Forum Index > Stewardship > closing middle fork rd at dingford crk - in favor or not--speak your mind now
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MtnGoat
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PostWed Jan 09, 2002 8:32 pm 
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For all the complaints, it's not really that bad. Yes, in a nice car you'd best be careful, and I wouldn't do it, you probably will bottom once of twice.

But there's no river fording, crawling from rock to rock in low while tipping from side to side, or stump jumping. There is a 1/4 mile long rocky stretch soon after the Dford bridge, and a couple of 20 foot wide rocky stretches near the end, but much of the post Dford road is actually better than the pre dingford part. I often get to 2nd or low 3rd on that stretch.

Any pickup that hasn't been lowered should make it just fine, for example. The griping is more of a rite of passage than a really, really bad road. yes, it's pretty bumpy, but far from close to oblivion.

And yes, you'd better go check it out, it's waay cool back there.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Beave
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PostWed Jan 09, 2002 8:33 pm 
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I opt for closing the road altogether.... I also agree with TB, as the road will be drivable for some time if left open and unmaintained, depending of course on what you drive up it.... If you choose to drive a low-clearance vehicle (aka grocery getter), you also choose to not be able to make it to many places off the pavement... It is undeniably easier, cheaper and smarter for you to adapt to the environment than for the envinronment to adapt to your personal needs...
An outrageous example?
Your angry because a local mountainside is too steep for you to climb... Do you:
A: Regrade the mountainside to accomadate your lack of equipment, skill and stamina
-or-
B: Buy some crampons, an ice ax, a lesson in mountain climbing and a lifetime membership at a gym

Some things I can't have... For example, the summit of Prusik Peak.... Why? I don't have the equipment or skills for such a climb... Thats too bad... Maybe I should be selfish, tame the mtn to meet my standards and have handrails and an escalator installed?? lol.gif

Personally, I love the current status of the upper MFK road....  It adds some pre-hike adventure.... Watching the road be reclaimed by nature and thus impassable to everyone is pretty cool in my opinion.... Some day, hopefully, the road won't even be passable (or better yet, closed) and that region will be all the more secluded... No more beer cans, wrecked cars, home appliances or targets/spent shell casings left by irresponsible users....

While it is inevitable, I don't like paved roads, trailheads and "civilized" areas... Thats one reason I hike in the first place.... To get away from all that fufu BS and get out in some rough country... Some don't like the idea of having to hoof a few extra miles to get to what used to be a TH, but isn't that the reason we hike in the first place?? To get in some miles, and to reach a secluded area?? I'd love to see the farthest reaches of the upper MFK all the more untouchable.... Imagine how many less people would bother putting in the effort to hike into the area! That's cool, I like that idea... If someone had the dedication and stamina, the upper MFK and all it has to offer would be a real prize hike... If we sugercoat everything and make every place accessible to the "general public", we lose the wilderness aspect... It may still be called Wilderness, but when you park your car at a paved TH with a huge picnic site, visitors center, guided tours and an "Entering the ALW" sign just a few yards from your car, you may ask yourself, is it really "wild" anymore??
What's the matter with hiking hard to reach a secluded place??

So, on a more humorous note, while the road is open, maybe TB and I could start a profitable business of shuttling 2x4 owners up the MFK road?!  wink.gif (Just kidding of course!)
My little Toyota Tacoma takes me from the North Bend McDonalds to the Dutch Miller TH in 45 minutes.... Now if only I could receive frequent flyer miles for all that time spent in the air!!! lol.gif

Craig
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polarbear
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PostWed Jan 09, 2002 8:40 pm 
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Yes, but...the road used to be in alot better shape--we used to get the fambly station wagon up there with all the chilluns weighing the thing down, and mom never had to get out and walk!  While I'm willing to give it a shot in my present car (this may tell you more about me than my car  wink.gif  ) my main gripe is that the road was allowed to get to this point at all.  I know, budget budget budget...

Something tells me I will not earn any frequent flyer miles on my trip up there  smile.gif

I don't believe the original plan was to let the road deteriorate--putting that bridge in at Dingford Creek (in the '70s? ) was not an inexpensive project.
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lopper
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PostWed Jan 09, 2002 11:07 pm 
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The Dingford Creek bridge was there in 1970.  (I think it is early 60's vintage.)

