Lewis River and Quartz Creek

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drm
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Lewis River and Quartz Creek

Post by drm » July 9th, 2018, 6:28 pm

The Lewis River trail is about 15 miles long and continues to the Quartz Creek trail, which goes another 9 or 10 miles, and then deadends into the Boundary Trail on the Dark Divide. This really provides a lot of potential miles of hiking, including some lollipop loops towards the end. The two trails are both in deep old growth with huge trees but are otherwise quite different. The Lewis River Trail is pretty flat along the river and gets a lot of visitors (and mtn bikers) while the Quartz Creek trail has extremes of up and down and is usually far above Quartz Creek. I took 4 days but only went a little ways up Quqrtz Creek on this trip so longer and harder trips are possible.

The full report is at http://www.deanmyerson.org/lewis-quartz-2018 but here are a few choices

Lower Falls at dusk
Image

Canopied trail near Middle Falls
Image

Straight Creek
Image

Surprising blueberries at Snagtooth Creek
Image

Big trees in Quartz Creek - reminds me of the Olympics
Image

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bobcat
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Re: Lewis River and Quartz Creek

Post by bobcat » July 12th, 2018, 8:01 am

Love those big trees at Quartz Creek! I remember when I had to climb over those things . . .

Your first photo of Lower Falls is poster quality, probably the best I've seen of those falls.

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jeffstatt
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Re: Lewis River and Quartz Creek

Post by jeffstatt » July 12th, 2018, 9:57 am

Great idea leaning the pole up against that downed tree. Never done Quartz Creek. I'll need to look that one up. Thanks for the trip report!

JustSomeHiker
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Re: Lewis River and Quartz Creek

Post by JustSomeHiker » July 12th, 2018, 6:25 pm

I hiked that a couple weeks ago with some friends. We were all debating whether or not those were actually blueberries- so it's nice to find confirmation to finally settle that dispute!

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drm
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Re: Lewis River and Quartz Creek

Post by drm » July 13th, 2018, 7:04 am

Not sure I'm your best expert there. I call them blueberries when they are blue, huckleberries when they are black or dark red. The issue of when a huckleberry and when a blueberry is very contentious in huckleberry country, and not exactly settled in science either. Telling somebody selling huckleberries that they actually have blueberries is a very risky proposition - to be avoided.

Regarding the photo of the falls, lighting - and hence time of day, is critical. You pretty much want no sunlight in the area of view, so getting there about 8pm like I did, is perfect. Just ambient light.

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bobcat
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Re: Lewis River and Quartz Creek

Post by bobcat » July 13th, 2018, 1:00 pm

Scientifically, there isn't much difference between a wild "blueberry" vs. a "huckleberry" vs. a "cranberry" etc.: They're all in the genus Vaccinium. Dean is correct - the common names seem to relate to coloring. These are our local species:

V. membranaceum: black berries "black huckleberry"
V. ovatum: black berries, coastal "evergreen huckleberry"
V. parvifolium: red berries, shrub "red huckleberry"
V. scoparium: tiny red berries, low shrub "grouseberry"
V. oxycoccos: red berries, small plant in mats, bogs "swamp cranberry"
V. uliginosum: blue berries, low shrub, bogs "bog blueberry"
V. ovalifolium: blue berries, forest shrub "oval-leaf blueberry" - the ones in Dean's photo
V. myrtillus: tiny blue/black berries, subalpine "low blueberry"
V. deliciosum: blue berries, low shrub, subalpine "Cascade blueberry"
V. cespitosum: blue berries, low shrub, alpine "dwarf blueberry"

Most of these have multiple common names, which is why common names are a poor plant identifier; some of the blueberries are also called huckleberries; the small ones above, whatever their color, are sometimes called whortleberries, etc.

JustSomeHiker
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Re: Lewis River and Quartz Creek

Post by JustSomeHiker » July 13th, 2018, 2:56 pm

bobcat wrote:
July 13th, 2018, 1:00 pm
Scientifically, there isn't much difference between a wild "blueberry" vs. a "huckleberry" vs. a "cranberry" etc.: They're all in the genus Vaccinium.
Good to know, I appreciate the info! Now as long as we can all agree they are edible, I really don't care what we call them :D

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drm
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Re: Lewis River and Quartz Creek

Post by drm » July 15th, 2018, 1:27 pm

Yes, the edible ones are edible, not the other ones. :P

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bobcat
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Re: Lewis River and Quartz Creek

Post by bobcat » July 15th, 2018, 2:38 pm

Ah, but edible as in relief of starvation or edible as in gustatory delight? I could probably write a paragraph on each of these exploring the gustatory differences. Suffice to say, almost everyone agrees that V. membranaceum is the most delicious and easy to harvest (lots of berries on a bush, knee to waist high bushes). V. ovalifolium is also easy to harvest in those respects but quite tart sometimes. I find V. uliginosum (common in Indian Heaven) slightly medicinal in taste and, as they tend to ripen late, they get caught by early frosts and can be very mealy in texture. Some of these are simply not worth the effort because they're so small or have only a handful of berries per plant. O.K., I'll stop there.

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Re: Lewis River and Quartz Creek

Post by Webfoot » July 17th, 2018, 10:03 am

bobcat wrote:
July 15th, 2018, 2:38 pm
O.K., I'll stop there.
Please don't. That's the kind of information I was hoping to solicit when I asked. What is a good place for a first-timer to gather V. membranaceum this year?

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