Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

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aircooled
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Re: Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

Post by aircooled » December 6th, 2018, 8:15 am

The maps of the Basin Road are technically more correct than people realize. Multnomah Basin Road climbs uphill from Multnomah Creek, crosses the Larch Mountain Trail and then turns left and continues uphill. At the top of this hill the current road takes a sharp right. At this point the road today is not where it is supposed to be.

The Basin Road used to continue in a more northerly direction towards the Highwater Trail. It then turned right and dropped down to cross a small stream and continued on in the general direction of the Cougar Rock Trail. It then turned slightly right and crossed a second small stream, then ran past an old pioneer homestead. I believe this is the route maps still show.

There is still an unnamed trail here and primitive bridges cross both streams.

The trail eventually meets up with the Basin Road as we know it today.

This section of the road from the top of the hill to where the unnamed trail meets the road was created in the 1970s by the Trails Club of Oregon. I suspect it was done because the bridges over the two streams, which the club maintained, kept rotting out and required constant maintenance. They were rebuilt several times since the club acquired the Nesika property in 1915 from Evelyn Nicolai. The Forest Service is aware of this and has pointed out "you know you have a private road on public land" but there doesn't appear to be any push to move the road back to the original location.

The green line in the map below is my GSP track of the current road.
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basinroad.png

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aiwetir
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Re: Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

Post by aiwetir » December 6th, 2018, 8:56 pm

Peabody wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 4:34 am
What is the url for this website?
It's Strava's Heatmap
https://www.strava.com/heatmap

You'll need to login to zoom in due to that military base snafu. It used to load into OSM for editing and you can get it to I think, but it's a hack.
- Michael

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Re: Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

Post by Lurch » December 7th, 2018, 11:43 am

aircooled wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 8:15 am
The maps of the Basin Road are technically more correct than people realize. Multnomah Basin Road climbs uphill from Multnomah Creek, crosses the Larch Mountain Trail and then turns left and continues uphill. At the top of this hill the current road takes a sharp right. At this point the road today is not where it is supposed to be.
True, however the road has been on that route for well over 20 years. There's lots of trails that don't follow their original route, or were never in the location they are on the map.. I'm just saying that maps aren't gospel, especially in terms of manmade objects. They're snapshots in time that get carried over from revision to revision, and they're slow and painful beasts to get updated.
aircooled wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 10:28 am
As for the "deliberate" effort to keep people out, I say "it appears". I base that on the fact that there are very few logs placed on Smith Road where it runs steeply uphill from Palmer Mill. Almost none at first. (It's likely this was not considered a fire break.) As you approach the hard right turn at the top of the cut, the logs begin - almost exactly where a small user trail leads up from Palmer Mill. Once on the level, the logs are placed so closed that if they were any closer, you could walk on top of them. They extend from one side of the road to the other, leaving no path at all on either side. Not even 12 inches. It's hard to tell if the road was widened here or if the completeness of the coverage is because everything grew in around it. A year has passed and stuff grows quickly.
My guess would be that there weren't many trees dropped along the lower road, that was mostly small brush and brambles anyways (I've always called it the 'airplane rd' as a result of a crash we did a rescue at 15+ years ago up there), and if they did they were probably removed to a lower landing deck early on to make way for the road, while the ones above were probably stacked on the green side temporarily.

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arlohike
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Re: Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

Post by arlohike » December 8th, 2018, 10:25 pm

Those photos are from the southwestern corner of Foxglove, straight south to Smith Road and then southeast to Palmer Mill Road, right? I was actually planning to do that tomorrow, so I'm glad I checked here and got a heads-up. I guess I'll still go up and take a look, but probably won't bother trekking through all that if this is the same route you did. I used to make a big loop around Devil's Rest from that route and then east on Palmer Mill to Multnomah Basin Road. I hear Multnomah Basin Road is fine, but the area is less appealing without a loop option.

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arlohike
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Re: Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

Post by arlohike » December 9th, 2018, 2:21 pm

I went up today as planned and took a look. Indeed, at the junction where Foxglove turns southeast toward Devil's Rest, the old road going straight south has been covered in trees and branches. I continued up Foxglove and took the Devil's Rest trail to the connector trail with Multnomah Basin Road, thinking I'd go to Palmer Mill Road from there and go a little way in each direction to see what that was like. But there were fresh tire tracks in the snow on Multnomah Basin Road, which means Palmer Mill is still clear east to Larch Mountain Road, that being the only way to get a vehicle there as far as I know.

When I got close to the Palmer Mill junction, I saw that the old forest road that comes out near there was also covered. This is the road grade that goes east/west and connects just south of the Foxglove junction I passed earlier. Then when I reached the junction, an excavator was sitting there, next to a dirt and stone barricade that had been built across Palmer Mill heading west. The road beyond the barricade was thoroughly torn up and covered with trees and branches.

