Please don't be like this guy

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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OneSpeed
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Please don't be like this guy

Post by OneSpeed » October 24th, 2020, 1:49 pm

I'm sure people on here wouldn't be like this, but I just wanted to share this story.

As a guidebook author, I occasionally hear from people who use the book and/or want to let me know about something that's changed. This is one I got this week:
I wanted to update you on the status of one of the trails listed in the preface of the 6th edition of 60 Hikes within 60 miles of Portland: the Trapper Creek Wilderness hike. I went out this past Sunday, 10/18, and to my disappointment, the trail had been closed with a notice that it would remain as such for the next 12 months, until September 30th, 2021. The notice gave no reason for the closure, so I assumed trail maintenance and went to scout it for myself. I found your description of the hike to be quite accurate, in that the variation was easy to strenuous; however, the particularly strenuous portions are a result of the fires that have burned the area in the middle 5 miles of the hike, to include the area surrounding the peak. I spotted two fallen trees still ablaze, the path obscured in several places and challengingly obstructed in others, and bridges turned impassable in the center of the creek. Furthermore, the fallen pine needles obscured a muddy, washed out track that was, in part, composed of inch cubed wood charcoal, which makes footing unstable at best and downright dangerous at worst.

I apologize for the lengthy message, but if you come into contact with those who would take this trail, please let them know that it is closed, and, for the more incautious, genuinely dangerous.
I just wrote back to say I am glad he's okay and I hope others who see the "trail closed" sign exercise more common sense and discretion.

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retired jerry
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Re: Please don't be like this guy

Post by retired jerry » October 24th, 2020, 2:19 pm

I wonder if that was serious, who would walk on a trail through a forest fire, even one that was mostly out

That's a good sign that when the fire is out, the trail will be hikeable again. After they survey and open it.

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Waffle Stomper
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Re: Please don't be like this guy

Post by Waffle Stomper » October 24th, 2020, 2:22 pm

Sigh, it makes me sad that so much common sense has been lost on so many.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

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Chip Down
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Re: Please don't be like this guy

Post by Chip Down » October 24th, 2020, 5:04 pm

I thought for sure he was going to gripe that your trail description is no longer valid. :lol:

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OneSpeed
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Re: Please don't be like this guy

Post by OneSpeed » October 24th, 2020, 6:55 pm

Chip Down wrote:
October 24th, 2020, 5:04 pm
I thought for sure he was going to gripe that your trail description is no longer valid. :lol:
That occurred to me, as well! But then I thought that "Your book is out of date because the trail is closed" would actually have been better than what he actually said.

squidvicious
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Re: Please don't be like this guy

Post by squidvicious » October 25th, 2020, 6:44 am

Wait, there's been fires in the area? You'd think somebody would have said something.

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OneSpeed
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Re: Please don't be like this guy

Post by OneSpeed » October 25th, 2020, 7:19 am

squidvicious wrote:
October 25th, 2020, 6:44 am
Wait, there's been fires in the area? You'd think somebody would have said something.
Yeah, or at least put up a sign or something. Go figure.

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Charley
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Re: Please don't be like this guy

Post by Charley » October 25th, 2020, 11:30 am

Required disclaimer: I might totally be wrong but this did occur to me...

Was the guy just joking? Spamming you for fun? I mean, it *is* kinda funny. Or, at least, it's funny to someone who is not responsible for updating a hiking guide.

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Re: Please don't be like this guy

Post by squidvicious » October 25th, 2020, 11:33 am

In all seriousness, I think it would be very reasonable to forward this email to the forest service with a note that you found it alarming, and something they might want to follow up on with the guy.

Now I'm curious exactly how it is posted. The fact that he quoted the specific date of September 30, 2021 makes me think they've posted the actual forest order, which is pretty clear that it's really, really closed, and you're looking at fines and charges for entering. But considering from his own story he encountered trees on fire and kept going, his claim that he assumed it must just be some kind of minor maintenance thing and it would be fine doesn't exactly hold up.
Charley wrote:
October 25th, 2020, 11:30 am
Was the guy just joking? Spamming you for fun?
He makes some pretty specific notes about conditions, doesn't read as a joke to me. I read it as "I ignored the signs as most people would, because Freedom, and here's what I found. Please provide the info to all the people who will surely follow in my footsteps."

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OneSpeed
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Re: Please don't be like this guy

Post by OneSpeed » October 26th, 2020, 9:30 am

Charley wrote:
October 25th, 2020, 11:30 am
Required disclaimer: I might totally be wrong but this did occur to me...

Was the guy just joking? Spamming you for fun? I mean, it *is* kinda funny. Or, at least, it's funny to someone who is not responsible for updating a hiking guide.
Certainly possible, but it seems a lot of energy to troll or entertain oneself. Sadly, more likely he really did walk past "Trail Closed" signs.

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