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timberghost
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 10:10 am 
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There are some utube videos out there also. Probably wouldn't hurt to warn them there.
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Nancyann
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 11:41 am 
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Re: the Honeybucket suggestion for Eagle Falls, there was one for a while either last year or the year before. Maybe it just filled up too fast and the powers that be decided to just let the river handle it.
Regarding mask wearing, these folks are definitely living in an alternate universe. I have seen zero people wearing a mask every time I drive by there. I wonder if contact tracing would show Eagle Falls as a Covid hotspot?
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Anne Elk
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 11:43 am 
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rossb wrote:
OK, I stand corrected. I thought the only toilets were by the picnic area (which is by the parking lot). I didn't realize there was a toilet by the ice caves.

There isn't.  Kim was talking about the toilets near the parking lot; 2 locations:  right near the picnic area, and also at the overflow parking area.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Its why we cant have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 2:55 pm 
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rossb wrote:
very few people will park there if there is a better, legal way to park.

You haven't been to Lake 22, Lake Serene, or Blanca lately, have you?  wink.gif  Last Saturday, among other ridiculous car-parking issues, a car for Blanca was parked on a bridge.

rossb wrote:
It is not a lot different than various places, where they've added new parking lots, or overflow parking. For example with Lake 22, the overflow parking requires a longer walk than along the highway.

Funny you should mention "overflow" parking at Lake 22. I just completed the Mtn Loop Survey that WTA has published (I'll post a link later, unless someone else does/has). Anyway, I went into great detail about the Hemple Creek picnic area parking lot. 

It is not meant to be overflow parking for Lake 22. It's parking for the picnic area. But people hiking Lake 22 have taken it over, so people wanting to picnic there - can't. Same with Gold Pond across the street. Can't visit it due to Lake 22 hikers. It was the only wheel chair accessible place around (I don't think it is any more, it got flooded out; but still, folks visited it).

(I'm not picking on you, by the way. The Hemple Creek/Lk 22 issue has bothered me for quite some time, so my feathers are ruffled; I even called the USFS about it a few years ago. And don't get me started about Blanca).

So: back to the falls. The Highway of Death coalition will likely start up again.

I want to go to one of my favorite trails near Stevens Pass this weekend, AND, a bodacious local artist has his work on display at the Bigfoot Espresso stand. Two great reasons to drive Highway 2.

But .... all this bullsh## on the highway. Ugh. Highway 2 on Sundays have been crossed off my list for quite some time. Now it looks like Saturdays might be out.

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" I'm really happy about this! I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  oldgranola, NWHs outdoors advocate.
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rossb
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 2:59 pm 
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timberghost wrote:
There are some utube videos out there also. Probably wouldn't hurt to warn them there.

Yeah. The funny thing is, for that first one, it said the comments were closed. I have no idea why (maybe a TikToc policy, maybe things got a bit heated, who knows). I did find another video and commented with the warning. I find it surprising that they are jumping immediately to towing, instead of trying ticketing first. It seems especially bad during the pandemic. The risk of transmission is actually fairly low outside, but really high in a closed in car with air conditioning. Let's hope the folks who pick up the hitch hikers have enough sense to roll down the windows (or just get lucky).
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Anne Elk
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 3:03 pm 
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Hey, Kim -  Do you think the explosion of use at those MLH lakes are b/c of Covid, or is "normal" use like that, now?  (It's been 2 years since I've been up there).

In re the Eagle Falls problem, must confess that my inner curmudgeon is yelling, "TOW, BABY, TOW!!"  naughty.gif

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"There are yahoos out there.  Its why we cant have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 3:13 pm 
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No, it's been like that for several years. I haven't been able to wander at Hemple Creek since at least 2014, when I whined to Peter Forbes, then Dist Ranger.  The No Parking on the Mtn Loop Highway appeared longer ago, so it's been trouble before 2014.

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" I'm really happy about this! I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  oldgranola, NWHs outdoors advocate.
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 3:15 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
must confess that my inner curmudgeon is yelling, "TOW, BABY, TOW!!" naughty.gif

It's not curmudegon. Toddlers were on the highway last Saturday. People were herding toddlers on the highway. While holding - not the todder's hand, but inner tubes and ice chests. It's safety not only for pedestrians but for drivers. People aren't all that squishy. They have bones that will puncture my radiator.

