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Allison
Feckless Swooner



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: putting on my Nikes before the comet comes
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Feckless Swooner
PostTue Aug 24, 2004 10:45 pm 
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OK, new thread, let's let the other one die!

Firt time I went to Robin Lakes was when I was 14....lesseeeethat would have been in 1980.  doh.gif ......it was in 100 Hikes, before they took it out for a few years. The trail was a dotted-line from Tuck, and the book suggested it was hard to get to.

We got there, no problem, and spent two nights, on a weekend, in August, ALL ALONE. We camped in the prime spot on the peninsula in Lower, the one with the tarn. There were fish in both lakes, at least 18', and probably bigger. TONS of FISH. There were very few social trails. I'd never seen a place so magical as that, and since, not a lot of places top it for quality. Especially if they have a trail.

Well.....it's still a pretty special place, but last time I was there, in 2000, it was not the place I left. Worn down, crowded, late midweek, all the good camping sites taken. The meadows looked tired.

Think of your favorite lakeside spot somewhere, and think to yourself, "is this the fate for my spot"?

and then be careful about what you say about it.
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Slugman
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Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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Slower than ever
PostTue Aug 24, 2004 11:57 pm 
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ML, I guess things ain't the way they used to be in the 1980's. In a lot of ways. But by going to the lakes, you helped tire them out yourself, a little bit.

I drive out to Mt Rainier National park, or to the far side of Olympic national park, and I see nothing but clearcuts all the way right to the park's border. I hike to Noble Knob, and I'm surrounded by clearcuts on three sides. I see wonderful places like the area near the Independence lake trailhead, around Coal lake, and I see clearcuts right up to the very head of the otherwise beautiful valley. I go out by the Bald Eagle trail, and I see the wonderful Bowser creek area, savaged by steep-slope logging, the whole hillside slumping into the stream. I see the clear cuts creeping right up the very side of Mt Beljica. I think to myself, why? Why wasn't there a hue and cry to save these special places? Why is the area around Mt Rainier, Mt Adams, and Mt St Helens so badly scalped and so little saved, around such incredible mountains, the jewels of the state? There are plenty of drab little hills to log, plenty of not-so-steep slopes, why did this destructive logging happen in some of our most special places? Why indeed. Not enough votes, not enough money, not enough passion to fight all the battles that needed fighting.  I think that many of the people who impacted Robin lake and others like it are now in love with the wild places of Washington, and would never let any more be savaged for a few temporary jobs. Places such as Robin lake are like soldiers who give their lives so that others may live free. Sacrifices must be made, but we can work to minimize those sacrifices. Perhaps we need a "campground host" program, or a ranger presence, to help people enjoy these fragile places with the minimum impact. Perhaps a new fee, applied to places like the Robins, where 100% of the fee went to preserve and restore that very place. Perhaps "meadow maintenance" should be added to trail maintenance as a way to repay society for what we enjoy from the efforts of previous generations. So go out, see wild Washington, then work and vote to protect it. Your footsteps on the trail will be the pitter-patter of little feet compared to the crashing cacaphony of your political muscles being flexed, your "voice in the wilderness".  Thank you.

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"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but nature more..."  Childe Harold
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LittleHikerMom
Mom to a little girl



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
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Location: Everett, WA
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Mom to a little girl
PostWed Aug 25, 2004 12:48 am 
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My grandparents owned a lot of land for years, it was out in the woods in a small community of wood lots that people mainly used for camping. I remember camping there many times as a kid. There was a lake nearby and we'd go over there and play in it all the time.

Then one day... an evil contracter decided that the land lots around ours looked yummy... and bought them all... and built lovely little apartment complexes on them. We finnally gave up... and my grandparents sold the lot... who wants to camp next to an apartment complex?

Course that had nothing to do with hiking or backpacking... but I still got the same feeling even as a kid. I know what it's like to have your favorite place destroyed. I learned these lessons as a kid. Like when my favorite playgrounds were bulldozed to make way for newer plastic ones. I hated that. Or when my secret hideout spots were found by other kids... and trashed. I hated that. Or when a developer bought the land my hideout was on and bulldozed it and built apartments on it... I didn't like that one bit!

