Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
burnside
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Re: Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

Post by burnside » May 11th, 2020, 2:48 pm

Bosterson wrote:
May 11th, 2020, 1:30 pm
There are plenty of other places that are still open - for instance, all state forest lands. Washington just opened up DNR land last week as well.
Like you said though, the Gorge trails are closed to all use no matter if it's DNR land. And those areas open outside the Gorge that are open are only for day use so that limits how long I can be on the trail given the longer distances to drive there and back home.

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drm
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Re: Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

Post by drm » May 11th, 2020, 6:13 pm

burnside wrote:
May 11th, 2020, 2:48 pm
And those areas open outside the Gorge that are open are only for day use
That isn't so. Aside from the Gorge Scenic Area and some others, which is totally closed, other areas: national forests, BLM, some national parks, are open for backpacking - if you can avoid closed areas getting there. And of course they don't want you traveling long distances to get there.

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Guy
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Re: Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

Post by Guy » May 12th, 2020, 4:26 pm

Two weeks ago (after checking with the zigzag ranger station first) we hiked to Ramona Falls from the Old Maid Flats closed gate. When we arrived at 8:00am we were the third car at the gate. We did not see anyone for the first 10 miles! We crossed paths with about 20 people on the last 2 road miles back to the gate.

Last Sunday we decided to do Burnt Lake from the gate (14.5 miles) we arrived at 7:00 and almost the entire road from the Lolo Pass Rd junction to the gate was lined with cars & people who were (not very) dispersed camping it was just nuts!! The trails though were empty we saw only 5 people the whole day 1 in the morning hiking out and 4 in the final road mile.

My solution would be to open camp grounds now to take the pressure off dispersed camping, BUT limit them to only one car per site. That would prevent large groups from gathering in campgrounds. It should be easy to enforce if they are paid sites.

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justpeachy
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Re: Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

Post by justpeachy » May 12th, 2020, 7:03 pm

Great photo, Guy!

That area has always been crowded for dispersed camping, and I'm not surprised to hear it's crowded now. I think part of the reason that designated campgrounds are closed is to protect the health and safety of the workers who have to clean the bathrooms, empty the dumpsters, etc. But I bet the forest in that dispersed camping area is scattered with human waste, TP, food waste, and garbage, so that's not good either. Of course, people still disperse camp there even when the campgrounds are open.

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Guy
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Re: Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

Post by Guy » May 12th, 2020, 8:25 pm

justpeachy wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 7:03 pm
Great photo, Guy!

That area has always been crowded for dispersed camping, and I'm not surprised to hear it's crowded now. I think part of the reason that designated campgrounds are closed is to protect the health and safety of the workers who have to clean the bathrooms, empty the dumpsters, etc. But I bet the forest in that dispersed camping area is scattered with human waste, TP, food waste, and garbage, so that's not good either. Of course, people still disperse camp there even when the campgrounds are open.
While I agree there is some risk to opening campgrounds it's doesn't seem overly risky certainly no more than all the folks working in stores, driving buses working in Hospitals & care home or countless other jobs as in Agriculture like me. Cleaning bathrooms can be limited to simply spraying down with disinfectant etc. Personally I wouldn't go and stay in one buy at least for me shutting down the National Forest further is not an option I'll go along with.
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gallione11
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Re: Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

Post by gallione11 » May 12th, 2020, 8:34 pm

Guy wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 4:26 pm
Two weeks ago (after checking with the zigzag ranger station first) we hiked to Ramona Falls from the Old Maid Flats closed gate. When we arrived at 8:00am we were the third car at the gate. We did not see anyone for the first 10 miles! We crossed paths with about 20 people on the last 2 road miles back to the gate.

Last Sunday we decided to do Burnt Lake from the gate (14.5 miles) we arrived at 7:00 and almost the entire road from the Lolo Pass Rd junction to the gate was lined with cars & people who were (not very) dispersed camping it was just nuts!! The trails though were empty we saw only 5 people the whole day 1 in the morning hiking out and 4 in the final road mile.

My solution would be to open camp grounds now to take the pressure off dispersed camping, BUT limit them to only one car per site. That would prevent large groups from gathering in campgrounds. It should be easy to enforce if they are paid sites.

Image
That would be very nice. Unfortunately, the state parks expanded their closure through June 8 today cancelling two more of my planned trips this spring (up to 3 so far). We have booked two backups for the first weekend in June but if they end up cancelled, we're going to disperse camp somewhere instead.

We parked at the gate on Friday early, and took the Sandy River Trail up to the Ramona Falls trailhead. I couldn't talk my girlfriend into doing more than 8 miles (she is currently working as essential retail full time), so we stopped and had lunch in the open area just past the Sandy River crossing. We saw 9 other people on the trail the whole time and 0 on the last 2+ miles. I think some people are just taking the road up from the gate even though there's a perfectly good trail 0.5 miles in. A lot more cars parked there when we left, but it seemed like several were just hitting the river.

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retired jerry
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Re: Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

Post by retired jerry » May 13th, 2020, 5:42 am

The Sandy Ranger station said it was okay to day hike to Ramona Falls? What about overnight?

Campgrounds with outhouses seem like a problem. You can't disinfect after each use. Maybe use hand sanitizer after use on your hands. Don't touch your face while you're using it.

Maybe it would just be easier to make cathole. Obviously that wouldn't work in developed campgrounds.

The biggest problem is the humans will mindlessly congregate into crowds as a response to any action or communication by the government. At least that's what's happened so far. Except "stay at home" seemed to work.

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Guy
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Re: Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

Post by Guy » May 13th, 2020, 7:56 am

retired jerry wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 5:42 am
The Sandy Ranger station said it was okay to day hike to Ramona Falls? What about overnight?
Well what he actually told me was I would not be violating any Forest Service regulations and he did also confirm that the MHNF trails were open for use, backpacking & dispersed camping are also allowed if not in developed areas.
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retired jerry
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Re: Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

Post by retired jerry » May 13th, 2020, 9:05 am

ahhh... that's what it says on all Oregon National Forests that I've looked at

overnight not recommended to conform to governor Brown's stay at home order but not prohibited

whatever people do, don't congregate in crowds because then they'll impose enforced prohibitions

especially as the stay at home starts getting eased

I think governor Brown did amazingly well with her shutdown orders. Oregon has avoided large number of deaths. If you look at deaths per million population, only 5 states are better than us. But I think we had more risk because of proximity to Washington and California, our high tech industry associating with China and other countries.

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Guy
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Re: Confused - What is Open or Allowed during Covid Quarantine?

Post by Guy » May 13th, 2020, 9:17 am

retired jerry wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 9:05 am
I think governor Brown did amazingly well with her shutdown orders. Oregon has avoided large number of deaths. If you look at deaths per million population, only 5 states are better than us. But I think we had more risk because of proximity to Washington and California, our high tech industry associating with China and other countries.
Yes I'll give her credit for an early shutdown & also having a list of what must close rather than a list of what can stay open. Oregon has been able to keep hospitalizations & deaths low while still keeping a lot of people working. Not such good marks for Oregon on testing but that finally seems to be getting better. Some good luck in not having early infections like WA & CA also helped!

Agree don't congregate, There is plenty of space out there use it!
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