Forum Index > Trail Talk > FS-90 Deliberately Blocked By Axe-Wielding Rubes
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jasonracey
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 5:11 am 
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You might already be aware of this but the northern approach to the Mount Adams Killen Creek trailhead on FS-2329 has been washed out and not yet repaired. Several other roads in the area have also been damaged. This means you can only access the trailhead from the south on FS-2329, which requires you to take FS-23 and, for most of us, FS-90 to get there.

On my way back home from the hike at about 11:15 pm I encountered several trees laying across FS-90 that were not there earlier in the day. I got out of my car to inspect the situation and found that someone had cut down about 6 trees to deliberately block the road! It looked like there might have been the possibility of driving around the trees on a very rough shoulder on the south side of the road, but one more tree had been cut down there to prevent that.

This person, or persons, had effectively trapped me and several other vehicles inside the national forest, or so they thought. It turns out there are a few other long, winding, narrow, and rarely-used forest roads out of there if you have a very detailed map, AWD, and patience. I won't go into details because I don't want to spell out how to actually trap people in there.

I don't understand why someone blocked the road. Did they think it was funny? Were they angry at someone? Was it something more sinister? They clearly did it with an axe also, not a chainsaw. It must have taken quite a lot of time and effort. In either case it was extremely stupid and dangerous. What if a hiker was injured? That road is how rescue would get to the trailhead.

After this experience I am considering bringing a chainsaw on all future hikes. For about 90 minutes I had no idea if or how I was going to get home. I felt pretty helpless being completely out of phone range and having no way to clear the road on my own.

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treeswarper
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 5:55 am 
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By any chance, did you notify the Forest Service?

Rubes?  Nope.  If it was rural people, they would have used a chainsaw.  Probably some city "hipsters" who were under the influence of something having a manly moment.  I doubt that blocking the road was the purpose.  Alder lean towards roads and they went that way. 

Take a chainsaw to a trailhead?  Only if you can totally conceal and hide it.  Chainsaws are right up there with guns in the most desired things to steal.
I would suggest purchasing a good, single blade axe and a pruning saw.  Those trees aren't very big and could be chopped through.  They look to be alder and alder is easy to chop.

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RandyHiker
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 5:56 am 
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A decent folding handsaw is less smelly and less dangerous to lug around in your car.    A tow rope is also useful for clearing trees.   Wind and other natural conditions can drop trees and block you in on a little forest road, so not bad things to have anyway.

OTH If meth-heads had dropped trees on the road either side of a cook site -- clearing the trees and moving forward might be a lot more trouble.
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InFlight
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 6:34 am 
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Our Forest Service Roads are bad enough already without having to deal with that.  I would think a small Bow Saw might be the best weapon without taking up a lot of space.  Either that or a folding saw could probably be stored with the spare tire and not take up any real space.

Thanks for a good reminder to all of us to come a bit more prepared at remote trailheads.

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“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...”  ― Henry David Thoreau
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BdCast
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 6:36 am 
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interesting story, I think it brings up a lesson everyone can take note of.... always have some sort of cutting device in your vehicle when heading out on forest roads. I carry an axe, hatchet and folding saw. Atleast get yourself a folding saw. You never know when a tree is going to fall, blocking your route out.

Other very useful items, small shovel, tow rope, leather gloves.

I once had to clear three 10" trees to get out from a remote trailhead. Just part of the gig.


Japanees made SilkySaw: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000CED1OG/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472567811&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=Silky&dpPl=1&dpID=31jph0YHCmL&ref=plSrch
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Voxxjin
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 6:38 am 
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They don't look big, maybe the pictures make them look smaller than they are. I would have driven over them if they wouldn't have been easy to pull off to the side of the road.  I wonder if it was just some dork that thought it would be funny to inconvenience people.

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treeswarper
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 7:29 am 
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I would like to see the stumps.  It might have even been beavers doing it if water was nearby.  Alder leans hard to any opening for sunlight so they would have gone into the road (opening).

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rossb
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rossb
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 8:15 am 
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Yeah, I was thinking beavers as well. Axe cuts and beaver bites look pretty similar. I guess the big question is what the rest of it looked like, or if it looked like someone had purposely dragged some of the trees into the road.

But it also might have been some nutcase, too. Either way, the Forest Service should investigate.
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kiliki
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 9:13 am 
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You reported this, right?

Maybe I have an active imagination but I can think of quite a few reasons someone might do this. None of them are good reasons, but if someone were trying to evade someone else, or do something illegal and wanted to buy time, etc etc, this is one thing that would help them. Given the general lawlessness we've all read about in the national forest lately  (http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/flying-bullets-target-shooting-trash-rile-greenwater-residents/ ) this seems par for the course (unfortunately).
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Hulksmash
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 9:27 am 
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rossb wrote:
Axe cuts and beaver bites look pretty similar.

Hahahahahaha!  ykm.gif
OMG my side hurts laughing at this one.

A properly sharpened and wielded axe should take out fist sized chips.  Just how large a beaver would it take to make bites that big? eek.gif 

But yes someone swinging at the wrong angle with a dull axe will produce beaver bite sized chips.

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thunderhead
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thunderhead
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 9:54 am 
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Bored kids with beer is probably the culprit.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 10:00 am 
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Treeswarper, your hatred of "city people" is ludicrous.  It shows up in nearly every single thread you post in.  You very quickly went from blaming this on hipster to beavers though.  Way to stick to your convictions.
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Slide Alder Slayer
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Slide Alder Slayer
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 10:17 am 
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All these years of carrying an American felling axe and a bow saw every time I go out, sorry I was not there for you.
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Ringangleclaw
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Ringangleclaw
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 10:21 am 
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Beavers=rubes
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Ski
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PostTue Aug 30, 2016 10:30 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
Take a chainsaw to a trailhead?  Only if you can totally conceal and hide it.  Chainsaws are right up there with guns in the most desired things to steal.

^ true.

only if you can figure out how to lock the thing up. leaving it inside a locked truck on a hot day might be disastrous. and chainsaws are like Harleys: they drip oil.

get a good bow saw and and axe if you're worried about stuff like that.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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