I guess I can see where you guys are coming from when you say you don't want to see your favorite place destroyed. I've yet to make a few new favorite places. They probably won't be anywhere close by tho... i'll go off to lands seldom traveled. Course... they won't be seldom traveled forever.
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Stefan
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PostWed Aug 25, 2004 8:11 am 
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Slugman wrote:
...and I'm surrounded by clearcuts on three sides. I see wonderful places like the area near the Independence lake trailhead, around Coal lake, and I see clearcuts right up to the very head of the otherwise beautiful valley...

I love clearcuts.  If it wasn't for clearcuts I would not have views.  Plus, I wouldn't have roads to get to trailheads.

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Art is an adventure.
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borank
Lake dork



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Lake dork
PostWed Aug 25, 2004 9:02 am 
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I wonít say that SMís point is irrelevant, but the argument is dated.  The GPW was established in the 60s as was the NCNP, the ALW in the 70s.  These areas have had protection from mining and logging for a long time, and the NCNP and GPW didnít have to get loved to death to receive that protection.  SMís argument is the one put forth by the Springs for their 100 hikes series to get the ALW and perhaps HMJW established, but clearly, when that goal was accomplished, the guides continued to be published.

Seems that part of the problem here is that each person has their own self defined scale of pristinity.  The perceived value of an outdoor destination is based almost exclusively on the individualís own experiences.  Itís interesting that ML brought up her visit to Robin Lks in 1980, as I visited in í79 and thought the places was kinda hammered.  I shudder to think what it must be like now.  So who is correct in a matter of personal opinion?  If you remove the personal opinions and spin-doctoring, what is left is the land.  What does the land tell you about impact?

Pristine is defined as Ďcharacteristic of the earlier period; originalí in my dictionary.  Therefore, anything that contributes to the erosion of the original resource is negative impact.  Carried to the absurd extreme, then, yes, all hiking is bad.  Practically speaking, I view my usage of an area as an acceptable impact (as does everyone about their own usage), but am reluctant to create additional usage and negative impact by sharing beta info, especially for fragile areas.  For this, some will consider me elitist.  Whatever.

There are still hundreds of destinations left in the Cascades that no beta can be gleaned from the internet (there used to be thousands of unpublished destinations).  The argument that itís okay to write up places because someone else did it somewhere else, aside from being false, must also be tempered by the fact that publicizing a location has never lead to reduced impact.  Therefore, the very best you can hope for is that nothing changes.  I will not bore you with example after example where even the smallest public exposure of a destination has lead directly to major impact and in most cases, permanent degradation of the resource.

I do agree with SM on sacrifice areas.  There are places (Snow, Melakwa, Lillian, Robin, Copper, and frankly, many more) where you just have to turn your head and say whatever.  But I am convinced more than ever that the best way to save fragile areas for as long as possible is to just shut up about them.
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Stefan
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PostWed Aug 25, 2004 9:08 am 
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marylou wrote:
Think of your favorite lakeside spot somewhere, and think to yourself, "is this the fate for my spot"?

That's why you gotta be a peakbagger or a lakebagger.  You NEVER go to the same place twice.

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Art is an adventure.
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Hiking Tuque
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PostWed Aug 25, 2004 9:35 am 
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The only way to keep these areas looking like it was still 1980 is to close the small access roads.  This would reduce traffic by 98%.  Of course, this would make it very hard for most working people, like me, to get to the high country in a weekend.  It would, however, solve the problem (if you want to call it a problem).

On one hand we want to see the area protected.  On the other hand we want access.  If you have good access and as a result have 100 people going to some lake every weekend then no matter how many rules and regulations there are, you'll see the area change.

It's kind of like National Parks...we make most of them accessible via great roads, put it on the map, and encourage people to come.  When more people come, facilities are built encouraging even more people to visit.  At some point you have to ask is this nature or a theme park?  A little fantasy of mine has always been to close Arches National Park to cars at the gate.  Think of how pristine it would become up there.
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#19
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PostWed Aug 25, 2004 10:12 am 
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Quote:
Think of your favorite lakeside spot somewhere, and think to yourself, "is this the fate for my spot"?

