A Blistered Pegleg, Dead Animals + Wanderers Peak 5/27 & 6/1

Discussions and Trip Reports for off-trail adventures and rediscovering lost trails
raven
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Re: A Blistered Pegleg, Dead Animals + Wanderers Peak 5/27 &

Post by raven » July 3rd, 2013, 10:42 pm

The confusing aspect is that while all three skeletons were out long enough to be picked clean, there was no sign that the picking had been done by rodents or that the skeletons had been wet. The defleshing looks more like a job done by ants or beetles. Also the disarticulated bones, legs for example, were apparently not on site.

It seems to me as though the bones had been kept somewhere where they were protected from gnawing and water while being defleshed, with the spinal columns dumped shortly before the photos were taken. I'm baffled to come up with a reasonable story explaining how and why those bones arrived where they did in the states they did. To me the pictures cry out for a mystery writer's attention.

scrambler2
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Re: A Blistered Pegleg, Dead Animals + Wanderers Peak 5/27 &

Post by scrambler2 » July 4th, 2013, 1:20 pm

raven wrote:The defleshing looks more like a job done by ants or beetles.
It's usually flies.
raven wrote:Also the disarticulated bones, legs for example, were apparently not on site.
Those are often drug off. Very common to see leg bones by themselves.
raven wrote:It seems to me as though the bones had been kept somewhere where they were protected from gnawing and water while being defleshed..

The outer surface of bone made up of white fibrous connective tissue rich in toughest proteins, collagen (you know always white in colour) is called the periosteum. This coating prevents the weatherization that you are expecting to see.
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raven
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Re: A Blistered Pegleg, Dead Animals + Wanderers Peak 5/27 &

Post by raven » July 4th, 2013, 3:33 pm

Leg bones, yes. Big and hard for little guys to get their teeth around; usually crunched if dragged off by something large. Not white after even a short while on the wet side of the Cascades (in my experience). The leg bones were missing in this case, as though the animals were butchered, since the spines were not disarticulated.

If flies, effectively maggots, were the cause of defleshing while laying out in on the wet side of the cascades in the early spring, I would expect to see signs that small animals had worried the spine, with the flies taking the remaining flesh. There are no such signs.

Every bone has a periosteum; moss and mold develop on them anyway in wet climates, although not in dry climates. You seem to be thinking about steer skulls lying among sage brush -- bones too big for little mouths remaining white after years in the weather of the dry side of the Cascades.

A mystery still.

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backcountryhunter
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Re: A Blistered Pegleg, Dead Animals + Wanderers Peak 5/27 &

Post by backcountryhunter » July 5th, 2013, 4:00 pm

My guess is the canine is someones dog that was dumped. The top back of the skull doesn't look quite like a coyote. And it's a little big. (I have one hanging on the wall at home as a reference)

The elk carcasses where butchered. On one I can see where someone took a meat saw and cut off the rib bones. They are pretty evenly cut. So they were put out already mostly clean. Beetles, crows, ravens, coyotes will clean the rest of the meat even in the wet spring and winter and in pretty short order.

scrambler2
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Re: A Blistered Pegleg, Dead Animals + Wanderers Peak 5/27 &

Post by scrambler2 » July 13th, 2013, 1:35 pm

raven wrote: You seem to be thinking about steer skulls lying among sage brush -- bones too big for little mouths remaining white after years in the weather of the dry side of the Cascades.
Nope, I'm thinking of the elk skeletons I found on Mt St Helens. Winter kill is common up there due to over population. I'm also thinking of the 4 point deer skeleton I found on Mt Hood that had an arrow with it. Apparently a bow hunter was unable to track down his kill. There were obvious signs that these skeletons were fresh and I am not going to discuss the gruesome details.

I collected the skulls and took them home. They were pearly white when I found them, just like in the photos. They were found in forest cover on the wet side. It took at least a year for the moss and mold to grow. My observations were made first hand.

Sidenote - These skulls in the photos don't even look like either deer or elk. They are not tapered towards the nose. They seem to lack the long row of molars like the skulls I have here. Hard to tell from the pictures though.
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Hangtime
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Re: A Blistered Pegleg, Dead Animals + Wanderers Peak 5/27 & 6/1

Post by Hangtime » May 30th, 2018, 2:15 pm

Hey Brian! This is an old post but did you ever make it back into the Hugh Creek drainage for the falls? I went up there this weekend and found a pretty sweet gorge and a relatively small waterfall. I attached a pic of the small waterfall, can you see it? There are some other drops in the gorge but I didn't get any pics and didn't have much time to wander around or drop a rope. Pretty steep in places and a fall would be costly.

I did a quick search to see if I could find any other pictures of it and I couldn't find any. I checked out some others in the area as well!
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Hugh Creek Falls

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BrianEdwards
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Re: A Blistered Pegleg, Dead Animals + Wanderers Peak 5/27 & 6/1

Post by BrianEdwards » May 30th, 2018, 4:20 pm

Nice find! I never did find a falls on Hugh, the gorge along the paved road is pretty sweet. I’d like to hike that gorge from top to bottom just to get it checked off the list.

All we know is the forest service states there’s a barrier waterfall on Hugh Creek. The drop you found certainly qualifies as a barrier
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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