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boomheist
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PostWed Jun 15, 2011 6:36 am 
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Does anyone have sources or any direct data about the existence of established ancient trails in the Olympics, especially the high country? I know there are game trails, and I recall reading somewhere that there were native American trails into the Queets valley, but what about the first visitors to the Peninsula and their reports about whether there were or seemed to be established trails used by people, especially up high? Seems to me that the well-established boot paths in the high alpine country could be established in a few years by hikers, but could also be hundreds of years old or even older. Or maybe the first trails that were cut into the park were based on earlier trails. Seems to me though that dowsn in the forest it would be hard to know because it is so dynamic, with all the slides and falls. On the other hand, up high, in the meadows, game trails or human trails could and would persist for a long long time.
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Phil
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PostWed Jun 15, 2011 7:29 am 
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There's an older thread over here that is on the topic

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7980217&start=0

hey wait, you started that one, too!   lol.gif

I probably spoke to this in the other thread but according to Elmendorf, the anthropologist who studied the skokomish/twana, the skokomish routinely traveled up the skokomish to hunt elk at the headwaters, and hang out with the Quinalt, who were doing the same thing.
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boomheist
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PostWed Jun 15, 2011 7:48 am 
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Phil - yeah, I know it was me, but you can see the glacial progress of my thinking - back before I was asking about who cut the earliest trails after the europeans arrived, and I got terrific responses (and maps, too) about the early years of trail making. For example by the 1920s when Camp Parsons was established there were most of the trails already cut, that's about thirty years! But now I am reaching further back, back, back. I know there are stories and legends as you say, and thanks a zillion for that, terrific information. Maybe also though there is some record of an early traveller who wrote that he was surprised at how there already seemed to be trails.....
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Phil
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PostWed Jun 15, 2011 7:57 am 
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I recall that the army expeditions that Robert Wood wrote about did come across old trails, although some of those they thought were made by white miners and hunters.  I would bet that they were more likely to be native trails, though.
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Phil
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PostWed Jun 15, 2011 8:50 am 
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Boom I think you will find this interesting as a source for ancient trails, even though most of it has to do with the lower reaches of the Hoh river.   Per this document the most upstream settlement was at Jackson Creek.   It's all great but last time I read it what stood out for me was the knowledge of and names for things deep in the Hoh valley.  For example, Mt. Tom Creek being called 'thunderbird's fly-way'. 

http://hohtribe-nsn.org/hoh_cultural_resources.pdf
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RumiDude
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PostTue Jun 21, 2011 10:32 am 
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Very interesting topic.  Thanks Phil, for that pdf on the Hoh tribe.  It is goog reading.

Rumi   <~~~~enjoys local history

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Phil
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PostTue Jun 21, 2011 2:05 pm 
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You're welcome.  That little PDF is priceless, and free!  I think I found it while on some Google expedition, of all things.

Just about as good is this book, not free but cheap.  Lot's of old info about the Olympics:

Twana
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Criminal
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PostThu Jun 30, 2011 3:09 pm 
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The NGS Benchmarks are a terrific resource for navigating to remote locations, especially peaks.  We’ve all seen the disks on a summit, and someone had to place the disk and document how to get there for the next person.  I used the database for finding a suitable route to the summit of Mt. O’Neil in the Olympics.

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boomheist
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PostFri Oct 09, 2020 1:29 pm 
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I am still guessing, and betting, sites will be found deep within the Olympics that are vastly old, I mean, really old.....don't forget, the OLDEST confirmed kill evidence of animals by humans in the ENTIRE AMERICAS is Sequim, Washington, just at the foothills of the northeast Olympics. There is a spear point embedded in a mastadon bone dated to 13,800 years old. I spoke with the scientist in Texas who did the dating. That was at the height of the glacial ice, yet people were in Sequim. It is also the case that the Olympics west of the mountains to the ocean were never glaciated....it kind of gives me the chills when wandering a path in the Olympics to imagine feet have trod the same path that long ago....

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RodF
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PostTue Oct 20, 2020 1:00 pm 
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Great to see you speaking at Lake Lillian, Charlie!  up.gif  May I offer three comments, the first two minor ones.

"It is also the case that the Olympics west of the mountains to the ocean were never glaciated...."  The "height of the glacial ice" occurred much earlier than the Manis mastodon site dated to 13,800 years ago.  The furthest advance of alpine glaciers was the Lyman Rapids advance (so named for the rapids on the lower Hoh River created where the river cut through its terminal moraine) more than 50,000 years ago, followed by the Hoh Oxbow I and II (38 and 32,000 years ago) and Twin Creeks advances (22,000 years ago).  The furthest advance of the Cordilleran ice sheet occurred much later, during the Vashon stade ~17,000 years ago.  The known extent of glaciation of the Olympic coastal plain during both periods is shown in Figure 21 on page 34 and discussed on pages 32-35 of Gavin et al. "Paleoenvironmental Change on the  Olympic Peninsula".

