Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Secret Mountain Pond

There is a lake that I can see on google earth, well no, actually I can’t see it on google earth because it’s covered with clouds.  But I can see this lake on my topo map, and I’ve been wanting to find a way to get to it for awhile. 

 I contacted a stranger on the Internet who had posted a picture of the lake and pictures of the look out on the old Brown Creek road.  He told me he was going to be in the area on Monday and I talked him into taking me to this lake.  Earlier in the week I had tried to get to a lake but had to turn back due to SOMEONE who does not like to hike in the snow.  It’s a good thing we turned back, since the route I had planned would not have worked at all.

So I met the stranger named Phil at the fish hatchery at 10am and off we went down the 23 three like a couple of bats out of hell.  Wow!   That was one fast trip down the 23.  I was following Phil and trying to keep up but also trying to avoid eating too much dust.

We were able to get quite a ways past the 4 way intersection up high above the river and then we were stopped by a downed tree.  Phil cut the tree out of the way, but we only got about 50 feet past that tree before snow on the road stopped us.  We started hiking about 6/10ths of a mile before the Dry Creek trail.  We turned left and went up the road that leads to the Mount Tebo climbing route.  There was a lot of snow on the road but we did not need snowshoes.  When we reached the spot (marked with yellow ribbons) where we needed to leave the road to bushwhack up and down to the lake, Phil had me go ahead.  This was good because it helped me to memorize the route. 

Yellow flags mark the start
The route went through a beautiful old growth hemlock forest with very little underbrush.  It was amazing how clear the route was and other than there being no well beaten path, it did not really feel like bushwhacking.  Once we topped the ridge it was a steep drop down to the frozen lake. 

Old growth!

The way down was snow covered and was steep enough to make both of us a bit uncomfortable.  But we agreed it was probably easier on the snow.  At least the snow gave us something to plunge our heels into for foot holds. 

Steep route down to lake
The lake was covered in snow with very little water visible.  Phil says he has never seen any sign of other people having gong to this lake.  He wants people to know about this lake so they can help keep the road open.  There is a large washout that he tried to fill once,  but it’s washing out again.  It would be nice to get together a crew to fix up the road.

Washout on the road that is otherwise open

We spent some time at the lake enjoying the coolness of the little pocket it sits in.  It was 86 degrees in town, but on the shores of the lake it was probably 68 degrees.  I made good use of the sit pad that came with my GG backpack.   At 4:30 we left the lake and began our hike back to the car, but on the way back we explored a little ridge that could have dropped us down to another road that would have hooked up to the road we hiked up. 

We went to the end of the ridge but it was getting too late in the day to explore and the drop off was quite steep and I had no idea where we were going.  I thought it best to backtrack to the road, but I think Phil would have preferred to keep going.

I think we got back to our cars at about 7:45.  I know that my watch sounded the 8pm alarm while I was still well above the Skokomish River.  On the drive out I explored some blue tarps next to the road to see what was under them.  It was a huge pile of hay.

  I fear that the hay is for road “decommissioning”.  I hope they only plan to decommission the little spur road that the hay was on. I don’t like the new style of decommissioning at all!  The new style tears everything up and spreads weed seeds.

I left Patches at home due to the heat but she probably would have been okay.  Today she went in for her summer haircut and the groomer found a dozen ticks on her.  It’s the worse tick year she has ever seen.
I only brought my point and shoot camera and I forgot to put the SD card in it so had to rely on internal memory and could only take a few pictures.

6 miles with 1,300 feet elevation gain

It would be less without the extra exploring we did.

Running total miles for the year 183 elevation gain  
29550 feet

track and elevation log

little tree wells

Strange hanging tree

near shore

No comments: