Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mount Ellinor

  Had a pleasant hike up Ellinor today.  I started from the upper trailhead.  There were 14 goats on the summit and some were begging for food.    I had to chase them off to keep them from tipping over my cookpot.  I had a cup of tea on the summit.

There is still a bit of snow on the summer route.  

After my hike I scouted out the Jefferson Pass trailhead and I would like to hike it this summer.

It's nice to be in such good shape.  I felt great coming down off the mountain while many others coming down were sweating and looked tired.

My track log shows where the old trail intersects with the current trail.  I think it would be fun to try and pick up traces of the old trail.  

There is a benchmark on the summit but I did not know to look for it.  I placed three geocaches in the area today.

I started my hike at 1:40 and finished at 4:50, I spent a good half hour on the summit and another ten minutes taking pictures of goats on the way down.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tombstones and Mushrooms

   While reading up on the "Wild Man of the Wynoochie" I found a list of local cemeteries and have explored two of them.

One is "Oakland" cemetery.  It only has one stone left and it bears the name "Thomas Slocum".  I wondered if that was a Native American name and in my research I learned that a John Slocum founded the local "Indian Shaker Church"  There is a John Slocum buried in the Oakland cemetery and he died the same year as the man who started the church so I think this is the resting spot of man who started the Church.  I wonder why his marker was not replaced and why his resting spot is not better known?

The other Cemetery I visited is the "Gove" cemetery where another locally famous "John" is buried.   The  so called Wild Man of the Wynoochie  "John Tornow" who was gunned down by the local law enforcement at the age of 33.  He is accused of six murders.   It seems that in the modern age most people feel sorry for him.  Back in his day he was villanized.   The offerings left on his tombstone include live shot gun shells, live rifle ammo, a bottle of Mikes Hard lemonade, a bottle of whiskey some pennies and some plastic flowers.   The Gove cemetery is well maintained.

By contrast the Oakland cemetery is neglected.  It sits in the woods,  perhaps on Simpson ,  uh I mean Green Diamond Resource company  property and only one marker is left.   The property is posted "No Tresspassing without written permission" There are many sunken areas where others  must
have been buried but the markers are missing.   In 1982 someone recorded the names in this cemetery as follows:


Located off John's Prairie road from Shelton. Turn off on E. Capitol Hill road at County Shed. Drive 0.8 miles from John's Prairie road and it is on the right hand side scattered with many sunken areas where graves probably were. There are 3 stones left. Copied in fall of 1982.

1. John Slocaum died Nov 31, 1897
Children of M & J Slocum
Mattie, Ad, Daley, Maggie, Lucy, Tommy and three others

The following is from the 1880 Census of Mason County, Washington Territory

"97. Slocum, John I M 35 m laborer, 6 mos, #22,23 WT WT WT
Slocum, Tabitha I F 27 wife K.H. #22,23 * WT WT WT
Slocum, Martha I F 12 dau s at home #21,23 WT WT WT
Slocum, Maggie I F 9 dau s #21 WT WT WT
Slocum, Dulcie I F 4 dau s WT WT WT
Slocum, Jennie I F 1 dau s WT WT WT

*#22, cannot read; #23, cannot write; #21, attend school within census year

102. Slocum, Jack I M 29 m laborer, 4 mos.#22,23 WT WT WT
Slocum, Marie I F 30 wife K.H. #22,23 WT WT WT"

2. Thomas Slocum d. 11 Jan 1901 aged 50 years

From 1880 census:
"101. Slocum, Thomas I M 35 m laborer, 4 mos. #22,23 WT WT WT
Slocum, Mary I F 29 wife K.H. #22,23 WT WT WT
Slocum, Maud I F 10 dau s at home #21,23 WT WT WT
(Also see Batstone Mortuary record #100)

3. Anna J. Ellis beloved wife of John Gillespie
died 5 Jan 1886 aged 28 yrs
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord

The Gove cemetery also has quite a few sunken in areas that do not bear stones but it is also still being used as a burial ground.   

TORNOW Cemetery

From Winter 1979 Bulletin of Seattle Genealogical Society, Submitted by Barbara Cruchon.