The MFK road is a tedious bike ride, but the reclassification of the S Side trail has brightened travel prospects greatly.

Whatever happens to the road, us old MFK-hounds are still going to be finding our way to Hardscrabble Creek.  It just may take more time.

It will be interesting to see the gyrations involved in placating the hotsprings and mining-claims folks.
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Backpacker Joe
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PostWed Jan 09, 2002 11:32 pm 
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I am NOT being disrespectful of anyone or their ride choice.  That said you can buy a good used 1980-1984 Subaru 4x4 (best model years in my opinion) station wagon that will go to 95% of any trailhead road for less than a grand!  Come on people, get three-four people together to punch in 200.00 each and share the damn thing!  I love the middle fork road. Yes I have the vehicles for that and WAY more, but I didnt necessarily break the bank either.  Having a place that requires the right vehicle adds to the adventure.
Beave, I'm up that that taxi service.  I know a great van conversion to 4x4 company!

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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MtnGoat
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PostThu Jan 10, 2002 1:26 am 
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"If we sugercoat everything and make every place accessible to the "general public", we lose the wilderness aspect...It may still be called Wilderness, but when you park your car at a paved TH with a huge picnic site, visitors center, guided tours and an "Entering the ALW" sign just a few yards from your car, you may ask yourself, is it really "wild" anymore??"

Man, and I thought I got bad! Here I thought we were talking about leaving a dirt road open, now I find I'm sugarcoating it! And supporting signs, tour buses to visitors centers, paved TH's and more! News at 11.

Cripes. I just support leaving a dirt road open. I don't support paved trailheads nor tour busses. Am I filling in what I don't want, which is what you don't want, minus one dirt road?

"It is undeniably easier, cheaper and smarter for you to adapt to the environment than for the envinronment to adapt to your personal needs..."

I agree. My adaptation to my environment in this case, at which point I judge the cheapness, easyness, and smartness to my liking, consists of a car like vehicle....I don't remember you being appointed as chairman of useful or permissible adaptations! eek.gif

"No more beer cans, wrecked cars, home appliances or targets/spent shell casings left by irresponsible users...."

I agree. We can handle this by cleaning it up. This is a legacy problem from past neglect, it will subside.

"Imagine how many less people would bother putting in the effort to hike into the area! "

Now that's getting near the edge for me. Adding 14 miles each way is a bit more than a bother. I put in the effort to do a fair amount of stuff, and that "bother" effectively shuts the door on all of the trips in that region for me personally on a regular basis. Equating peoples enjoyment to who "bothers" to go where when they're making the effort, kind of galls me.

"What's the matter with hiking hard to reach a secluded place??"

Nuttin. We all do it a lot. We're just discussing degree.
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Brian Curtis
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PostThu Jan 10, 2002 8:36 am 
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I'm really surprised at the degree to which this discussion has been purely about recreation. That is only part of how I evaluate the merits. That road cuts a swath right into the heart of the wilderness. By cutting off the road we would be gaining an amazing amount of wilderness area. I'm thinking about wildlife habitat and, as Beave put it, the wildness of the area. That is going to be prime grizzly habitat when they move back in. IOW, I feel the habitat benefits are greater then the recreational losses in this case.

Btw, cutting the road off at the Taylor was never seriously considered (the cut off was to be Dingford) until plans were made to upgrade and pave the road to the Taylor River and build a campground in the area. People then became concerned all the problems of the lower valley would just be transferred up the road and the idea to cut the road off there gained traction. These concerns are legitimate. If the gate is left open then the road should upgraded so that the road can be patrolled and the misbehavior of the lower valley prevented. But we have to look at the costs of all this. Is it worth the millions of dollars it would take? Look at what happened to the lower valley when it was left alone. I don't want that fate for the upper valley which, because of its proximity to population centers, is likely to be the fate of the upper valley should the road be left to be maintained by 4x4 clubs as was suggested earlier in the thread.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Jonathan
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PostThu Jan 10, 2002 9:07 am 
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If I remember right Slade Gordon acquired 5 million dollars for the MFK road and then turned around and gave 2 million of that to the FS so they could build it cheaper and faster, since they were not required to meet State HYW standards.  