This doesn't seem like a fire control project. In that case, I think you'd want to keep these lanes clear, not fill them with flammable material. And a cut wouldn't have been needed in that bit that parallels Multnomah Basin Road. This seems more like a project to finally obliterate these roads and let them go back to nature. If there's an ecological goal, I appreciate that, but it's bittersweet to have some of my favorite routes reopened after the fire, only to find that others have been deliberately wiped out.

Oh well ... I've seen the bullet car and the old truck cab, have poked around the gravel pit and walked the entire length of Palmer Mill, and was happy to have one more weird adventure in this area.
IMG_8081.jpg
Looking south from Foxglove.
IMG_8086.jpg
Okay, you convinced me not to proceed.
IMG_8111.jpg
The east-west road bed off Multnomah Basin Road.
IMG_8112.jpg
Seems like fresh cuts.
IMG_8113.jpg
Basin Road for context.
IMG_8115.jpg
I didn't expect to find this!
IMG_8116.jpg
Whatcha been building?
IMG_8118.jpg
Looking over the barrier.

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aiwetir
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Re: Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

Post by aiwetir » December 10th, 2018, 5:32 pm

Peabody wrote:
December 6th, 2018, 4:34 am
What is the url for this website?
You wouldn't happen to be putting that on OSM, would you? I'm totally unfamiliar with that area which is why I never did it, it seems all sketchy with roads/trails. I did the rest of the Gorge though.
- Michael

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romann
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Re: Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

Post by romann » December 12th, 2018, 1:39 am

arlohike wrote:
December 8th, 2018, 10:25 pm
Those photos are from the southwestern corner of Foxglove, straight south to Smith Road and then southeast to Palmer Mill Road, right?
My route was something like this - I'm not exactly sure which one is Smith Rd? I didn't get close to Foxglove trail or Devil's Rest. Planned a longer hike, but walking around logs took a lot of time.. I think the reason they didn't decommission that little stretch of Palmer Mill is, it's private land east of Scenic boundary (I need to double-check), with access to more private land across Bridal Veil Creek.
Untitled-1.jpg
arlohike wrote:
December 9th, 2018, 2:21 pm
At the junction where Foxglove turns southeast toward Devil's Rest, the old road going straight south has been covered in trees and branches.
Thanks for confirming this - I was wondering about it. Well, now will be the time for following some flags on XC routes, which will become new trails in a few years. I don't think everyone will just stop going there.

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arlohike
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Re: Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

Post by arlohike » December 12th, 2018, 8:25 am

Thanks for the map. At the tip of your first arrow, that path to the left, was that covered? That was such a faint path at the start, although it then opened wider as you followed it.

And then that last section before you rejoined with Palmer Mill Road, where you shortcutted straight down to the road, was that also covered? As above, that was so faint before.

One reason I liked this area is that it was a nice mental challenge to find some of the paths. I never got lost, or left the path for more than a few yards, but I enjoyed the sense of heightened awareness required to stay on them.

Anyway, that whole area that you highlighted that isn't Palmer Mill is what I've been calling Smith Road, but I don't know if that's correct. I wish I had a name for the road that goes north from there, next to the "24" on your map.

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romann
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Re: Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

Post by romann » December 12th, 2018, 10:15 am

arlohike wrote:
December 12th, 2018, 8:25 am
At the tip of your first arrow, that path to the left, was that covered?
If this trail followed road bed to the left, at the tip of first arrow, it's been covered real well. The trail/road I took to the right, it was more hikeable. I don't seem to have a photo of that junction.

However, approx. at the middle of first arrow - there's an area of evergreen trees in the midst of alder - there was a trail to the left (west) that survived destruction. It was good at first, but it quickly got very faint, so I didn't follow it without GPS. There was some flagging at the start.
DSC_5430.JPG
arlohike wrote:
December 12th, 2018, 8:25 am
Anyway, that whole area that you highlighted that isn't Palmer Mill is what I've been calling Smith Road, but I don't know if that's correct.
Maybe you are right? I just saw it in online discussions, but my maps don't have the name for the stretch above from Brower Rd junction. Google Maps has it as Palmer Mill, but their backcountry maps aren't always accurate.

EDIT - missed your other question
arlohike wrote:
December 12th, 2018, 8:25 am
And then that last section before you rejoined with Palmer Mill Road, where you shortcutted straight down to the road, was that also covered? As above, that was so faint before.
That little shortcut trail near Palmer/Brower junction is clear, they left it in place. Sorry I didn't catch that first time I read, because I started up this trail ;)

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arlohike
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Re: Bridal Veil Plateau is different now

Post by arlohike » December 12th, 2018, 5:45 pm

romann wrote:
December 12th, 2018, 10:15 am
That little shortcut trail near Palmer/Brower junction is clear, they left it in place. Sorry I didn't catch that first time I read, because I started up this trail ;)
Right, actually I was asking about the part where you came back down to Palmer Mill (according to your arrows). That section was always so faint, especially toward the bottom, that I wondered if it was worked on or just left alone. Looking back at your original post, it sounds like it was covered like the rest. Thanks for the info!

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