Cape Horn and the closed viewpoint - 5/19/2013

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justpeachy
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Cape Horn and the closed viewpoint - 5/19/2013

Post by justpeachy » May 27th, 2013, 5:19 pm

Before heading to the Portland Hiker's Meet N Deet two weekends ago Greg and I did part of the Cape Horn trail. This is one of my favorite spring hikes!

We checked out the pedestrian underpass, which is the first time we'd seen it since it was completed.

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I really adore this hike in spring. The forest is just so insanely green and lush. And we hit the peak of the larkspur bloom this year. Hooray!

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Some of the larkspur had leaves that looked yellowish. It's like how leaves look in the fall. Very weird. I've never seen this in May before.

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We saw SEVEN snails!

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We passed a section where the trail had been slightly re-routed. It seems like every time we come here there's a new section of trail that's been re-routed.

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When we neared the Pioneer Point viewpoint we discovered that the trail was covered with brush.

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Here's what it looks like from the other side. There were signs indicating that it was private property and also that it was for sale.

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Later we found this thread from Ryan Ojerio.
The backstory here is that the parcel of land was being considered for purchase and subsequent addition to the Forest Service. It now appears that the land will not be purchased so the owners are taking precautions to protect themselves from liability.

Very uncool. The land is for sale, so I don't understand why the Forest Service isn't purchasing it. Also, why were hikers allowed to hike on this private section all these years, but now all the sudden they can't? I guess I'm ignorant about the intricacies of buying land, but why would anyone buy this parcel of land when it's surrounded on all sides by public land?

At least there is still the very nice Nancy Russell overlook further along the trail.

We didn't want to be TOO late to the Meet N Deet at Wahkeena Falls and it was already 11:00 so we satisfied ourselves with a view at one of the other nearby viewpoints and then headed back.

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Cape Horn and the closed viewpoint - 5/19/2013

Post by Eric Peterson » May 27th, 2013, 5:46 pm

Very uncool indeed and glad I got to hike that VP before it was officially closed...

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kepPNW
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Re: Cape Horn and the closed viewpoint - 5/19/2013

Post by kepPNW » May 27th, 2013, 5:53 pm

justpeachy wrote:Very uncool. The land is for sale, so I don't understand why the Forest Service isn't purchasing it.
Absolutely unconscionable! :o Someone's playing games?
justpeachy wrote:We saw SEVEN snails!
That one photo'd had an exquisite shell! Very nice. :)
Karl
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MarsIsCobra
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Re: Cape Horn and the closed viewpoint - 5/19/2013

Post by MarsIsCobra » May 27th, 2013, 6:40 pm

I hiked Cape Horn a dozen times last summer. Loved it every time. This is sad...

beag
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Re: Cape Horn and the closed viewpoint - 5/19/2013

Post by beag » May 27th, 2013, 8:49 pm

A lot of what they are doing at Cape Horn don't make sense. They are closing numerous view points. The section that is closed on top has been open for more than 100 years. The old wagon road used to pass close to VP so I imagine the VP would have been a resting area back then. I hope WTA did not put the brush on the trail because I'm betting that FOG will be able to work out a deal sometime in the near future and be able to open the trail again. The owner could not put the brush on the trail because it is landlocked so I guess WTA did. As far as I know that small section is part of the Quarry down below and the owner wants to sell everything. The Quarry owner never stopped people from hiking up there the last 20 years. Also I think The Powers that be want to remove all traces of the original trail on which at least 10,000
people have hiked safely the last ten years. Thus the removal great View Points.

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Splintercat
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Re: Cape Horn and the closed viewpoint - 5/19/2013

Post by Splintercat » May 27th, 2013, 9:02 pm

Very uncool. The land is for sale, so I don't understand why the Forest Service isn't purchasing it.
Seems as if the owner is attempting to improve his price in an eventual sale to the USFS (or one of the land trusts). Normally, the best plan is to wait people like this out, unless there's a very real possibility that they'll log or develop the land. The Gorge Act puts a lot more limits on that sort of outcome than most places, though. Interesting...
Also, why were hikers allowed to hike on this private section all these years, but now all the sudden they can't?
I don't know the details of this viewpoint, but U.S. law is very clear on this point: if the public has historically used a trail crossing private property to reach a public destination, then a public right-to-travel exists. The cases leading to this legal precedent involve private land owners attempting to close public beach access trails that cross private land. But in this case, if the viewpoint is also on private land, the owner would be within his rights.

Tom

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