Forum Index > Trip Reports > Jordan lakes 01 sept 2019 and McClellan Butte 02 sept 2019
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kitya
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 1:56 pm 
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Because I'm too lazy to write two reports and McClellan Butte doesn't really need much info anyway.

My colleagues from China are visiting and they are not experienced hikers, so I wanted to take them to some easy place and Jordan Lakes was on my radar for a long time. I also hoped Jordan Lakes might not be too busy, despite holiday weekend. I was wrong.

Illabot creek road is surprisingly really well maintained and mostly smooth, but at 20 miles it is still a long and slow drive. Trailhead (end of the road) is a mess. There were maybe a dozen cars parking literally on top of each other and blocking most of the road. It also seems to be a local trash dump and some cars parked directly on top of trash. There were also many people eating and drinking beer right in the parking lot amid all the trash anyway. Not the best first impression I hoped for team America.


Anyway. Road walk was not to bad and actually mostly pleasant after that. Crux of the trip is finding the trailhead, which obviously doesn't want to be found. Switchbacks.com map has the trail way off, not even close.

It was funny showing the trailhead to my Chinese friends.
- We go there!
- There? Seriously?
- Yes
- Wow. I see. Every time I was to a mountain before there were stairs.

The trail is faint, but mostly flat and very well flagged to the first lake. There were quite a few people camping and fishing around the first lake. Many campsites looked more like permanent/homeless camps and definitely not too LNT, with fires going and musing blasting. Thankfully sounds do not travel far through forest though. People who start campfires fish and hunt should be banned from the forest permanently.

However from lower to upper the trail is a bit more confusing and I lost it making a mistake of crossing Jordan creek. From there own I just bushwacked steep slopes straight up (Cookie set on my head for that part to avoid tangling in the bushes). Once we finally got from the bushes to the shore of upper Jordan lake, there was a couple of naked people 'swimming' (more like toe-dipping) at the lake. They were not amused to see me and Cookie. Sorry!

On the other hand bushwacking was actually fun and it was liberating to finally be free from looking for the next tape all the time.

There are many edible mushrooms and lots of berries. Autumn colors are not yet popping, but blueberries already turn reddish, either due to autumn or just dryness. Second lake is prettier and generally more peaceful.


After that long day I was not in the mood for a long drive the next day, so I decided to spice it up and go to remote and exotic location, such as I-90 west corridor (I usually avoid it like a plague, so I have never been to McClellan Butte). Maybe, if everyone is going to far camping spots for the long weekend, I-90 would actually be less crowded?

It kind of worked well. I used cheater trailhead and there was no single other car there. There were several people hanging around summit block, but not super busy and the weather was pleasant and not to hot.

The scramble to the top is actually very easy, just like stairs and easily done by a dog, at least in dry conditions.

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Bootpathguy
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 3:39 pm 
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kitya wrote:
People who start campfires fish and hunt should be banned from the forest permanently.

Always enjoy your trip reports, but, that comment is somewhat insulting. Fires are permitted in lots of places and fishing & hunting are completely legal.


kitya wrote:

Although, those people ^ who start campfires fires, fish & hunt should be banned

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kitya
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 3:50 pm 
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Bootpathguy - you certainly don't have to agree with me, and I also obviously don't have any power to actually ban anyone. But laws are not written by ancient gods in stone, they are decisions made by people and just because something is legal it doesn't mean I should enjoy it or agree with it. Instead I can use my little voice to advocate for banning such activities.

I obviously do not like trash and I do not like campfires, but for these I can at least sometimes reverse some of the effects like collecting the trash and taking it out, which I often try to do. But hunting and fishing is murder of innocent wild animals and I cannot revert that ever. It also seems to me very not LNT, in fact I cannot imagine something more non LNT than taking a life.
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Doppelganger
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 7:37 am 
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Kitya, what time did you guys get to the Illabot TH? It looks like it was still dusk/dark, were they partiers or more permanent residents of the area? Permacampers getting surprisingly close to NCNP if that's the case, not just a problem at High Point anymore?
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MtnGoat
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 9:42 am 
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You're certainly taking the correct steps to reduce support for wilderness if your rules will be applied within them with respect to banning hunting and fishing.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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kitya
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 9:56 am 
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Doppelganger wrote:
Kitya, what time did you guys get to the Illabot TH? It looks like it was still dusk/dark, were they partiers or more permanent residents of the area? Permacampers getting surprisingly close to NCNP if that's the case, not just a problem at High Point anymore?

No, we arrived around 10:30 am, and I think people drinking beer were just having a party and not camping at the trailhead. I also don't think they are responsible for the trash, my guess is that the trash was there from before. I took the photo with the flashlight on the way back, which was at dusk, so that I could take some of the trash and pack it out, this is why it looks like the photo is dark.
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kitya
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 10:09 am 
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MtnGoat wrote:
You're certainly taking the correct steps to reduce support for wilderness if your rules will be applied within them with respect to banning hunting and fishing.

