Kind of a...ceramic donut, wired to a tree

The purpose of this forum is to help people identify things they've seen while out hiking: wildflowers, trees, birds, insects, small animals, animal tracks, even geographical features like buttes or streams
Post Reply
User avatar
snow_sketches
Posts: 10
Joined: July 3rd, 2021, 6:28 pm
Contact:

Kind of a...ceramic donut, wired to a tree

Post by snow_sketches » November 14th, 2021, 9:25 pm

I encountered this minor curiosity in the Three Sisters Wilderness yesterday, on the Foley Ridge trail, on my return from Substitute Point:
unnamed-15.jpg
...Part of the reason this piqued my interest is that I didn't see anything else in the area to which it might obviously be related (although a little earlier on, I encountered a similar ceramic fragment, resting on a fallen tree). In case it's not already obvious, this was in a burn area (one of the Horse Creek Complex fires, I believe, back in 2017). Any ideas?

User avatar
lordgares
Posts: 41
Joined: February 1st, 2021, 8:14 am
Location: The Dalles

Re: Kind of a...ceramic donut, wired to a tree

Post by lordgares » November 14th, 2021, 9:57 pm

That is an insulator. Sometimes you see those on trees as they were used to run phone lines from lookouts. You can read about them below.

http://www.bedore.org/PhoneHistory.html

User avatar
snow_sketches
Posts: 10
Joined: July 3rd, 2021, 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Kind of a...ceramic donut, wired to a tree

Post by snow_sketches » November 14th, 2021, 10:24 pm

Wow, alright! There used to be a lookout on Substitute Point, so this makes sense. I actually imagined roughly this explanation as a possibility, but dismissed it as too weird to be likely :) Thanks for the helpful answer!

User avatar
Waffle Stomper
Posts: 3665
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Kind of a...ceramic donut, wired to a tree

Post by Waffle Stomper » November 15th, 2021, 3:17 pm

You can fine these on many trails in the area.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 2799
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Kind of a...ceramic donut, wired to a tree

Post by Chip Down » November 17th, 2021, 6:17 pm

Waffle Stomper wrote:
November 15th, 2021, 3:17 pm
You can find these on many trails in the area.
And even offtrail, I'd wager ;)

User avatar
Waffle Stomper
Posts: 3665
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Kind of a...ceramic donut, wired to a tree

Post by Waffle Stomper » November 22nd, 2021, 7:06 pm

Chip Down wrote:
November 17th, 2021, 6:17 pm
Waffle Stomper wrote:
November 15th, 2021, 3:17 pm
You can find these on many trails in the area.
And even offtrail, I'd wager ;)
No doubt. :D
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

User avatar
Don Nelsen
Posts: 4086
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: Kind of a...ceramic donut, wired to a tree

Post by Don Nelsen » November 22nd, 2021, 8:00 pm

Those insulators are everywhere but usually higher up on an older tree so you may not spot them so easily. Here's one only 6/10th of a mile up the Grassy Knoll trail: (TR later) (Pic taken on a hike last July)
IMG_2819.JPG
dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

User avatar
BigBear
Posts: 1731
Joined: October 1st, 2009, 11:54 am

Re: Kind of a...ceramic donut, wired to a tree

Post by BigBear » November 25th, 2021, 3:28 pm

On the Grassy Knoll trail, a couple of them were even on trees lying on the ground...but may have been removed. Along the Banks-Vernonia linear trail there used to be a side trail with a sign mentioning the old insulator with wooden dowel attachment...it disappeared some time ago. Lot's of souvenir hounds out there.

My favorite souvenir to hound: an old Montag stove from a now 110-yhear old section of railroad. I want that ole relic for my backyard flowerbed...but alas, its cast iron and at least a mile off the road. It would be rather heavy and I didn't want it that bad.

The other relic was an old Cascade Crest Trail marker I found in Goat Rocks when I went on one of my very private privy breaks. It was still bolted to the post and I didn't have thee tools necessary to detach the part I wanted. I figure the USFS would care because they tossed it well-off trail and some distance from the junction it once marked.

Happy hunting.

RobFromRedland
Posts: 1046
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Kind of a...ceramic donut, wired to a tree

Post by RobFromRedland » November 26th, 2021, 7:41 am

If you are curious to know which trails these were on, look at a map from the 30's or 40's and look for the dots on either side of the trail - this indicated a phone line followed the trail. See below for an example - the trail up to Salmon Mountain and to the Salmon Guard station along the river. This snippet is from the 1938 Mt Hood map.
OldPhoneLines.jpg
If you know where to look they are ALL OVER the place.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

Post Reply