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Chip Down
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Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm


Post by Chip Down » September 12th, 2021, 8:43 pm

This was an unusual day for me, all-bike-no-hike. I'm posting a TR because my route might be of interest to those who are curious about old semi-mapped roads, and an abandoned trail I never found.

My original plan was to search for the old Cascade Crest trail from Augspurger to Triangle Pass.

I started near Wind Mountain, where the powerlines cross Berge Rd just south of Berge Cemetery["cemetary" on google maps] Rd, and rode up to the North Augspurger TH, where a different set of powerlines crest at Augspurger's north ridge. From there, rather than following the powerlines east, I struck off on a road that drops NE into forest. This was the only road in the area which I hadn't explored, so I figured it was my best chance of finding my trail. I soon met an aggressive decommissioned zone and no-trespassing signs.

Back to the Aug N ridge and down the powerlines, took a faint road north to a tee junction, met what I believed was the decommissioned road, went uphill to confirm. Funny that I was now in the forbidden zone, but accomplished this w/o passing a sign. Having confirmed my location, I started down the road, as was my original plan before the detour, and immediately saw a sign that said I can't continue because of extreme fire risk. So yeah, the sign only conveys information to those who ignored the earlier no-trespassing sign. Strange that it was posted there, but not at access points. It looked brand-spanking new, not a leftover from a previous summer.

At this point, the signage was crazy illogical. I could travel only two directions on the road, and both were forbidden. I shrugged it off and continued down the road until the terrain flattened at a tee junction with a north/south road. I heard logging to the south, past the powerlines, so turned north along a clearcut to a pleasant surprise: I had seen what I thought was the continuation of my road through the logging zone, but nope, that was a spur. My road soon entered a pleasant shady duffy road that was a pleasure to ride on.

Soon, my road dropped, and although I dreaded the return trip up, curiosity won out. Down, down, down, past a faint junction, across a little creek, through a fun decommissioned zone (rollercoaster) which suggested I was probably nearing another junction. I was half right: I came to a wider smoother road, which ascended, and then to a major gravel road (drivable with Civic). I suspected this had to be Lost Creek Rd 68, and turned uphill, believing it would take me to Triangle Pass. I was correct.

Traffic was heavy on Rd 68, so as soon as I had enough phone signal to verify my location (almost at Triangle Pass), I turned back.

On my way back to Augspurger, I took the faint junction mentioned above, and followed it to its dead end. Lovely road! Very old, but almost free of blowdown and brush. Even on a bike, it was almost ideal. Not too steep (463' elev, 1.7mi). I kept hoping the map was wrong, and that it went somewhere, but I know the roads around here pretty well, so knew there wasn't much chance I'd find an outlet. Best I could hope for was that it might cross the gasline clearing that goes up to Augspuger. But no, my road started getting brushy, and then ended.

Nothing to report after that, I just retraced my route back to Wind Mtn, but with a variant that ended with a paved descent on Berge Road. Saw a bunch of turkeys on the way. That's always fun.

Maps of this area are terrible, but in different ways. You probably won't find two maps that agree on much of anything, and you probably won't find a map that corresponds to reality. It doesn't help that this is an hodgepodge of gorge, nat forest, and stimson* lumber. As an example, below I've posted google and openstreet maps of the same zone. Signage corresponds to the openstreet map; the spur from Lost Creek Rd is marked 580, as is the faint deadend. The road that continues up to the Aug powerlines is numbered 2700 on the ground. So, if google is to be believed, Blue Ox Logging Road is actually more like a route designation than a formal road name, as the road number changes along the way. Hey, what will google tell me if I search for "Blue Ox Logging Road"? Drat, essentially nothing. Maybe in a day or two it will bring up this TR.

I never saw another one of those you-can't-play-here-because-of-fire-risk signs. There's no way somebody tore them all down to feign ignorance, but it's also hard to imagine Stimson* posted just one in an obscure place. Hmm.

Never found the trail I was looking for, but wasn't looking all that hard. The road exploring was fun enough.

* edit: I just noticed the fire closure doesn't show Stimson. Maybe it's Stevenson land.
just two trenches, that's all it takes
typical of the signs in this area
missedopportunity.jpg was 9/11. I should have taken an appropriate beer, something with a NYC theme.

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Re: Babe

Post by BigBear » September 13th, 2021, 7:57 pm

That'll do, Chip, that'll do.

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