NRA propaganda.

While it is true that legal hunters do pay taxes and also provide some economic value to the wilderness and wild animals, this doesn't mean at all that this is the only possible economic value of wilderness or even the most effective. There are far more recreational uses of wilderness than hunting and angling and far more people who are not hunters, but willing to spend money and support wilderness and wild animals. Hunters drove bison to extinction, but national parks don't allow hunting and now millions of people come every year spending far more money than handful of hunters to Yellowstone NP to enjoy seeing the bison. There is a lot more for the value of living deer, wolf or bear and ecotourism is a growing industry, while hunting is not.

But money aside, moral question is far more important. Saying hunting is a tool for conservation is like saying cannibalism is good for healthcare.
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cascadetraverser
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 12:09 pm 
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Nice post; always wanted to go there. Too bad about the trash. I have to take exception re your take on all hunting and fishing. I know many people who hunt animals, fish and gather to sustain their families.  Native American culture preceding the European conquest lived far more leave no trace than today`s present culture and their subsistance living primarily revolved around respectful hunting.  Being a vegetarian is a good thing; good on you...likely good for the planet as well. Careful on judging all those who don`t share your viewpoint, though, on hunting and fishing.
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 12:20 pm 
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That's a fun area to explore.  You would probably find me skinny dipping too (and fishing).
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Doppelganger
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 1:33 pm 
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cascadetraverser wrote:
Native American culture preceding the European conquest lived far more leave no trace than today`s present culture and their subsistance living primarily revolved around respectful hunting.

If this comparison is to be drawn, one must also spend some time considering the myriad differences in supply, demand, available methods, the list of variables is long. I agree that any adversarial approach to usage would be destructive and probably only serve to solidify the viewpoints people already hold. I should think this through more often when I feel "inspired" to reply to other topics here.
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kitya
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 1:36 pm 
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cascadetraverser wrote:
Native American culture preceding the European conquest lived far more leave no trace than today`s present culture and their subsistance living primarily revolved around respectful hunting.  Being a vegetarian is a good thing; good on you...likely good for the planet as well. Careful on judging all those who don`t share your viewpoint, though, on hunting and fishing.

I have high respect for various native American cultures,  and also respect for their independence, so they definitely don't need to hear my ideas. However, the idea about native americans respectful hunting and living leave no trace is a colonial racist idea, used to both romanticize native Americans and also dismiss them as inconsequential to the land.

In fact native Americans did have a lot of impact, for good or bad, just like all other people. Ancient native Americans hunted megafauna animals to extinction. But grouping all native American cultures into one is also definitely wrong, because there are so many different nations with different cultures and languages. in PNW most nations were not hunters at all and many had very advanced (fire-based) agriculture. Both salish people and yakima people were fishing too, but definitely not in any alpine lakes if for a simple fact that no alpine lakes had fish. This non-native fish was introduced for modern anglers and is one of the main reason of near extinction of local native frogs.
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cascadetraverser
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 1:52 pm 
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So do you think European culture made a bigger impact on the environment than the indigenous cultures before them? And if so, you are not willing to make the case that hunting was a vital piece of that interplay between native peoples and their environment?

Do you want to deprive those Americans (indigenous and non idigenous) of their choice to hunt and provide sustenance foods because of your ideology?
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Tom
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 2:00 pm 
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How overgrown was the road walk up from the Slide Lake trailhead?  Still bikeable?
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Brushbuffalo
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 3:11 pm 
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kitya wrote:
People who start campfires fish and hunt should be banned from the forest permanently.

Whoa....that is quite a gigantic generalization. Are you looking to open up a huge can of worms (more likely,  release a den of Tasmanian devils)?

Edit: I see I'm a  little  late to this verbal party.

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kitya
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 3:14 pm 
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cascadetraverser wrote:
So do you think European culture made a bigger impact on the environment than the indigenous cultures before them? And if so, you are not willing to make the case that hunting was a vital piece of that interplay between native peoples and their environment?

Do you want to deprive those Americans (indigenous and non idigenous) of their choice to hunt and provide sustenance foods because of your ideology?

No. I specifically said that i respect sovereignty of indigenous people and they can make their own decision. Also for all people, 'want to deprive' and 'ideology' seem to be very strong words, but I don't know what exactly they mean. What I want and what is my ideology is not important, because I'm not a dictator and cannot actually deprive or force anyone to do or not do anything. What I can do however is advocate and try to convince people to change their minds and laws. If I can convince enough people, perhaps than the people can decide that it is better to ban all hunting, but at this point it is not me depriving anyone, it is the choice of the majority of people to do what they (and I) happen to think is better. Just because something was common practice in the past, it doesn't mean it is the best, sustainable or ethical practice now. Or even needed. People change and evolve.

John Muir viewed hunting as childish and hoped people will grow out of it. I hope too.
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