matter where I was.

The lower trail is not my favorite hike but the lake is pretty. I've never been very far up the Brother's trail so my goal today was to hike to where the brothers trail ends at base of the Brothers climbing route. I had to hustle a little bit to make it up there and back before dark.

I made it to the Brothers camp at 12:40, that gave me only 20 minutes to have lunch. I brewed up a tea and drank it there and cooked my lunch but carried it down to the lake before I ate it.

I was amazed to find a certain type of mushroom on the trail. This trail is so busy with hikers that I assumed that particular mushroom would not make my list. Well there it was. In fact someone had picked it and then left it. They must not of known what it was.

Other mushrooms I spotted today were chanterelles all past their prime and tons of yellow foot chanterelles but I did not have the time to pick them. I also found but did not pick shrimp russula, russula brevipes, pigs ears and witches butter.

My best find of the day was a large bears head fungus. It is starting to yellow but I think it will still be good.

I did not see anyone else on the trail until I got back down to lunch rock. I think the weather forcast kept hikers away this weekend.

I made it back down to my car at 4:00 on the dot, sunset was at 4:30 . I try to get off the trail 1/2 hour before sunset so I timed it just right. Today's
Stats: 13.2 miles and 2,400 feet elevation gain. I'm tired but I enjoyed my hike.

As an added bonus today my husband actually cleaned the house while I was gone. Normally he does not pick up after himself and I have a load of housework to do when I get home from hiking.

Bears Head Fungus

I did not go high enough to see the burn

A big grill for the back country.

Area Overview

One way profile

One way Track Log

The barometric pressure changed so the elevation log is not symmetrical

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Giant Pie Crust Mushroom

 Just when I think I've see it all another mushroom comes along to wow me.  Mycology is a fun hobby full of surprises.

I don't know what this one is yet.  I found it on campus, this was the biggest of the lot.   They were growing on rotting leaves.