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reststep
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PostWed May 05, 2010 12:00 pm 
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"Early Scout Hikes in the Olympics" was an interesting thread with some good history about Camp Parsons.

Thanks for the reminder about it geobob.

I wonder if it would be possible for some one to make a link to the thread from the Camp Parsons Website.

CPMuseum,  is there any chance of that?

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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Trailhead
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PostWed May 05, 2010 3:01 pm 
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Looks they wanted to continue the trail past Martins Lakes and on to Muncaster Basin and out the now abandoned Pyrites Creek trail.  They probably wanted to link the chalets on the E Fork and N Fork of the Quinault.  A trail traversing the steep west side of Mt Taylor would have been a huge undertaking.
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boomheist
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PostWed May 05, 2010 3:44 pm 
Mt Taylor
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I have spoken to one person who says he has made the Taylor/Delebarre crossing. Many many years  ago, by the way. I have been to both the east and west sides of that crossing and it looks very very sketchy. A trail through that area would have had to have been cut down into Rustler Creek then back up to the basin behind June 10 peak, I think. But, based on all the fascinating strings in this discussion it just may be that some scouts cut a trail there in 1910!
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Trailhead
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PostFri May 07, 2010 8:48 am 
Re: Mt Taylor
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boomheist wrote:
I have spoken to one person who says he has made the Taylor/Delebarre crossing. Many many years  ago, by the way. I have been to both the east and west sides of that crossing and it looks very very sketchy. A trail through that area would have had to have been cut down into Rustler Creek then back up to the basin behind June 10 peak, I think. But, based on all the fascinating strings in this discussion it just may be that some scouts cut a trail there in 1910!

Thanks Boom,

There has been some great information about making that traverse on this site.  I hope to make another attempt at it this year.  In fact, I took a recon trip up Rustler Creek a month ago to check that out.  Followed some sections of the old Rustler Creek trail that shows up on some old maps.  Definitley a constructed trail being maintained by elk now.  Like other old trails in the park, it seems abruptly ends at a cliff area. 

We tried the traverse 2 years ago.  From the switchback before Martin Lakes, we traversed on good elk trails aong the ridge to the big rock slide on the west side of Taylor.  It was after crossing the slide, the gully crossings started.  The elk trails seemed to drop down and pass through some hanging meadows below but we did not want too much of our elevation.  Only went 1/2 a day before finding a beautiful campsite in a lupine fillled meadow with a small waterfall close by.  We decided to turn back after scouting the route the next day.  Surprisingly, there were even some cairns along the way.

Next time we will stay high up and maybe cross over to the east side of Taylor and traverse on that side.  I considered following elk trails down into the Rustler Creek valley but looked like we would encounter some ugly brush filled avalanche paths - (something I really try to avoid in the Oly's) - before climbing up to the pass.  Elk trails are the way to go but a high traverse would be much more rewarding and aesthetic.

Paul(&Kate)
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CP
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PostMon May 10, 2010 2:58 pm 
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reststep wrote:
"Early Scout Hikes in the Olympics" was an interesting thread with some good history about Camp Parsons. 

Thanks for the reminder about it geobob.

I wonder if it would be possible for some one to make a link to the thread from the Camp Parsons Website.

CPMuseum,  is there any chance of that?

We can certainly add that to our links page.  As time passes many "old" time scouts have passed as well and we are receiving a wealth of material from their families as they go through personal effects.  This would include letters sent from scouts home in the 20's (usually asking for some particular food item to be sent) as well as uniforms and scouting manuals.

When scouts started coming to camp in the after camp opened in 1919 most scouts would spend the entire summer (4-5 weeks) at camp with others coming only for a week.  As time progressed, scouts would come for a week of camping on the Hood Canal and then a week hiking in the Olympics.  In the 30's Camp Parsons maintained permanent outposts, one on Dabob Bay on the Coyle Peninsula, the other being a base camp up the Dungeness.

We have depended on the rembrances of indiviudals who lived during that time but as you can guess, some of the memories are not necessarily concise.  However we have stumbled over a wealth of information from the Seattle Times/PI and Star which religiously followed the treks led out of camp.  The Seattle Star used to fund the Canal to Ocean treks in return for photographs taken during the trip.  It would have been a great time to hike the peninsula.
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Phil
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PostTue May 11, 2010 7:49 am 
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Wow, CPmuseum you have a real treasure trove on your hands.  Wonder if you all are aiming to digitalize photos and other documents?
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CP
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PostTue May 11, 2010 9:29 am 
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Our goal is to have not only the physical museum at camp but a virtual one as well.  However it will take time as we continually sift through a large amount of information.  I don't think anyone back in the early days had their eye on preserving any history however as we enter our 92nd continuous season we have steadily been trying to tie it all together but it comes in bits and pieces.  I sat down with Ome Daiber many years ago who regaled me with numerous stories of treks and climbs out of Camp Parsons and that is only one part of the PNW outdoor history.  The camp property was searced for and selected by Maj. Edward Ingraham and Prof. Edmund Meany and has had countless individuals such as Clark Schurman, Judge William Long, Gordon Hamilton, Ome Daiber, Grant Wilcox, Gov. Dan Evans and on and on, work and hike out of Camp Parsons.  The camp even has an eclectic side with L. Ron Hubbard being a scout there as well (it made a chapter in his autobiography).