Is there a more hammered place than the Robins?  Just curious.  I won't say where my favorite lakeside spot is, except to say that when I chose it as a destination, I had no idea how nice it would be. I was a dumbass wink.gif for that one.  When I TRd it, I didn't realize that it was considered off the beaten path or somewhat seldom visited.  There was a new on-line TR for it a while back, mentioning species and size of pesces. mad.gif  If that makes me an elitist, then so be it.  Back to the Robins, I would rather see it treated more like the Enchantments than continue to be pounded into dust in every direction.  As used as the Enchantments are, the restrictions and other managment techinques seem to work better than the alternative.
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jimmymac
Zip Lock Bagger



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
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Location: Lake Wittenmyer, WA
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Zip Lock Bagger
PostWed Aug 25, 2004 11:23 am 
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Stefan wrote:
Slugman wrote:
...and I'm surrounded by clearcuts on three sides. I see wonderful places like the area near the Independence lake trailhead, around Coal lake, and I see clearcuts right up to the very head of the otherwise beautiful valley...

I love clearcuts.† If it wasn't for clearcuts I would not have views.† Plus, I wouldn't have roads to get to trailheads.

Nor would you have access to all that great firewood left in handy little heaps.

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"Profound serenity is the product of unfaltering Trust and heightened vulnerability."
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Lead Dog
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PostWed Aug 25, 2004 11:29 am 
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The bottom line to all this is if find a spot that is all your own, that hasn't been trampled or "loved" to death. Like a lake, scenic campsite, ect. and DON"T TELL anybody! I have found just by sheer chance many never touched campsites at pristine lakes full of fish, totaly secluded campsites with great views with my own personal spring for UNFILTERED water, that I stayed at for days and saw not one other person. One morning I awoke to find 40 Mountain Goats grazing just below my tent. And when I left there was no trace of my visit. These areas are my own and I'll never tell where they are. I have revisited some of them again and as best as I could tell no one had been there since me. Hold these places dear! There are not many left these days.
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LittleHikerMom
Mom to a little girl



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
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Mom to a little girl
PostWed Aug 25, 2004 12:00 pm 
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This is why I want to hop on a time machine and go live in the mid-1800's! I think the area mustv been beautiful back then! And i'd have all the hiking spots to myself.... smile.gif
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Lead Dog
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PostWed Aug 25, 2004 12:10 pm 
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ditto.gif But back in the mid 1800's you would have Grizz and a few hostile Indian tribes to contend with. I've been in places where it felt like the mid 1800s.
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jimmymac
Zip Lock Bagger



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
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Location: Lake Wittenmyer, WA
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Zip Lock Bagger
PostWed Aug 25, 2004 12:34 pm 
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Just be careful about the year you set your time machine for.* A lot of lowland forest acreage looks far better now than it did "way back when." Some of the trails that head up valleys today were not nearly as tidy during the steam logging era. The same goes for mining and its associated access. And, if you go too far back, you'd better bring your ice ax instead of your raft; a bunch of today's high lakes will still be ice.

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"Profound serenity is the product of unfaltering Trust and heightened vulnerability."
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Stefan
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PostWed Aug 25, 2004 2:08 pm 
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godlygirl wrote:
This is why I want to hop on a time machine and go live in the mid-1800's! I think the area mustv been beautiful back then! And i'd have all the hiking spots to myself.... smile.gif

Hiking boots sucked then.  I don't even want to back to December 15, 2001.  That was what I call.....THE DAY BEFORE.

"The day before" was the day before nwhikers.net was born.

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solohiker
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PostWed Aug 25, 2004 3:22 pm 
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Well, back to the original post. When I was 14 - um, 12 years before ML was 14 - the place that really touched me was a little pond (can't remember if it even had a name) we hiked to about 2-3 miles up the Meta Lake inlet stream. The wildflowers were breathtaking and the reflection from the snowcone-shaped peak in the background was magical. I was only 14, but boy did I love this place.

I went back once a year for a few years, but unlike ML, I didn't have the luxury of going back 24 years later to see if it was still pristine. You see it was 12 years later ... the same year ML did her first trek up to Robins ... that my little pond was blown off the face of the earth, along with the rest of the top of Mt St Helens.

Some things are precious. Keep them that way as long as you/we can. Mother Nature can take them away whenever she wants.

That said, I strongly support trail work and upgrading of trails to popular destinations to the extent they can handle the masses without further eroding the hillsides. I believe sharing the beauty of these popular places with the masses is an important step in educating the public on the importance of preserving the environment.
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