Unmarked cemetery in Mason County, WA. On left side of road heading north toward Matlock, after leaving Schafer State Park, 8 miles from Matlock. Read 24 Jul 1878. Read again 8 Sep 1982 by Jan Stevenson, and corrected. Cemetery read from back to front and left to right on each row.

Row I:
1. Spalding, Carl 1852-1927 Willimena 1853-1918

Row II:
1. Ramsey, Alan Douglas 1CFN US Navy 1942-1976

2. Schaletzke, Ross E.M. born 17 Mar 1892 died 5 Feb 1911
Dearest loved one, we have laid thee in the peaceful graves embrace
But thee memory shall be cherished till we see thy heavenly face

3. Schaletzke, Emma Mother 1870-1839

4. Schaletzke, Edward Father 1859-1941

Row III:
1. Bauer, Mary M. Jun 14, 1886 - Dec 1, 1910
The path of sorrow and that alone leads to the land where sorrow is unknown

2. Bauer, William F. Jul 6, 1892 - Sep 3, 1911
The golden gates were open wide, A gentle voice said come
And angels from the other side, Welcomed our loved one home

3. Bauer, John H. Jul 6, 1892 - Sep 3, 1911
(Same verse at Row III #2, enclosed with cement with Row III #2)

Row IV:
1. Melkora
Feb 1972 (carved wooden headboard - painted flowers)

2. Our gift to God
Thomas Justin - Jon D
Oct 18, 1974; Oct 24

3. Rock of Ages
Tornow, Daniel Fredrick
born Fasan Germany May 29, 1844 died Aug 12, 1909
To forget is vain endeavor, Love's remembrance last longer

4. Rock of Ages
Tornow, Louise
Jan 22, 1838 - Nov 13, 1910
Rest, Mother, rest in gentle sleep
While friends in sorrow o'er thee sleep

5. (small flat broken stone, pieces piled together, initials J.T. scratched on one -- probably John Tornow; the Wild Man of the Wynoochee)
--No longer any flat stones, but two round rocks and three wooden stakes.

Row V:
1A. Mother: Caroline A. Graham
8 Feb 1915 - 18 Dec 1978
The Lord is my Shepherd

1B. Graham, Norman L
In memory of Oct 1945

2. Graham, Roanld L. "Sonny" 1942-1945
of such is the kingdom of heaven

3. Mass, Ernest W. Father 1836-1906

4. (Cement base only - stone gone) (between two Mass)

5. Mass, August 1886-1955

6. Mass, Lucy E 1897-1947

Row VI:
Atkings, Tillie died Apr 26, 1916 aged 58 yrs

2. Kohlmeir, W. K. (small plastic grave marker - no dates)

3. Kohlmeir, Caroline 1850-1941 (small plastic marker)

4. Small metal stake

5. Hollatz, Anna E 1882-1897

6. Hollatz, Robert Father born March 11, 1833; died Jul 21, 1908

Wilhelmine Mother b Nov 24, 1830 d. Nov 19, 1905
(Ruhet sanft an ever gruft; Bis euih Chr--us wieder ruft)

7. Hollatz, Herman Jan 9 1864 - Jul 11, 1923
The--- ---------; To------------

8. Hollatz, Julius J. 1874-1939
Annie H. 1878-1958

Row VII: 1. Thompson, William L 1903-1974

2. Hollatz, John H. PFC US Army Word War II 1907-1978

While I was out exploring cemeteries I found a very nice lobster mushroom.

I was surprised to find a lobster in the summer, I though they were just a fall mushroom. But we are having a lot of rain this July. I've been told that Chanterelles can be found after the 4th of July on most years too. With all the rain this week I think I will find some mushrooms next week.

I will have to take my Jeep though. My little station wagon is not running. I suspect it's the alternator. The car has a new battery but it will not start unless it is jumpstarted.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mount Jupiter

Today was the only day this week I could hike and I was hoping that the weather guessers were wrong, but they were right. It rained and the only view, was the one at the trail head in the morning.

I did not sleep at all the night before the hike, thanks to a large Mocha that I drank at 3:00pm the day before. I'll try not to make that mistake again.