It is a rich history particularly when you look at the history of the Olympic Peninsula and Seattle.http://picasaweb.google.com/CampParsons/CampParsonsMuseum#
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RPBrown
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PostFri Jun 18, 2010 4:31 pm 
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I'd say it would be a toss up between the Dose or the Dungeness as far as the oldest trails.  I know the Dose had a trail before the Duckabush.  I'm also sure the Dungeness had a trail prior to anything on the west end.  I'd probably lean towards the Dungeness as the oldest since there were cabins as far up as Heather Creek around the turn of the century.  Also at least two cabins at Roy Creek around the same time.

The original "Yellow Dog" trail that connected Grindstone to Marmot Pass is also one of the earliest.
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achillesbogart
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PostTue Sep 14, 2010 10:23 pm 
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To the OP:  The earliest trails in the Olympics were Indian trails.  They utilized the resources of the Olympics for thousands of years before Euro-Americans arrived.  There is a 3000 year old basket that melted out of the snow some years ago and I've worked on a 9,000 year old site in the Forest.  That being said, your best bet to finding accurate trail locations from the late 1800's to early 1920's is to check the cadastral survey notes for the township, range and section you're interested in.  I think the Olympics were done between 1895 and about 1920, there may be earlier and later, but I haven't seen them yet.  The early forest maps are only good for providing a general path of a trail, they have an error of between 1/8th to 1/2 mile, being that they could only make the lines so small on those maps.

The Cadastral survey was how the land was officially mapped by the U.S. Government to establish legal title to the land.  Buildings, trails, roads, etc that they encountered while walking the section lines were recorded.  They would note the directions the trail ran and the distance from the corner.  They mapped the nice lowland areas first in the PNW, usually 1850's to 1860's and mapped the mountainous areas later as the premium land was claimed.  www.blm.gov/or has the cadastral records online for the willamette meridian Townships and ranges, which covers the Olympics.
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Phil
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PostWed Sep 15, 2010 7:33 am 
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achillesbogart wrote:
....I've worked on a 9,000 year old site in the Forest......

Wow!  Please do tell more.

On the topic of cadastral maps my recollection is that most of those for the Olympic mountains are labeled "Here be dragons" or similar.
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CP
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PostWed Sep 15, 2010 8:30 am 
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Phil wrote:
achillesbogart wrote:
....I've worked on a 9,000 year old site in the Forest......

Wow!  Please do tell more.

On the topic of cadastral maps my recollection is that most of those for the Olympic mountains are labeled "Here be dragons" or similar.

Edgar Morton of the Bureau of Land Management surveyed the Dosewallips valley and a good portion of the Hood Canal in November of 1871 which is found under Township 26N if you look up the first surveys (the Ranges vary).  One thing that he noted is that all timber had been cut for 3/4 of a mile off the canal.

The native Americans believed the Thunderbird resided in the Olympic Mountains.....there be your dragon.
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Phil
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PostWed Sep 15, 2010 9:22 am 
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Too bad the interior Olympics weren't surveyed.  Sure, they may have thought TB was in the mountains but evidence suggests that didnt stop them from going there.
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CP
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PostWed Sep 15, 2010 10:06 am 
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Phil wrote:
Too bad the interior Olympics weren't surveyed.  Sure, they may have thought TB was in the mountains but evidence suggests that didnt stop them from going there.

I agree.  Based on oral history, native american boys became "men" by foraying into the heart of the peninsula.  Even the earliest western expeditions into the Olympics followed game trails that those native americans most likely did for years prior and from a prior post it seems that we are finding more evidence of that.
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RPBrown
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PostTue Sep 28, 2010 4:33 pm 
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According to the early expeditions (Press Party, O'neil) the local tribes never ventured far up any of the Olympic mountain valleys.
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Phil
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PostTue Sep 28, 2010 9:24 pm 
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RP, I've always wondered if those tales were part of the sponsoring newspapers efforts to make the Oneil and Press trips all the more daring.  I'll bet Oneill and others were willing to see themselves are real explorers, too.     There is some good evidence that the native people were heading into the deep Olympics regularly.  For example, their history says so.
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