Trees, trees (boulders and washouts), and more trees


After Alina and I separated north of Stehekin on Wednesday, I rode on to the Ross Lake trailhead following a series of trails off of the PCT to get there. I took the Parker Creek trail to the Thunder Creek trail to the Panther Creek trail, and that last one turned out to be not really meant for stock. About two miles from the trailhead where my truck was waiting, Shyla was negotiating a series of extremely narrow, short and steep switchback; there was hardly enough space for the length of her body after one turn before she would have to switchback the other way. The ground was soft and slippery due to the recent rains, and at one point she slipped and went over backwards, rolling over me and down the hill. She was stopped by some small saplings, one of which cut her neck, and I was glad that we were only a little way from the end of the trail and some first aid supplies in my truck.

After I got back to Ellensburg, where Takoda has been staying with Carol Johnson, who has been an amazing "angel" to us (even helping to arrange for a horseshoer to put new shoes on Shyla after she lost one during our last ride out of Snoqualmie), Alina sent me this list of the downed trees in the Stevens to Rainy Pass section that we just completed. She got it from a trail maintenance crew--who obviously have their work cut out for them! Because it is a national forest area, and also prone to fires, trail crews are not allowed to use chain saws to clear the downed trees, but have to cut them all by hand. This list gives the PCT mile marker location of each tree, as well as its diameter and sometimes other remarks (I especially liked the exclamation mark after the 72" diameter one). It will give you an idea of what Alina and I were faced with:

2478.39 rotten 18" no saw 2479.84 rotten 30" no saw 2484.56 30" 2486.39. 12" 2486.45 24" 2489.86 6" 2492.94 30" and stump previously cut 2497.52 24" may be able to push 2499.38 8" 2499.65 48"& stump 2499.85 12" 2499.97 24" 2501.07 18" 2501.95 broken36" pieces 2502.35 8" 2516.76 18" 2517.22 12" 2517.32 18" 2518.06 2-48" 2518.2 12"&24" 2518.87 2-48"&1-24" 2519.33 18"&36" 2519.8 12" 2520.18 12"&30" 2520.42 12" 2520.5 12" 2520.95 18" 2521.25 18" 2521.5 rotten 36" 2522.32 2-12" 2522.34 4-12" 2522.36 36" 2522.37 18" 2522.39 12" 2522.48 24" 2522.6 24" 2522.9 complicated 48"&2-30" 2523.0 48" 2523.1 30" 2523.31 12" 2523.52 2-12" 2523.62 12" 2524.07 24" 2524.14 18" 2524.47 30" 2525.5 8" 2527.00 3-12" & boulder 2527.2 42" 2528.02 42" 2528.2 2-12" 2532.80 8" 2536.00 30" 2536.61 30" 2536.7 18" 2537.8 8-8" 2537.9 12" 2538.1 4-8" 2538.54 12" 2538.99 36" 2541.89 24" 2542.0 24"&8" 2542.09 18" 2542.2 8" 2542.76 12" 2542.8 8" 2542.9 30" 2543.11 24"&8" 2543.2 2-18"&2-8" 2543.3 18" 2543.4 42" 2543.5 72"! 2543.77 30" 2543.8 4-8" 2543.9 12" 2544.04 30"&36" 2544.1 30" 2544.2 12"&30" 2544.91 30" 2544.5 18" 2544.6 42"&12" 2544.7 30" 2545.30 48" 2545.4 30"&18" 2545.5 42" 2546.18 36" 2546.3 4-18" 2546.7 2-8" 2546.9 2-12"&2-8" 2547.17 30" 2547.3 18" 2547.4 8"&24" 2547.7 6" 2548.47 12" 2548.6 12" 2548.7 18"&8" 2548.9 12" 2549.1 12" 2549.2 8" 2449.7 18"&2-6" 2549.8 24" 2550.5 12" 2551.62 12"&8" 2551.7 2-24" 2551.8 2-12" 2552.0 2-12" 2552.69 8" 2552.8 24" 2553.1 8"&24" 2553.2 30"&6" 2553.62 36" 2553.79 2-8" 2554.0 18" 2554.6 12" 2554.7 18" 2555.0 12" 2556.0 12" 2556.7 36" 2556.86 12" 2557.7 24" 2562.6 36"&30" 2563.4 30" 2563.6 36" 2565.11 10-8"&1-18"(avalanche)&bridge broken 2569.22 36" 2573.89 12" 2574.6 12" 2574.7 12" 2598.19 2-12"&18" 2598.9 24"

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