Article on the Skyline Road and Trail

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pablo
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Article on the Skyline Road and Trail

Post by pablo » January 17th, 2013, 8:39 pm

Robert Koscik, a frequent poster on Trail Advocates, has put together a nice article on the Skyline Road and Trail at the following link:

http://greencascadia.blogspot.com/2013/ ... -july.html

Well researched using the archives of the Oregonian and plenty of field work.

Good stuff.

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

raven
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Re: Article on the Skyline Road and Trail

Post by raven » January 18th, 2013, 12:00 am

Interesting stuff. I am wondering about the triple blaze, apparently dot-dash-dot. I've followed a few sections of the skyline, mainly in the 3 Sisters, and do not remember ever seeing a distinct triple blaze.

payslee

Re: Article on the Skyline Road and Trail

Post by payslee » January 18th, 2013, 8:55 am

Thanks for sharing this one! Hadn't run across his blog before and on a frosty morning like this one it was nice to imagine warm summer wanderings.

So was the trail, like the road seems to have been, designed to get from end-to-end by the easiest travel route without necessarily seeking out views or lakes? Even hikers like their drama... I've had more than one friend at Trapper Creek ask "What's the big deal?". That could have contributed to the neglect over time.

But a super-impressive undertaking, and cool to read about.

-payslee

RobFromRedland
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Re: Article on the Skyline Road and Trail

Post by RobFromRedland » January 19th, 2013, 8:49 am

raven wrote:Interesting stuff. I am wondering about the triple blaze, apparently dot-dash-dot. I've followed a few sections of the skyline, mainly in the 3 Sisters, and do not remember ever seeing a distinct triple blaze.
While I do not claim to know a lot about the Skyline trail, one thing I do know - many sections were re-routed (sometimes multiple times) to move the trail out of logging areas, or to move it to "less valuable" land. It could be those triple blazes were from the original route. The original route is supposed to be the most scenic one, but who knows how much has changed in 100 years.

I've explored a bit of that area too, after being pointed in the right direction by a few others. It is a very interesting area, with tons of history.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

raven
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Re: Article on the Skyline Road and Trail

Post by raven » January 19th, 2013, 2:24 pm

Have any references associating the triple blaze with the Skyline Trail? I should probably ask Koscik, but I might as well share the reasons for my curiosity.

Way and trail blazes differed back then or earlier, or so I have been told. Way blazes were dashes over dots. Ways were the way to get somewhere in a hurry, for example, when fire fighting. Occasionally following abandoned routes, particularly ones that went to lookouts, way marks are found -- I've seen some. Trail blazes were dots over dashes. Trails were better routed and suitable for pack stock. When ways were converted to trails the blazes had to be converted from dash over dot to dot over dash. I've seen a few blazes that seemed to be conversions. And I've seen abandoned routes where existing blazes were obliterated.

Obliteration: As I understand the blaze making process, the original standard blazes were made by first making horizontal saw cuts and then chipping out the bark between the cuts with axe strokes. Ideally 2 saw cuts and 2 axe strokes per mark by experienced personnel, whether dot or dash. Obliteration only had to blur the process by taking out some bark between the dots and dashes.

Makes me wonder about provenance of the dot over dash over dot triple blaze, considering that routes were remarked to form the Skyline Trail. That's why I want to see something trustworthy describing the unique blazes.
Last edited by raven on January 21st, 2013, 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RobFromRedland
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Re: Article on the Skyline Road and Trail

Post by RobFromRedland » January 19th, 2013, 6:06 pm

I have no info associating the triple blaze with the Skyline trail, but I have seen the Forest Service Trail Handbook from 1935 and it only shows the dot over dash blaze in it:

http://www.trailadvocate.org/wp-content ... ndbook.pdf

I've always heard way trails referred to as "administrative" trails - many times they were not on maps - if they were they were represented as smaller dotted trails - "regular" trails were represented as dashed lines.

I've love to see any info you have about old blazing standards.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

raven
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Article on the Skyline Road and Trail

Post by raven » January 19th, 2013, 8:00 pm

Sorry I can't help much. My information is mainly codger-derived -- a codger who has been deceased for quite a while. I saw dash-over-dot blazes on the Hardesty Mountain Way, iirc, and discussed them with him. He pointed out (again, iirc) some converted blazes in another area. And it was he who described the fairly logical construction of blazes saying that the blaze pattern seemed to be standard across all of Region Ten, although he could not say anything about other regions.

The apparent original reason for the standard very carefully crafted blazes was to prevent personnel from following ad hoc axe blaze lines left instead of bread crumbs. I believe marking back trails was an established practice into at least the 1930's and it may have continued to be an accepted practice until hatchets stopped being standard backpacking tools. I've seen a couple of those lines, and even in poor light the sharp top and bottom lines and the deep cuts of the official blazes stand out from a blaze made by simple swipe with an axe.

justpeachy
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Re: Article on the Skyline Road and Trail

Post by justpeachy » January 20th, 2013, 3:13 pm

Interesting stuff! Thanks for sharing this link.

Here's a photo of an unidentified man standing in front of the Lemiti Ranger Station in 1934. The sign above the door says "Lemiti Ranger Station Elevation ???? feet" (can't quite make out the numbers, although the elevation there would be about 4,260 feet).

Image

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