Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Solitude on the tracks

  Simpson train tracks have been abandoned with the city of Shelton getting the first two miles of tracks and the rest of the tracks currently in limbo.  Limbo can be good for open spaces, no dog rules, no parking permits, no entrance fees and generally no crowds.

I've taken to walking the old tracks for these reasons and because they are close to home and parts of the line are very pretty.  I like the part that runs next to Goldsbourgh Creek.  It's a very pretty area, but also probably very toxic, so beware.  The toxic Goose Lake drains into wetlands that drain in the creek on this path.  The toxic "C" street dump is also upstream.  Both toxic waste sites are north of the tracks.  South of the tracks, the city dumps biosolids.  Biosolids are sewage waste and they can contain lots of nasty stuff including parasitic worm eggs and radiation.

So for this area I look, but I don't touch, I try not to touch the dirt or sit on the ground and I pack all of my own water in.  Anywhere near Shelton I do the same.  Shelton has a much deserved reputation for being pollution friendly.  Who knows how many other toxic sites are clustered around Shelton that we don't know about?

I started my hike at 11am.  I followed the tracks to Carmen road.  After Carmen road the tracks and the forest might be posted, but I doubt anyone would actually get in much trouble for hiking back there.

We had our lunch after we had already reached our half way point and turned back for the day.  There a are a few little trails that branch off the tracks, some go up to clear cuts, some go up to the biosolids application site, one goes up the the site of a former homeless encampment.

We finished our hike at about 3:30pm  We hatched 6-7 Pokemon eggs and earned two Snorlax candies.  Pokemon go clocked about 11 kilometers while my accurate GPS(r) recorded 8 miles, with just 200 feet elevation gain.

Folks who don't live in town want to install tourist railroad with belching coal engines next to people homes.  The city and the people who actually live near the tracks want to convert the tracks to a trail.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Green Mountain and Dayton Peak

  I'm trying to keep busy and find things to do with all the low land snow.  Staying close to home and low.

Tin Mine Lake

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Very scary incident with this crazy dog today

Very scary incident with this crazy dog today. 7 miles into 9 mile hike she decided to chase something into the woods and falls into the swamp. I hear her whine for me and wait for her to come out, I hear lots of splashing. Not good for her to get wet in this weather. I realize she is stuck, she starts yelping and panicking. Oh no, did she hurt herself like Patches? That horrible accident with Patches flashes in front of me. She looks and sounds like she is about to drown, she can barely keep her head above water. Is she caught in a hunter's trap under the water? 

I rush to the swamp, mindful to try to stay dry in this cold weather and I pull her out and find that she can't walk. Clearly her front leg is broken and we are miles from the car. She is way too heavy for me to carry to the car. She cannot walk at all, she keeps falling down onto her front leg with her front leg collapsing under her. I carry her to the road to get a better look at her. 

I take off her top coat to see if it is binding her up somehow, but it is not. Then I see that her back leg is all tangled up in her undersweater. I remove her clothes and she wags her tail and runs off ready to hike again.. whew.. She is however covered in swamp mud and soaking wet. 

Time to get to the car fast to warm her up. If she had been alone in the woods in that outfit she might very well have drown. It's really kind of dangerous for dogs to wear clothes when hiking.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Up Horse Hill in the Swamp


First hike of the new year.  Snow is low so I decided to skip the National Forest and the National Park and stick to the swamplands again.  I like the swamp area because you don't need a parking pass and there are no Rangers.  It almost feels like being free to just be a human on the face of the earth.

The temperature was below freezing all day, but as long as the wind did not blow I was warm.  It was cold enough that I could sit in the snow for a minute or so without gettting wet.  Cold and dry is nicer than just above freezing and wet.

We hiked just over 9 miles.

I missed a turn and decided to march righ tup a clear cut rather than go back and find the road.  I knew that the snow on the road would be very deep.  It might have been harder to slog up hill in the snow than to walk on a fairly bare clear cut.

Walking  up the clear cut was  a lot of work though and near the top the snow was quite deep.  I almost needed snowshoes.  Once up top it was bitter cold.  I began to lose feeling in my left hand and it frightened me.  I got out one of my really hot instant hand warmers and I felt better right away.

This handwarmer only stays hot for a few mintues, but it gets really hot really fast.  That was just what I neeed.  I felt better right away and my fears susided.  I opted not to have lunch up on the top of the hill after working so hard to get up there.  It was just too cold in the wind.  The view was not that great anyway.  Lower hills nearby have better views.

On the way back we stopped at Hoodsport trail and Potlatch to play Pokemon Go.  Hoodsport trail is a horsea nest, Potlatch state park is a charmander next.  I really hope that Potlatch state parks stays in the State's hands and does not get give to the tribe.  I won't be able to go anymore if the tribe takes it over.  I have  a pass that gets me into state parks, but tribal parks, at least the other one in the area that the tribe took over, cost $8.00 for day use.  I'm not going to pay $8.00 just to pull over and catch a few Pokemon.

Rabbit tracks

Climacium dendroides