Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

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Chase
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Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

Post by Chase » September 11th, 2017, 9:45 am

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Beacon and beyond from Aldrich
Here's a smattering of pics from our trip. We went Bonneville to PCT to Heartbreak to Table Summit to NW Ridge to PCT to Aldrich. I'll add more later, but, hey, you are bored at work or retired and you want to see some pictures of the damage from the fires, right?
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From lower elevations this is what Munra looked like.
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A ridge in the Tanner drainage, a mile or more south of the Columbia (difficult to tell).
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Campfires near Gillette...the ash didn't look much more than a week old.
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Another fire ring. Why bother to pack out trash?
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Nesmith.
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Kep at the summit.
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Eagle Creek
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Helicopter
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Big surprise when Bosterson arrived at the top.
Attachments
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Summit view.

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Chase
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Re: Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

Post by Chase » September 11th, 2017, 12:11 pm

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Some of these pics were taken later in the day from Aldrich.
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We saw more vultures than we had ever seen before.
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Bosterson kept finding burnt organic matter that turned to ash when you poked it with a trekking pole. Here's Kep with a leaf that stayed together. Imagine the thousands of burning bits that flew over the Gorge in the fire's early days. Kind of amazing that there weren't more fires in WA.

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drm
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Re: Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

Post by drm » September 11th, 2017, 12:52 pm

Kind of amazing that there weren't more fires in WA.
My guess is that for stuff like leaves, they had cooled down by the time they made it across the river and landed, so couldn't start any fires. I would think that if it's going to fly for a mile, it's got to be an ember of wood to keep the heat for long enough. And I don't think it was so windy to keep a decent sized ember aloft for that far, whereas when being blown west it didn't have to get that far to land on something that would burn.

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kepPNW
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Re: Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

Post by kepPNW » September 11th, 2017, 3:38 pm

Hey, thanks for kicking this off, Chase! Just had a wonderful day out there, yesterday! Guess I could toss a few more photos this way. :)
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    One thing that has startled me since the fires began is the great number of raptors (especially vultures) constantly circling overhead.
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    Munra looking like toast. (Later shots show lots of green still there, though.)
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    Gillette Lake, lovely as ever.
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    News helicopter doing a Nesmith fly-by. We didn't see a single aircraft involved in suppression all day long.
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    Massive controlled burn (we could only presume) on south side of Cascade Locks.
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    Skeletal tree remains on ridge up Moffett drainage.
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    Another look at controlled burn from Two Chiefs overlook.
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    Little smokers were along nearly all ridges from Angels Rest eastward. This is probably near Ruckel.
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    Best view of the day! No evidence, whatsoever, of either East Crater or Bear Creek fires!
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    Not a pleasant sight. We really felt for those folks down in Cascade Locks.
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    Nearly 180° of burned area, still smoking... Just staggering.
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    Look who showed up! Call this the "Reverse Lewis & Clark" pose?
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    Contrast stretched to highlight all the little smokers along the ridge east of Nesmith.
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    So nasty!
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    We could see Wind and Dog on arrival, but they were quickly enveloped with smoke as we watched.
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    The buzzards were out in force, my friends!
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    "Nice birdy! Hey birdy-birdy-birdy! Smile!"
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    A face only a mother could love?
drm wrote:
Kind of amazing that there weren't more fires in WA.
My guess is that for stuff like leaves, they had cooled down by the time they made it across the river and landed, so couldn't start any fires. I would think that if it's going to fly for a mile, it's got to be an ember of wood to keep the heat for long enough. And I don't think it was so windy to keep a decent sized ember aloft for that far, whereas when being blown west it didn't have to get that far to land on something that would burn.
We were finding things other than leaves, too. Large chunks of burnt bark and such.
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    This chunk was easily 4x as large before I picked it up and it fell apart.
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    Can't see into the valleys, but view better than from the road argues in favor of the "mosaic" characterization.
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    Slightly less crispy view of Munra, again arguing "mosaic" is what we have. For now.
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    Ruckel Ridge area. More mosaic.
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    Snagging a shot of Mount Adams from Aldrich Butte.
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    Wauna Viewpoint
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    My last, and favorite, shot of the day epitomizes the intense love/hate feelings I have for all this mess!

Such a day... Surreal. Tragic. Beautiful. Certainly memorable!
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K.Wagner
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Re: Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

Post by K.Wagner » September 11th, 2017, 4:43 pm

Great reports from both of you .... I am just now coming to grips with the losses out there.

In regards to the buzzards ..... I did the NW ridge of Table a few weeks past, in the later afternoon. Going up there were 3 birds in that snag. Coming down, there were, as I recall, 13 or 14 birds. I joked with the birds that whoever sent out the tweet (or was it a squawk?) that there was going to be a Luau at dusk, got it wrong!
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Don Nelsen
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Re: Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

Post by Don Nelsen » September 11th, 2017, 4:49 pm

Thanks for the photos! Hoping for all the smoke to clear so we can get some views farther up the drainages. For now, looks like the WA side will be the go to hiking area for some time!

dn
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Chip Down
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Re: Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

Post by Chip Down » September 11th, 2017, 6:34 pm

Hmm, interesting. Especially intrigued by kepPNW's ambivalence. Yes, there is some enigmatic beauty and excitement to all this. And from a purely selfish standpoint, I like this, while also empathizing with the hardship it's causing. I'd be out there too, but I assume sr14 is a zoo, and I'm currently obsessed with hood.

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Bosterson
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Re: Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

Post by Bosterson » September 11th, 2017, 7:01 pm

I'm a little late to this party, and my dinky little old camera can't really pull off what the others got, but here are some pics.

Gorge seen around noon-thirty as I started up from a "closed" trailhead.

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Photogenic buzzards.

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On the NW ridge of Table, taking a picture of Chase taking a picture of aforementioned photogenic buzzards.

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Dusky light around 6pm or so from Aldrich Butte, looking west.

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Munra is the little nubbin straight across. Poor thing is fried. Seems ironic to have been worrying about hordes "damaging" the moss all this time...

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It shouldn't have been surprising, but it really was astonishing to see how barren much of the Gorge is. (The face of Nesmith especially is going to be a sore sight for the eyes - I think even St. Peter's Dome burned.) And to see how much active fire is still happening out there... let us all pray for rain.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

Post by Don Nelsen » September 11th, 2017, 7:30 pm

Chip Down wrote:Hmm, interesting. Especially intrigued by kepPNW's ambivalence. Yes, there is some enigmatic beauty and excitement to all this. And from a purely selfish standpoint, I like this, while also empathizing with the hardship it's causing. I'd be out there too, but I assume sr14 is a zoo, and I'm currently obsessed with hood.
I've driven SR14 nearly every day for the past week and it's not too bad. Busy, but moves along just fine.

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Eagle Creek Fires from Table with Kep and Bos 9/10/17

Post by Eric Peterson » September 12th, 2017, 4:57 am

Encouraging, looks like lots of green on the front.

Hopefully a patchwork of mosaic up the gullies/ridges where we can't see much yet.

Yeah, we can stop worrying about the lichen on Munra for awhile.

I think WADOT has restricted SR14 to cars and light trucks only until 84 opens.

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