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Forum Index -> Pacific NW History -> An Interesting Conversation: Some history of the O.N.F.
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Schmidt Alti-Dude
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Post Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:45 pm    An Interesting Conversation: Some history of the O.N.F.
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I had a really cool experience talking with one of those old timers that has been exploring the mountains long before I was even born.

I went with my father, who is also part of my real estate team, to look at some property listings we have.  Since he knew the neighbors, he convinced me that we should stop in and say hi.  My dad, who was the local Wash. fish and wildlife officer for 30 years, knows all the old time sportsmen.  So we go visit Neil and Gene Huffman, a nice couple who are in their 80's.

Of course, they insist we come in and talk.  I don't think the get many visiters and they are pretty much home bound.  I'm feeling a little out of place because I don't really know the people but try to be friendly.  Eventually my dad brags about my hiking and Neil starts telling me stories about the Olympics when he first moved into Sequim, in 1947.

He used to work for the Forest Service in the summers as a horse logger and while he wasn't working he would be hunting.  On day he was up in the hills above Camp Handy when he jumped a big buck.  He stalked it as it kept going higher and higher up the ridge.  Eventually he came to a basin with a nice size lake.  There was herd of 30 to 40 mountain goats down by the lake and the deer ran right through them.  He followed and the goats barely moved, just made a path for him to walk through.  He finally harvested the buck and dragged it down to the horse trail that followed the river.  He then gutted, skinned and hung the deer in a tree right by the bridge that crossed the river to Camp Handy.  Later on, a new ranger came by and saw the deer which he reported to the ranger in charge, Ron Boehm.  Ron knew right away whose deer it was and told the ranger to just leave it alone.  Ron went out and found Neil and told him he heard he got a nice buck.  Neil said yes but that the forest service needed to do something about the goats or they would out-compete his deer for food.  Ron responded that there were no goats in the national forest and that he must of wandered into Olympic National Park by accident.  Neil said he knew where he was and described the lake where he saw the goats.  Ron knew about the lake and knew it was in the forest.  He said he would go check it out himself.  Sure enough, the next time Ron saw Neil, he said he was correct that the goats were hanging out in the National Forest around that lake.  In fact, since the lake at that time was unnamed, Ron was going to fill out the paperwork to have the lake named Goat Lake.  And that is how my new friend Neil helped name Goat Lake in the Olympic National Forest.

He also told me how his fishing buddies and him decided that Goat Lake and Charlia Lake should be stocked with fish.  At that time the lakes with trails to them - Home, Buckhorn, Royal - had already been stocked with brook trout but the off trail lakes were barren.  They went through the whole process of petitioning the Forest Service to stock the lakes only to be denied.  The Forest Service wanted to keep the lakes pristine.  Happily for us fisherman, a group from Seattle went up and planted the lakes with Atlantic Salmon a few years later - without getting permission.  Since the deed was done, the Forest Service (with the help of private organizations) has kept up the stocking of these lakes ever since.

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Anything stated by me in no way reflects the attitudes or opinions of my wife
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Magellan
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Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Post Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:49 pm   
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That's a great story!  People will tell me a lot if I listen.  I love hiking with guys who are 20-40 years older than me, so they can tell me tales about the Cascades when they were more wild.
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GeoTom
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Post Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:50 pm   
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Is there anyone still alive that is 20-40 years older than you Magellan?  clown.gif

Nice story Jeremy  up.gif

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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



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Post Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:25 pm   
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I am going to kick your ass up a mountain.  As soon as I can find my glasses, and my support wool socks.  clown.gif
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Yet
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Post Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:47 pm   
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Don't forget your hearing aid.
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Layback
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Post Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:06 pm   
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Good story altidude!
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Schmidt Alti-Dude
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Post Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:08 am   
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Thanks for bringing the thread back on track Layback.  So rude, it is not like I ever thread drift on other people's posts  clown.gif .


Edit: It seems people couldn't tell I was joking.  I'm one of the probably one of the worst thread drifters on the site.

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goats gone wild
Mr. Goat



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Post Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:12 pm   
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I believe you just nailed "Story of the Year" on NWHikers.  That was fantastic, Jeremy.  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

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.....leaving me wanting to return over and over in what ever capacity that may be, even if one day my knees are too old and I can only see the mountains from my porch.

Jason Hummel
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Yet
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Post Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:42 pm   
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Schmidt Alti-dude wrote:
Thanks for bringing the thread back on track Layback.  So rude, it is not like I ever thread drift on other people's posts  clown.gif .

Aw, sorrry Alti-Dude. rolleyes.gif  embarassedlaugh.gif
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reststep
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Post Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:09 pm   
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Great story.

Did they say if they had ever met Herb and Lois Crisler?

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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Schmidt Alti-Dude
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Post Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:19 pm   
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Truthfully, I can't remember.  He mentioned so many names and I wasn't writing it down.

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goats gone wild
Mr. Goat



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Post Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:39 pm   
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No drift, did ya'll hear that Ruby Hult just died?

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.....leaving me wanting to return over and over in what ever capacity that may be, even if one day my knees are too old and I can only see the mountains from my porch.

Jason Hummel
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goats gone wild
Mr. Goat



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Post Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:08 pm   
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Yep, she was quite a story teller.

Jeremy, do you know if Neil's story has been formally documented?  I sure hope so.  It is a piece of history that should be preserved.

BTW, you did a great job of telling it.   agree.gif

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.....leaving me wanting to return over and over in what ever capacity that may be, even if one day my knees are too old and I can only see the mountains from my porch.

Jason Hummel
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Chippster
Shiver me timbers



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Post Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:29 am   
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thats an awesome story. thats one lake that i've longed to hike to. i thought i've also seen it listed under some other name, but probably just a figment of my imagination.

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Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings.
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greg
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Post Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:57 am   
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Alti-Dude, you pops has some great stories too, ask him about the time he dove into Sequim Bay to recover a few chinook a poacher had just dumped.  up.gif
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