So, much of the Olympic coast plain was glaciated (see Figure 21 above), and the coast south of the Bogachiel that remained free of glacial ice were treeless, dry arctic tundra, beset by antarctic winter winds (see page 35 of above), so were almost certainly uninhabitable prior to circa 18,000 years ago, and more likely ca 15,000 years ago.  Both the Triquit Island and Manis mastodon sites show people were present soon afterward, circa 14,000 years ago.

Will "sites will be found deep within the Olympics that are vastly old, I mean, really old..."?  Unlikely more than a few centuries older than those already known at 14 ka, when the climate allowed human survival.

The third comment is more a question: Should we try to reconcile subjective reality, expressed in myth or legend, with objective reality, discovered through science from multiple independent lines of evidence?

At 1:07, Charlie mentions "the ancient legend of native peoples that they've always been here, they didn't come over on the land bridge [from Asia]".  But genetic evidence conclusively proves Native American ancestry is East Asian.

We Europeans also brought with us the myth that the world was created in 7 days, not in the 13.8 billion years as we now have conclusive proof it did.  Many fictional works (and even creationist museums depicting cave men living alongside dinosaurs) are based in this myth.

Trying to reconcile myth with objective reality may be futile?  Fiction can explore free of evidence, and celebrate its freedom from evidence - that's fine!  Let's just be clear whether we're in the realm of fiction or nonfiction.

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boomheist
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PostTue Oct 20, 2020 3:17 pm 
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Rod, the paper you reference was one I studied closely when considering possible ancient events. I is true that the western plains of the peninsula were not glaciated, nor were the high ridges of the northeastern Olympics (same map you reference) and it does seem that small refugia were scattered along the western islands all the way to Alaska. It is a fair point about what the country was like, if unglaciated, and perhaps a dry, windswept loess-like antarctic-like plain was present, but I found myself highly intrigued by evidence of summers nearly as warm as today and curious as to whether there might be places, deep valleys, protected coves, where moisture might have been present and even trees.

As regards your point about there being a genetic tie between native peoples of the Americas and East Siberians, perhaps the closeness lies not in the East Siberians coming this way but natives from here going that way. The more I studied about genetic tracing the more confusing everything becomes. We really don't know, I would argue. What we do know is that the years when ancient people were here keep going further back. Old Crow in the Yukon is 24,000 years old.

I'd like to think some ancient legends have a basis in truth, and wanted to craft a series of tales around that concept, playing with different known bits of evidence and sensitive to the fact that a lack of evidence does not mean there IS no such evidence, just perhaps it has not yet been found.

As regards ancient people deep in the park, that Manis site is the oldest confirmed hunting site anywhere in the Americas, I think (Old Crow aside, but I think there we only have hearths for dating), which fascinates me, being so damn close to the Olympics, and I honestly cannot imagine that people back then did not wander up there looking for game, berries, and spiritual truth, whether 13,800 years ago, or perhaps 70,000 years ago as well. They say, in fiction, you need to get your reader to suspend disbelief. The best fiction plays with truth, and reality, ie, the premise or premises have to be reasonable. To date a premise that modern humans were in the Americas longer than 24,000 years ago is not buttressed by any evidence.

I am willing to bet you there is such evidence, and I hope I am still alive when it is found.

I bet it will be found at the unnamed lake.....
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Ski
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PostTue Oct 20, 2020 3:47 pm 
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I tried several Google searches, but was unable to find any reference to an old PBS "Frontline" episode about "Clovis", in which an archaeologist working at a dig site in Texas claimed to have dug down and found (what he firmly believed to be) evidence of human activity much farther back than the 12000-14000 year BP window that is the commonly accepted time frame during which humans have inhabited the North American continent.

I am by no means an archaeologist - only an observer.

All "evidence" leads us to the commonly-held belief that there have only been humans here for the last 12000-14000 years.

You have to get past the "belief system" thing if you're going to be receptive to other indicators that humans may well have been here prior to that.

But even tossing the "belief system" thing out the window, you still only have one guy down in a hole in Texas - there just isn't a whole lot of supporting evidence that the North American continent was peopled farther back. (Okay, unless you want to get into The Book of Mormon, but let's not go there.)

As to whether or not the Native American peoples came from eastern Asia - I think that's been pretty much established with DNA studies, has it not?

More importantly, the native cultures of the tribal units in northeast Siberia bore a striking resemblance to those of the North American plains tribes when they were first visited by "white' explorers early in the 20th century. (see To the Ends of the Earth © 1981 John Perkins)(I have a copy here.)
Just my lousy opinion, but I think you're into "Occam's Razor" stuff there when it comes to "how did they get here?" I just cannot buy the "they were always here" story in light of all the academic stuff that refutes that idea.

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Ski
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PostTue Oct 20, 2020 3:51 pm 
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... and if they were here - locally - much farther back, I think they'd have had a hell of a go of it with all the volcanic activity up and down the Cascades, which were boiling and bubbling over the course of several millenia ± 12000 - 16000 years BP.

All intriguing stuff, nonetheless.

Rod - thanks for the citation on that paper. Looks like interesting stuff, and I haven't seen that one before. BK

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