* edited! * Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

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Crusak
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* edited! * Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

Post by Crusak » April 28th, 2013, 4:31 pm

*** EDIT ****
Thanks to Karl for helping this first page load a lot faster! Here you go, enjoy.
************

Friday night I found myself doing what many of us from this forum do - figuring out where to hike on Saturday. :) I sent out a couple of "feelers" to see what other people were doing. Karl had an interesting idea - since he'd never hiked up Kings Mountain before, why not do that? To make it interesting he/we decided to make a loop out of it. Further texting between EP, Mayhem and others resulted in this loop: hiking to the summit of Kings, down the back side and around to Elk Creek. Down the Elk Creek Trail, and back on the Wilson River Trail. That is one loop I've never done before (in that order at least).

DISCLAIMERS: FIRST, most of these pics were taken by Mayhem and KepNW. A few by me. Also, I ended up doing the TR because I was the slowest one to say "not it!" when the task was being discussed. hehe so if you're expecting a seriously boring description of the hike... I'm not capable of such. ;)

Finally tally had four of us meeting at a very non-loony 7:30am at the Kings TH. Locked 'n' loaded we hit the trail. :D But not before getting in a group picture.

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EP was a bundle of energy as usual, and spent a considerable amount of time dashing ahead, lingering behind, and taking lots of pictures & video. In fact, I'd estimate our total pictures taken to be more than 400! Fortunately I'm not uploading that many...

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Headed up Kings Mtn there is one thing you quickly recognize: you're going up. And up.

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We reached the top in blisteringly fast time. Unfortunately we didn't clock our ascent time exactly, but we estimated that we hit the summit in about 1 hour 10 minutes or so (guys - correct me if I'm wrong on that time haha). It was my fastest time up Kings, and Karl's first ever hike to the summit. Victory shot by the summit box:

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Views from the top:

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We shot down the backside and quickly hit the first of several spots with downed trees. Eric quickly sprang into action, using his super powers to move the logs. Before Crusak could say "not it!" he had them cleared. :lol:

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I'd never been down the back side of Kings - only up it. But I knew that it'd be a bit scary-dicey-hairy-crazy in spots. And it was. Which was what we were looking for.

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I have no idea why they guy on the right is frowning. I guarantee all four of us were having the time of our lives! :)

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At one point Eric ran on ahead. We soon found out why - the video man was looking for a new angle. He definitely found it! :o

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We hit the three way junction and took a short break. EP planned to leave the group and go up/over/down Elk Mountain. The three remaining TFFs were gonna go down Elk Creek.

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We quickly found out about the snow levels at the top end of the Elk Creek Trail. Karl found out that it was knee deep in places... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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We hit the next junction after hiking at a leisurely pace that we'd maintain for the rest of the way down and around.

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Several trees down along the upper end of Elk Creek - big ones! But we could see evidence of the work that Sean Thomas had done along the way. Nice job, Sean!

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More shots from the Elk Creek Trail:

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The three TFFs at the WRT junction, near the Elk Creek Campground:

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We passed the Elk Mtn junction:

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Snake! This little guy nearly went unnoticed.

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Crossing the creek - the bridge is out, so the trail has been rerouted over to this huge log. It works well.

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The sinkhole area:

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Ants busy at work on a very large anthill:

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The famous "Little Stonehenge" - we discovered a trail leading up the hill behind this spot. No, we aren't going to tell you what we found up there... :shock: :shock: :shock:

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Home stretch!

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And parting shot back at the trailhead. Super fun day of hiking! It was about 12.5 miles and 3800' EG on our loop. EP plans to share his adventure after we parted ways in a follow-up reply after this...

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Fun day guys! The weather was perfect, as was the company. Great workout in the best scenery around.

gpsfly upload: http://gpsfly.org/a/2348


And here's a screenshot of our loop:
Kings-Elk Crk-WRT loop.jpg
Last edited by Crusak on April 30th, 2013, 4:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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kepPNW
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Re: Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

Post by kepPNW » April 28th, 2013, 5:34 pm

Wow, what a great day, indeed! I always wondered what kept drawing you guys back there, and now I know. That's just an incredibly beautiful part of the state. So glad we got that thrown together!

Not sure how much I can add. Great trip report you threw together, Jim! Although, it seems we need to mention our collective exclamation on top...
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:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Well, William Clark was wrong, too, fwiw. He was still 30+ miles upriver when he uttered those (in)famous words!
Someone's in pretty good company there. ;)



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Seriously, the views were outstanding. I'll be back!


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And both the Elk Creek trail, ...


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... and the Wilson River trail were just beautiful.


We beat out that incoming front, with perfect timing, too. Although the shots of the Cascades were a bit hazy.

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A little contrast stretchy, and the lenticulars bouncing past Hood sorta stand out...


Finally, my inner cartographer can't let me get away without offering these! :)

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Right-Click, and select View Image to see full-sized map.


http://gpsfly.org/gps_map.php?gps_id=2347&w=645&h=440


Thanks for giving me the Coast Range tour, guys! Looking forward to whatever videos may be forthcoming. :)


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That's a wrap!

Wilson River Trail through hike, next? :D
Karl
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MarsIsCobra
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Re: Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

Post by MarsIsCobra » April 28th, 2013, 5:57 pm

nice TR guys. Great pics.

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

Post by Eric Peterson » April 28th, 2013, 5:59 pm


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MarsIsCobra
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Re: Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

Post by MarsIsCobra » April 28th, 2013, 6:12 pm

who's got the popcorn?

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kepPNW
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Re: Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

Post by kepPNW » April 28th, 2013, 6:19 pm

Got some at the Banks Thriftway, on the way home. Plenty to share...
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Re: Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

Post by mayhem » April 28th, 2013, 6:22 pm

After watching trailer I think I need to cut out popcorn too :)
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kepPNW
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Re: Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

Post by kepPNW » April 28th, 2013, 6:29 pm

Yeah, somehow I managed to gain 2 pounds on that hike! Heh... Hmm... Huh...? :?

Hey, I just remembered, we were wondering what the heck kind of trees these were! Well, I was. You and Crus seemed pretty sure. Probably my turn to admit just how wrong I was...

Anyone care to offer a positive ID?

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The ones with very white bark. Not widespread. Mostly along Elk Creek, and near another low swampy area.


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Close-up of the bark and leaves.


Thanks!
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Crusak
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Re: Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

Post by Crusak » April 28th, 2013, 6:56 pm

A quirky video of the anthill that caught our fancy, near Little Stonehenge! (music compliments of youtube's available audio enhancements)

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Sean Thomas
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Re: Kings-Elk Creek-WRT loop with TFFs 04/27/13

Post by Sean Thomas » April 28th, 2013, 7:27 pm

Awesome hike guys :) It looks like there is still a good load of work up on Elk Creek but many of those logs are too big or hazardous for me. Nice zoom pics of Hood from everyone as well. The one of mayhem climbing up the rope is a classic!


I think the trees are red alders that have developed lichens on the bark, "The bark of Red Alder is smooth, light gray, but turns white with age. It is very common to find the trunk covered with lichens"


from this website:


http://www.pnwplants.wsu.edu/PlantDispl ... lantID=292

and this, "Red alder’s outer bark is relatively plain brown or grayish brown, however, as the tree ages, it develops a mosaic-like pattern of white and grey blotches. These crusty blotches are not the tree bark itself but lichens"


from here:


http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/olympia/silv/o ... ion10.html

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