Forum Index > Trip Reports > North 20 Mile Lookout Trail Clearing, June 26-27, 2020
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KarlK
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PostMon Jun 29, 2020 11:57 am 
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Working under a BCHW volunteer agreement, former Methow district ranger Mike Liu and I bucked out the deadfall on the North 20 mile lookout trail, the majority encountered between ~6200' and 7000' elevation some 3.5 to 5.5 miles from the trailhead.

Anticipating a hot day, we met at the 3000' trailhead on Friday at 5 a.m., shouldered heavy packs, put one foot in front of the other for ~ 2.5 hours, and cached our overnight gear adjacent to a reliable but hidden stream at 6200'.

After completing the work on the ridge above, we returned to the cache, swapped the saws and related gear for our overnight provisions, and hiked to the lookouts at 7437'.

The older of the two lookouts is a D6 cupola design (see link), and was built some 100 years ago. This lookout has been painstakingly restored by Mike and other very determined volunteers working hard to preserve the very few remaining  lookouts in the region.

https://www.firelookout.org/fire-lookout-types.html

We then located the spring depicted on the Coleman Peak Green Trails map as being adjacent to the vanished extension of Trail 560 at ~7000'. The UTM GPS coordinates are 715845, 5404211.

The next day we cleared the few remaining logs on the lower section of the trail. So, for the time being, the trail is completely clear of blowdown.

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Spring
Spring

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Karl J Kaiyala
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Brushbuffalo
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostMon Jun 29, 2020 1:28 pm 
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Thank you, Karl and Mike!
I  did the hike to N. 20 Mile in Sept 1986 specifically to see the D-6. A tall curved stuck was thrust from the point of the roof then too. But this one looks  more like an intentional metal lightning rod. Is it?
The trail was in great shape then, not having been ravaged by a recent fire. So thanks again for bringing it back in condition.
In Firewatchers of the Cascades and Olympics  there is a photo of the lookout person of the season carrying a container of water from the hidden spring. Thanks for the tip on its in-obvious location.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Stefan
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PostMon Jun 29, 2020 2:20 pm 
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you two are heroes!

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Art is an adventure.
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fourteen410
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PostMon Jun 29, 2020 8:57 pm 
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Saints, the both of you!

When did Mike Liu leave his position?
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KarlK
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PostMon Jun 29, 2020 10:05 pm 
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fourteen410 --

Mike retired in June 2018 after 36 years with the forest service.

https://methowvalleynews.com/2018/05/31/mike-liu-community-trailblazer/

Mike was a tireless gem of a district ranger, with an unusual knack for juggling a multitude of projects, including several that I was involved in, most memorably the Mebee Pass lookout restoration in 2013 and a major Team Rubicon hazard fuel reduction project on McClure Mountain in 2017.

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Karl J Kaiyala
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John Morrow
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PostTue Jun 30, 2020 2:30 pm 
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It's sweet that Mike is carrying everything on a Trapper Nelson packframe.  Great way to carry a saw.  haven't used one, personally, since my AMC days in the late 1980s.  looks like he's sporting his uniform shirt, sans FS Shield patch on the upper arm!
That is great work you too!

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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KarlK
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PostTue Jun 30, 2020 2:51 pm 
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John, actually, that's a WW2 -era pack frame to which Mike bolted 2 x 4s and plywood to hold his vintage Stihl 025.

That packframe setup weighs 10 lbs. Hmmm.

My setup is a 5.5 lb Lafuma Baltoro 70 I bought for my wife about 19 years ago from Jim Nelson at ProMountain Sports .

It has a continuous and very rigid aluminum internal frame, and I use a polymer "ski strap" to lash the saw's handle to the top of that frame. That worked really well.

As near as I can tell, my 15 lb Stihl 261 with 20 inch bar + pack weigh less than Mike's smaller 025 + frame.

However, Mike does not wear out, so a few extra pounds here or there is inconsequential.

But for my part, a little weight savings here or there makes some room for a pint or so of Dr. Walker's Amber Restorative.

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Karl J Kaiyala
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Skookum Bill
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PostThu Jul 02, 2020 11:28 am 
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Well done you two!
I appreciate the pack set-ups.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > North 20 Mile Lookout Trail Clearing, June 26-27, 2020
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