This was a good work out and I'd like to hike it again when it is a clear day. I hiked alone and it was kinda eerie since a guy died on this trail just last week. (He was with a group for all the good it did him.) The thick fog made the forest seem a bit surreal on the way down.

I saw a bunny, lots of bannana slugs, a snail and loads of bear scat.

I spent about 20 minutes on the summit, just long enough to brew a cup of tea. With no view and the wind blowing there was no reason to linger.

4.5 hours up, 2.5 hours down, including the time I spent geocaching on the way up.

That last half mile before the summit was one of the longest half miles I've ever hiked.

I made a mistake and went up the wrong logging road at the start, but then I saw the trail down below me so I headed for it cross country. That added some up and down to my hike.

By the time I got back down to the trail head at the end of my hikd the fog was so thick that I used my GPS(r) track log to find my Jeep. (The way down was slightly different then the way up thanks me my starting on the wrong road.

My mileage was 13.2 and my total elevation gain was 4,400 feet. This trail has some ups and downs. It rates a 27 on The Hike Difficulty Calculator

I feel pretty good today. I am tired but I'm not terribly sore. I hope that I lost some weight on this hike. I only had a few handfulls of trail mix while hiking. It's 12:30 now and I've not eaten yet today because I'm too tired to cook anything.

The first 1/2 mile of the trail was logged by Pope and Talbot last summer.  Pope and Talbot left a huge mess behind.  Pope and Talbot should have cleaned up the trail when they were done savaging the forest.    The trail now starts in a cat track filled with logging debris.   

Track Log of the Drive up

Track log of the hike

Elevation profile

Morning View at the trailhead

Afternoon view at the trailhead

Benchmark at the summit

Friday, July 13, 2007

Spider Lake

I found Spider Lake, we found it before without knowing it when we were looking for the Upper South Fork Skok trail and overshot it by so much that we started seeing signs for Lake Wynoochee.

Spider Lake has a lovely old growth forest on it's shores. All the surrounding hills have been savagely logged by Simpson aka Green Diamond, but the lake has been spared.

The original trail dates back to the 1920's and there used to be a shelter there. Once upon a time (Before Simpson AKA Green Diamond) savaged the land a trail extended from the lower south fork skok trail all the way to Spider Lake and beyond. It was a 15 mile long trail but now it's only .3 of a mile. This information is in the "Olympic Mountain Trail Guide" by Robert L. Wood.

I found evidence of really old campsites there. I was struck by this lakes similarities to Lena Lake and wondered if it was formed the same way. I looked it up on the internet and learned not only was it formed the same way it was formed at the same time by the same earthquake.
The subfossil trees in Spider Lake, below, are an example of a submerged forest. The trees were growing in the valley of a tributary to the Middle Fork Satsop River, however, about 900 years ago a large rock avalanche thundered into the valley bottom and dammed that tributary, drowning the forest, and forming Spider Lake. Spider Lake drains into Cedar Creek to the Skokomish River. The trees are preserved below the level of the lake and are exposed during times of drought. Several nearby lakes, Lower Dry Bed, Lower Lena, Elk, Jefferson Lakes, and others bear subfossil forests of this same age. The outer annual growth rings of trees at several of the sites have matching tree rings, thus indicating that the trees were killed at the same time, probably as the result of a large earthquake. One of the lakes, Price Lake, is dammed by a fault.

I walked around the lake twice, once alone and once with my tot while my husband rested near the shore.

Getting out to these backwoods location is much easier now that we have and old beater of a Jeep. I just hope we don't get stranded going so far in such an old Jeep.

The best access to this trail is at N 47° 24.854 W 123° 25.695 . To get there take FS 23 past the turn off for Upper Skok watch for the lake below the road. If you see the lake you have gone past the nicest access point, turn around and find a little unmarked road to the right the best trail head is at the end of this very short road. Here is a PDF File from the Forest Service.

900 Year old Stumps

Deer Mushroom

Slime Mold

Blueberry Bush

Track Log

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Copper Creek and Shady Lane

With near record heat expected today I did something I rarely do.  I left the house at 6:20 am and started my hike at 7:10 am.  Copper Creek trail is nice and I think it will be a very good winter hike.   RT mileage 4.5 elevation gain 2,200.  The first mile is very steep.  