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" I'm really happy about this! I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  oldgranola, NWHs outdoors advocate.
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rossb
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 3:16 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
Quote:
very few people will park there if there is a better, legal way to park.

You haven't been to Lake 22, Lake Serene, or Blanca lately, have you?

You are right -- I haven't been to any of those places lately on a weekday (too crowded  smile.gif ). But either there aren't enough signs, or the overflow lot doesn't exist (or is too small). I just think that if you add a big lot (and they could add a really, really big lot) and add signs along the highway, then very few fools will park along the highway.
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Anne Elk
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 4:42 pm 
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rossb wrote:
I just think that if you add a big lot (and they could add a really, really big lot) and add signs along the highway, then very few fools will park along the highway.

Inner curmudgeon speaking, again: Why do that and encourage even more over-use of that area?  Traffic hazards aside, the place is already suffering from trash, human waste, defacing, etc. The county/FS are hardly in a position to do regular patrols/maintenance there; sounds like it needs at least once daily porta-potty emptying even now.  Eagle Falls used to be a quasi-secret place, known mostly to locals and other territorial cognoscenti.  Just because social media have blown it up doesn't mean we the residents and the state/county/ FS have to accommodate all comers. There are some lovely places in Europe that have become such tourist hellholes that the residents are now actively discouraging/limiting them.  That's the direction we should go.  devilsmile.gif

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Sore Feet
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 5:30 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
rossb wrote:
I just think that if you add a big lot (and they could add a really, really big lot) and add signs along the highway, then very few fools will park along the highway.

Inner curmudgeon speaking, again: Why do that and encourage even more over-use of that area?  Traffic hazards aside, the place is already suffering from trash, human waste, defacing, etc. The county/FS are hardly in a position to do regular patrols/maintenance there; sounds like it needs at least once daily porta-potty emptying even now.  Eagle Falls used to be a quasi-secret place, known mostly to locals and other territorial cognoscenti.  Just because social media have blown it up doesn't mean we the residents and the state/county/ FS have to accommodate all comers. There are some lovely places in Europe that have become such tourist hellholes that the residents are now actively discouraging/limiting them.  That's the direction we should go.  devilsmile.gif

Eagle Falls is right next to a major highway and is marked on all sorts of maps, it's hardly a secret location.  It was only "quasi-secret" before because people who don't normally go out to places like Eagle falls didn't know enough to know it existed - social media fixed that.

The reasoning for building a parking lot there isn't to encourage additonal use, it's to shore up the safety of the area.
People aren't just going to stop visiting because it's getting crowded - if anything it'll get MORE crowded.  And in turn the traffic, trash, grafitti, and overuse in the area will increase.  Whether you want to admit it or not, Eagle Falls is a goner.  Pandora's Box has been opened, and there's no going back.  Providing those people who do choose to visit with a safe place to park OFF of the highway, and ensuring that motorists passing by don't have to watch for pedestrians on the road will probably be the best thing for the area long term.  It's only a matter of time before there are significant fatal vehicular accidents there due to the increased traffic.

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Bryan Swan
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Waterfalls - www.waterfallsnorthwest.com
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timberghost
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 8:58 pm 
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Tonight there was another drowning there. Is it worth the 5-10 lives a year drowning to keep it open?
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Ski
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 9:05 pm 
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People drown in Washington State rivers every year. Can't shut down all the rivers.

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Randito
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 10:13 pm 
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I wonder how many fatal vehicle collisions happen every year between Skykomish and the HWY-522 interchange.

Converting HWY-2 to limited access would save lives and improve the flow of traffic.

North Bend seems to have survived having I-90 bypass downtown North Bend just fine -- but I suppose now that we don't have "Scoop" Jackson directing massive federal highway dollars from the other Washington -- nothing like that is going to happen based on Washington state's ability to levy taxes for the public good.
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Sky Hiker
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PostThu Jul 30, 2020 6:24 am 
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Ski wrote:
People drown in Washington State rivers every year. Can't shut down all the rivers.

So when an isolated area causes so many avoidable deaths i.e. Ice Caves has the USFS not taken the initiative to close the area down? YES
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