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moonspots
Happy Curmudgeon



Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 2045 | TRs
Location: North Dakota
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Happy Curmudgeon
PostFri Aug 07, 2015 10:04 am 
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After a couple weeks with grandma and grandpa, we were returning the kids to mom 'n dad. Due to all the stuff to be carried (our son joined us partway through the kids vacation and was returning with us), I elected to take both cars. Good idea as it turned out, and not just to alleviate the crowding.  We stopped here and there along the way to break up the motonony of the seemingly endless miles of scenery.

I quite like watching the geography (and geology) as I make my way from the midwest to PNW, but apparently I'm the only one who appreciates this. I like to try to imagine what it was like 100, 200 years ago and how I would have managed back then on foot or on horseback without places like "Wallace Brewing" (in Wallace, Idaho) to stop for a good meal and a fine IPA!

One of my favorite places for lunch
One of my favorite places for lunch
A fine place to stop for a while, and get your bearings...
A fine place to stop for a while, and get your bearings...

Onward...

We stopped at Vantage (another favorite - lunch at Blustery's), and there we decided  that grandma and dad with two of the kids would continue on toward hime directly, and I would take our eldest grandson via an indirect route - through Yakima and up 12 through Packwood. We like to explore, they wanted to make quick time.

We passed a gas station in Naches and continued westward. At the junction of 12 and 410, I stopped to re-consider our route. Yup, 410 looked like a more interesting choice, but before resuming the trip, I went back to Naches to fill up. The truck could use some fuel, and we could use some trail mix and iced tea.

Immediately it became apparent that this was a very good idea. I've taken the road through Packwood so I (sort of) knew what to expect that way. There was a place or two on the main street where we could have had lunch outside, but exploring is what we were doing this day.

Yakima is back there, somewhere...
Yakima is back there, somewhere...
"I'm coming back here, this will be great for fishing" exclaimed eldest grandson, with each stop probably being better location than the last!
"I'm coming back here, this will be great for fishing" exclaimed eldest grandson, with each stop probably being better location than the last!
This just has to be the best place for trout fishing...
This just has to be the best place for trout fishing...

We stopped several times to get out and look at the river and the rocks. My grandson is a fishing fanatic, I'm more interested in rocks so we had a fine time exploring.

I've been interested in rocks and their formation(s) for many years. Someday I may actually know something about the composition and formation of them.
I've been interested in rocks and their formation(s) for many years. Someday I may actually know something about the composition and formation of them.
Rocks and their formation interest me.
Rocks and their formation interest me.

Eventually we came to the junction of 410 and 123. Lessee....410 will take us "back to civilization" quicker, 123 leads to Paradise...ok, 123 it is! I've never been into this side of the park, so I was quite pleased with the (relative) solitude. Nice. We passed spot where the outside lane of the road had slid away and I wondered how/when that might be repaired.

Not very apparent as we were on the road in the immediate area, the various slide areas were interesting to note as we climbed out of the valley on the way toward Paradise or Longmire.
Not very apparent as we were on the road in the immediate area, the various slide areas were interesting to note as we climbed out of the valley on the way toward Paradise or Longmire.

When we stopped at the overlook near the pass (no, I don't remember the name) I saw some folks doing something that I initially took to be re-grouting the "stones" in the retaining wall.

I wandered over to look closer at the work being done and discovered that they were not re-grouting, but making latex molds of the surface to be used in recreating the same appearance when they poured the concrete for the retaining wall repair. Ah, sometimes it's good to stop and visit - learning happens. 😊

Next came the new PCT foot bridge over the road. Nicely done! Looks good, is solid and isn't "excessively civilized" (with 6' railings, cage over the top, etc). Well done, NPS!

PCT foot bridge
PCT foot bridge

Soon we came to the Stevens Canyon Road, turned onto it, and the superb scenery continued to unfold. I've seen one or two box canyons (Royal Gorge south of Colorado Springs comes to mind), but the one on the east side of Rainier was more interesting, more "intimate" I'd say. VERY interesting, it is.

Box canyon.
Box canyon.

The trail down to the bridge over the river is in desparate need of repair:

Looks like either more $ or volunteer labor (or both) is needed here.
Looks like either more $ or volunteer labor (or both) is needed here.
Railing deterioration
Railing deterioration

And, the "asshats" (I'm being "polite" here...) have been at work, permanently vandalizing some of the geologically significant aspects of the trail.

It's simpleton vandalism like this that causes the authorities to erect fences, motion detectors, boardwalks and so on to limit the accessibility to the natural world.
It's simpleton vandalism like this that causes the authorities to erect fences, motion detectors, boardwalks and so on to limit the accessibility to the natural world.

Anyway, it leaves one to ponder what might be done to preserve and protect without limiting access to normal people...

The highway bridge over the canyon and the tunnel just beyond must have been quite the project. Anyway, a nice contrast.

Bridge over box canyon, tunnel to adventures beyond... That must have been a tremenduous project. That canyon is deep, and narrow.
Bridge over box canyon, tunnel to adventures beyond... That must have been a tremenduous project. That canyon is deep, and narrow.

We passed reflection lakes, turned south on Paradise road, took one last look at "the mountain" at Longmire then out to dinner at The Copper Creek Inn. Then home by midnight. It was indeed great day.
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moonspots
Happy Curmudgeon



Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 2045 | TRs
Location: North Dakota
moonspots
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Happy Curmudgeon
PostFri Aug 07, 2015 12:16 pm 
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Hmmm, I see the pics didn't make it to the report. So, I'll have to wait until I get onto a real computer (not just my phone) and see what's missing.

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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moonspots
Happy Curmudgeon



Joined: 03 Feb 2007
Posts: 2045 | TRs
Location: North Dakota
moonspots
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Happy Curmudgeon
PostWed Aug 19, 2015 8:31 am 
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moonspots wrote:
Hmmm, I see the pics didn't make it to the report. So, I'll have to wait until I get onto a real computer (not just my phone) and see what's missing.

OK, I fixed the problem after consulting with the site admin who pointed out my mistake. I thought I had it right the first time, but I was wrong...

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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