I finished up my hike before noon.

After that hike I had enough energy to do the 2 mile RT Shady Lane trail. I went straight up a scree slope to the forest service road above and then walked down the forest road to the Shady Lane trail end thus making a sort of a loop hike.

I found three old mine shafts on the forest service road. I want to hike or drive to the end of that road and see where Ralf the Bear used to live.

An old trail marker tree?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Camp Muir

This hike to Camp Muir was planned months in advance and was set up by a group of geocachers. The plan was to start hiking at 7am but at the last minute the inner group members decided to change the start time to 5am. I could not start at 5am because I needed a babysitter and had already hired a babysitter to join me at the campground at 6am. (I don’t know why the start time was changed and now two years later I wonder if it was changed for the purpose of excluding me from joining in.) Luckily for me I was not the only one who could not change their plans at the last possible minute so I did have company.

I left the house at 1:45 and it took me 3.5 hours to arrive at Cougar Rock Campground. I got turned around a couple of times and I stopped at MacDonald's in Yelm and again at a few geocache sites just out side Mount Rainier National Park.

Many of us were camping but most of the other campers left at 5am and I was left alone in the campground wondering why I bothered to hire a babysitter and wishing I had not come on this hike. I was feeling very let down but then a geocacher who calls himself Cruiser Guy walked up to my campsite and said he and some others were starting around 7:30 and would hike with me. So the hike was on and I would not have to go it alone.

At 6:15 on the day of the hike my pre-arraigned babysitter from Yelm arrived and I was able to meet up with my fellow geocachers at the trail head at 7:30. The hike up was tough but not as tough as I expected it to be. My three trips of Mount Rose really did help get me in shape. I was the second one in my group to reach the camp. Oddly the group that was to leave at 5am (but actually did not get started until 6:00) made it to the camp only an hour before we did. They must have hiked a lot slower. We met them at Camp Muir just as they were coming down.

Our group was slowed down quite a bit by an incredibly tenacious obese man who had to rest a lot. I give him a lot of credit for making it all the way up to Camp Muir. At the last rest stop before the Camp I decided to skip the break and keep on hiking. I was in a groove, and I did not want to stop. The obese man reached the summit just as the rest of us were getting ready to leave.

I brought my can pot and tea light stove with me and got to enjoy a hot cup of tea at
Camp Muir. I was glad that my stove performed the way it did at 10,100 feet!

Camp Muir is a funny little snowbound city 1/2 way up Mount Rainier from the
trail head. The views were grand and the weather was perfect.

After Lunch we navigated up a scary slippery pile of rocks above Camp Muir in order to log a geocache called "Banana Slugs and High Places".

It took us just under five hours to hike up but only two hours to hike down. On the way down we did a lot of glissading. At first I was very nervous about glissading because of my horrible experience on Mount Ellinor. My confidence started to build up towards the end and I was putting the brakes on less and letting myself go down the slopes faster.

We had to hike down the last third of the trail because there was not enough snow on it to
glissade. Three of us left the obese man and his friends behind and then we hiked down quite fast. The fast descent did not hurt my knees. All those hikes down Mount Rose really toughened up my knees.

We arrived back at the trail head at 4:30 PM and I drove back down to the campground
and sent my babysitter home.

Two of Cruiser Guy's Neighbors were camping across from me and they invited me over for fondue. It was wonderful, Cruiser Guy and his neighbors reminded me that there are a lot of good people out there to go along with the few rotten apples.

My three year old kept me up most of that night in the tent complaining that she was too cold (even though she was toasty warm) and both of us were in a right mood by the time day light came.

I grabbed a few geocaches on the way home. I was booked for three nights at Cougar Rock but I had to leave a day early to go to an appointment in Seattle.

(now two years later the same group was going to go up Adams but strangely the minute I posted that I intended to join them they all decided to wait until next year.)

Round Trip Mileage was about 8.5 and elevation gain was 4,600.  That rates a 31  on the Hike Difficulty Calculator.

Here is a slideshow a woman I was hiking with posted to the net.

Me enjoying a hot cuppa at Camp Muir

Above the clouds

The virtual geocache

Looking down at Camp Muir