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whitebark
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PostFri Nov 11, 2016 4:43 pm 
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With such spectacularly nice weather on Thursday, how could I stay home?  Drove up the shiny new Middle Fork road to the big concrete bridge where I parked (elev. 800'), then took  the "This Is Not A Trail" trail through the magical spruce forest and onward up to the CCC Road/Trail and the start of the Green Mountain Road/Trail.  The sun was shining and gusts of strangely warm air blew about; soon I was hiking comfortably in a T-shirt, a rare treat in November.

The Green Mountain road soon commenced a brisk climb. The lower portion of the road was regraded a few years ago, with badly needed water bars added.  Without running water eroding the roadbed anymore, it has become quite nice to hike on.  The air was really dry by November standards and the fallen leaves on the trail crunched crisply underfoot. 

After climbing the mountainside with a couple of switchbacks, the road leveled out for a bit as it crossed "Brawling Creek" (elev 2400') , so named in the old Foorsore guidebooks written by Harvey Manning.  The creek was running strongly but wasn't too hard to cross. Below the road, it drops away in an amazing long  water slide falling down a slab of granite- I'll have to get down then and explore that feature some day.

Above the creek, the road climbed the hill with a few more switchbacks. There were some new blowdowns but nothing hard to get past. At 2900' elev. I arrived at a fork in the road. The right hand branch heads over to the various "Promontories" with thier spectacular view, also named in the Footsore book.  The usual route to Green Mountain starts there, too. I took the lesser used left branch, the "West Green Trail". This decayed old road climbed gradually in forest, recrossing Brawling Creek at a badly eroded spot that took a bit of scramble to get through. In a half mile or so it reached a ridgeline (elev. 3200') and a nice view spot "West Green Vista" overlooking Mailbox Peak and the North Bend area. Even at this elevation , it was comfortably warm in the bright afternoon sun.

Green Mtn
Green Mtn

Hazel rather enjoyed the view and sunshine, too:

Green Mtn
Green Mtn

The road/trail beyond this point heads toward Green Mountain but soon ends, becoming a scrambler's trail that can take one to the west summit of Green Mountain.  I didn't want to tackle that hill today, and instead headed the other way to check out another vista point that I had found on a long-ago exploration. To get there, I walked a few feet back down the road, to where it curves away from the ridgeline. I then crashed through a thicket of small trees to get to the crest of the ridge which was much more open and pleasant to walk on.  I followed the narrow ridgeline as it gradually descended about 100 vertical feet to an area of rock slabs, the "Little Yosemite Vista" as I call it due to the Sierra-like granite ledges and cliffs  From here was a distant view of Mt. Garfield, whose huge granite cliffs   added to the Sierran feel.

Green Mtn
Green Mtn
Green Mtn
Green Mtn
Green Mtn
Green Mtn

After lingering on the sunny ledge for a bit, I headed back the way I came to the Middle Fork bridge, just beating the sunset which sure comes early now.  Over all this hike was about 8 miles and 2500' of elevation gain. Saw no one else he whole day.
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flatsqwerl
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PostFri Nov 11, 2016 6:34 pm 
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I know this spot. It has a cool feel to it. I've always wanted to get below those cliffs that you are above. I've seen them from the other side of the valley and they look sizable...might be worth a schwack to approach from below and get a fuller view. up.gif
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whitebark
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PostFri Nov 11, 2016 9:41 pm 
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From the second switchback on the Green Mtn road/trail, you can bushwhack up the slope to get to the "Little Yosemite" vista, skirting the top of the granite cliff that you mentioned. Sort of a fun route.
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puzzlr
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PostFri Nov 11, 2016 10:50 pm 
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So that was your car at the Concrete Bridge I saw. How was the creek crossing without the log bridge?

I was enjoying the day farther up the valley on the lower slopes of Garfield. At one point a light fog settled in and the deep moss forest turned magical with rays of sunlight everywhere.
mossy forest
mossy forest

--------------
Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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whitebark
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PostSat Nov 12, 2016 8:37 am 
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As it turns out, the creek crossing is not difficult to do with  dry feet if the mid fork is running at 1200 cfs or less .
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gb
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PostSun Nov 13, 2016 7:02 am 
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I enjoyed your trip report - nice writing.
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Bernardo
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PostTue Nov 15, 2016 7:33 pm 
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Missing the Middle Fork! Thanks
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