Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

Post by Don Nelsen » June 18th, 2018, 9:34 am

Chip Down wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 5:22 pm
Nice report, Don.
I hadn't even thought about that pipeline. Good job investigating and reporting. I'd glad to have seen it, but I never got all the way up to the dam, so a little bummed that I'll never see the rest of it.

Frustrating to see this report today though. I want to get up there and check things out, but it's alpine season, and the mountains are calling. I'll save the Toasted Trail Tour for a cloudy day, since poor visibility won't matter. In fact, fog will only enhance the eerie scenery.
Chip, thanks for the note and the compliment. "Toasted Trail Tour" I like that!! :D

The dam is pretty much gone, washed out from years of seasonal high water and the occasional minor flood. Not much to see but you can see where it was and see the big pile of gravel that settled in behind it before it disappeared. Here are a few photos I took of a trip following the pipeline to the dam. This was in Jan. 2010:

http://www.fototime.com/users/donnelsen ... x%20012310
Last edited by Don Nelsen on June 19th, 2018, 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

Post by Don Nelsen » June 18th, 2018, 9:39 am

kepPNW wrote:
June 17th, 2018, 4:52 am
Yikes! Nick Eaton is looking even worse than I feared. Looks quite similar in intensity to where the inferno licked the edge of the plateau at Camp Smokey. Almost included your ridge in my loop the same day, and kind of glad I just came down Herman instead. Much slower going, it appears. Guessing the upper junction with Gorton Creek trail was unburnt and easily spotted? Loved that Monkeyflower Falls near the end!
Karl, yes, the upper junction with Gorton Creek Trail is unburnt. Even the ground fire didn't get that far. Also, the trail that connects Nick Eaton to Deadwood Camp, though burned and unsigned is easily spotted.

I didn't know the name of that falls: Monkeyflower. Nice, I will remember that. thanks!

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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sprengers4jc
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Re: Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

Post by sprengers4jc » June 18th, 2018, 1:14 pm

Really nice to run into you out there, Don! After you passed us and woodswalker and left us in your dust, I am guessing you were probably long gone by the time we saw the bear on the powerline road less than a mile from the TH.
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drm
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Re: Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

Post by drm » June 18th, 2018, 7:31 pm

That's great! Looks like a young one.

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Sean Thomas
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Re: Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

Post by Sean Thomas » June 18th, 2018, 8:53 pm

You're something else DN! I'll be in the area in the next few days and following in some of your footsteps. Thanks for all the info :)

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Re: Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

Post by pcg » June 18th, 2018, 9:07 pm

Don Nelsen wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 9:21 am
drm wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 6:57 am
retired jerry wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 5:15 am
Eagle Creek and Tanner Butte trails - that should be more interesting
Eagle Creek trail was built ages ago by a guy who knew nothing of maintainable trail routing. I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually reopen just the upper section of Eagle Creek so that access to Tunnel Falls is only from Wahtum Lake. It's just hard to imagine maintaining the lower miles of that trail without a decent groundcover to hold stuff in place above it. We've talked a lot about Forest Service nervousness about liability. Imagine if those cables were damaged and there is constant gravel piles sifting down onto the trail in those exposed areas.
I hope that doesn't happen Dean. The EC is the signature trail of the gorge and to lose that first 6 miles would be terrible. Rocks etc. are falling all the time over steep gorge trails and it's the price paid to enjoy such scenic wonders. There are risks involved in everything we do and to try to eliminate all risk is a futile exercize.
Seeing as how this is NF I don't see how they could close a trail indefinitely, regardless of condition. It's our land after all, and there are much more hazardous places to be in NF than the trails that are currently damaged and closed in the Gorge. We always have been, and should always be free to venture wherever we like w/o consideration of someone's judgement of how hazardous something might be. I'm OK for closing something to prevent damage to environmentally sensitive areas, or while logging or mining activities are taking place, but it shouldn't be the responsibility or the duty of the USFS to otherwise prevent us from taking responsibility for our own safety and exploring where we please.
Last edited by pcg on June 18th, 2018, 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

Post by pablo » June 18th, 2018, 9:32 pm

Thanks, Don, for the report, nice photos and narrative. I've really missed Nick Eaton/Gorton Creek - it has been my goto exercise hike. Too bad about Casey Creek Trail, I hope it can be recovered eventually. I guess the 3152 point is off limits - from what I saw yesterday looks like we may get a better view from there eventually. Views are the silver lining in all this destruction although it will be a while before all those dead trees come down.