I have two questions:

1.  What did Slade do with the other 3 million?
2.  What did the FS do with the 2 million they got from Slade?
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Brian Curtis
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PostThu Jan 10, 2002 9:15 am 
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The original allocation was $6 million for the road which does have to be up to state standards. An additional $2 million was then otained to complete the road and build a campground.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Dante
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PostThu Jan 10, 2002 9:19 am 
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Oh man--even if they only pave it to Taylor the place is going to be mobbed.  There are just so many people living so close to it now--and it's only going to get worse.  Just think how many people must be discouraged by the lower part of the road.  IMO the end of the road will probably look like the Lake Tradition or Mt. Si parking lots on summer weekends.  It may not be fair, but at least the road's current condition spreads the parking out based on people's vehicles and their willingness and ability to drive the road.  If the road gets paved, I predict the idea of limiting access to the alpine lakes will heat up again.

Hmm... I think I'd rather see it closed than see it a highway.
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MtnGoat
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PostThu Jan 10, 2002 9:41 am 
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"By cutting off the road we would be gaining an amazing amount of wilderness area."

By cutting off the road where pavement ends now, we could add even more.

"Look at what happened to the lower valley when it was left alone. I don't want that fate for the upper valley which, because of its proximity to population centers, is likely to be the fate of the upper valley should the road be left to be maintained by 4x4 clubs as was suggested earlier in the thread"

There is not the slightest chance the conditions that caused the problem previously will reoccur, IMO. There is no one in favor of leaving the valley road alone or unmaintained, or unpatrolled, as was nearly the case for decades before.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Backpacker Joe
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PostThu Jan 10, 2002 9:53 am 
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I have been regularly frequenting that area my entire adult life!  I've been into nearly every lake in the area.  I bought/built vehicles that could properly handle that road because that was the reality of the situation.  You may call it elitist if you wish but ANYONE can buy/build a vehicle to properly do that which they enjoy.  Backpacking or not.  I think its stupid/foolish to beat the hell out of a newer car by taking it on roads like that when you can buy a suby 4x4 for less than a grand.  Besides, the middle fork isnt the only place to use that type of vehicle.  If you are going to see this state via backpacking you need a car like that to access ALL the gravel roads that take you where you need to go. That said I LIKE that area the way it is!  I dont care that there are people who shoot in the area, I can take care of myself!  When I see trash I pick it up!  I have been involved to two organized litter clean ups in the area.  If the road is to be paved to the taylor gate then close the damn thing!  It would kill me to see another TIGER east situation.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

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Brian Curtis
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PostThu Jan 10, 2002 10:09 am 
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"By cutting off the road where pavement ends now, we could add even more."

Like anything, there are costs and benefits to every proposal. I feel that the recreational benefit of having the road open to the Taylor outweighs the wilderness benefit that would be gained by closing the road where the pavement ends now. But I'm willing to listen if that's what you think should be done.

"There is not the slightest chance the conditions that caused the problem previously will reoccur, IMO. There is no one in favor of leaving the valley road alone or unmaintained, or unpatrolled, as was nearly the case for decades before."

The road above the Taylor? I hear a lot of people saying they want to leave it in the state it is in. It won't be patrolled if left in its current state. The road is going to be paved up to the Taylor and a campground put in. A high use recreational area is being created. Where are you going to get the money to upgrade and patrol the road above the Taylor?

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Backpacker Joe
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PostThu Jan 10, 2002 10:47 am 
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Well if what Brain says is correct then CLOSE THE GOD DAMN THING AT THE TAYLOR!  FU***** progress!  There goes that area!  How many people are going to hike all the way to the Dutch Miller trailhead from where the road will be closed?  NOBODY that's who.  Look, I know that area (lake wise) as well as most.  You'll never make the argument to me that because of the CURRENT access that now exsits the area is ruined, or is likely to be ruined if kept as is!  If you pave that road and INVITE more traffic, its F*****!  Look the reason that the Tiger area is cool is because it keeps joe public from going any farther!  I grew up running around tiger and the surrounding area.  It's ruined!  THERE ARE 4 MILLION PEOPLE who live less than 50 miles away from there (middlefork)remember!  If you want to KILL that area (including those lakes) pave the road.  who's god damn idea was this anyway?

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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Brian Curtis
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PostThu Jan 10, 2002 11:07 am 
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You can thank Slade Gorton for this project: http://www.slade2000.com/cgi-data/news/39.shtml

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Forum Index > Stewardship > closing middle fork rd at dingford crk - in favor or not--speak your mind now
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