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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sprengers4jc
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Re: Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

Post by sprengers4jc » June 18th, 2018, 10:00 pm

drm wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 7:31 pm
That's great! Looks like a young one.
Thanks, Dean! It was definitely a fun sighting. :) I think all of the animals have enjoyed the absence of hikers during the past 9 months.
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drm
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Re: Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

Post by drm » June 19th, 2018, 6:10 am

pcg wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 9:07 pm
Don Nelsen wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 9:21 am
drm wrote:
June 16th, 2018, 6:57 am


Eagle Creek trail was built ages ago by a guy who knew nothing of maintainable trail routing. I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually reopen just the upper section of Eagle Creek so that access to Tunnel Falls is only from Wahtum Lake. It's just hard to imagine maintaining the lower miles of that trail without a decent groundcover to hold stuff in place above it. We've talked a lot about Forest Service nervousness about liability. Imagine if those cables were damaged and there is constant gravel piles sifting down onto the trail in those exposed areas.
I hope that doesn't happen Dean. The EC is the signature trail of the gorge and to lose that first 6 miles would be terrible. Rocks etc. are falling all the time over steep gorge trails and it's the price paid to enjoy such scenic wonders. There are risks involved in everything we do and to try to eliminate all risk is a futile exercize.
Seeing as how this is NF I don't see how they could close a trail indefinitely, regardless of condition. It's our land after all, and there are much more hazardous places to be in NF than the trails that are currently damaged and closed in the Gorge. We always have been, and should always be free to venture wherever we like w/o consideration of someone's judgement of how hazardous something might be. I'm OK for closing something to prevent damage to environmentally sensitive areas, or while logging or mining activities are taking place, but it shouldn't be the responsibility or the duty of the USFS to otherwise prevent us from taking responsibility for our own safety and exploring where we please.
Well, we don't know how it compares with the other risks we face because we haven't seen it, have we? I could easily imagine gravel slides 50-100 yards wide that completely cover the trail in places where it is a 100 foot dropoff, leaving 70 degree slopes of loose scree above exposed cliffs. Many of them actually. I've seen maps since the fire indicating many denuded drainages extending many hundreds of feet up at very high risk for landslide. And as soon as you clear that gravel, more follows it. Maybe this is extreme and there is nothing like that, but do any of us know? The unique nature of how and where this trail was built means that the risks might be unique too. It would be a terrible loss as the lower Eagle Ck is often rated one of the best hikes in the entire US. But lets remember that the Big Island in Hawaii has recently lost some fabulous hiking and coastal terrain due to a volcano. Nature happens, even when triggered by us. Given the openings of trails east of Eagle Creek, it seems to me that openings are progressing decently. The fears we had that the entire Oregon side would stay closed for years were in the end unfounded. If my worst fears end up happening I expect the decision would be fully documented.

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Re: Indian Point, Nick Eaton, Casey Creek 061518

Post by pcg » June 19th, 2018, 6:53 am

I agree with you that some of the trails could be very dangerous, so dangerous that it would be foolish for anyone to venture onto them. Perhaps they should be abandoned and gated and signed as extremely dangerous (though that, in itself, might tempt some), but no one should be prevented from venturing on what remains of them if they choose. My point is that the USFS shouldn't be in the business of babysitting folks on public land.

For example, they have not closed the higher elevations of Yocum Ridge. Very few have traversed this in winter and anyone that attempted it in the summer would be extremely foolish. That's an obvious example of a well-known landmark, but there are countless examples of other areas to be found throughout our region, that are hazardous to venture on as well, such as Indian Point and Cougar Rock. What about all the technical climbs? Will the USFS prevent Alex Honnold from free-soloing St. Peter's Dome? Ever climb through the window at Rock of Ages? I wouldn't, but none of these are closed, and rightly so. That's my point.

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