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catsp
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catsp
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PostSun May 14, 2023 6:40 pm 
A nice sunny spring weekend, which has started the season’s “Mid-Fork Meltdown." The Meltdown takes many forms. Some of it’s in the form of the dozens and dozens of cars that line the road in the clearly signed “No Parking Anytime” areas in the mile before and after the Mailbox Peak parking lot. Some of it comes in the form of the frustration by drivers heading to trailheads further down; frustration borne both of the irritation in having to navigate through the reduced-to-single-lane road, and at seeing people who are not us getting to engage in bad behavior without consequence. And some comes in the form of understandable indignation or even anger at the influx of these fair weather hikers to Mailbox, who unlike many of us, are mostly undeserving given their lack of proper respect and appreciation for nature and/or in paying their dues in less than stellar weather. But I come to bury Mailbox, not to praise it. The most important thing is to move cars off the road around the Mailbox trailhead. Here are some suggested solutions. There are two parts: carrot and stick. Carrot: A new, rugged trail should be established up the north ridge, along with appropriate name and mythology to ensure its desirability. I suggest “Mailbox Peak Backdoor.” Ooh, it sounds secret! Just the name should provide instant cachet. Get an appropriate description on WTA, starting with “You may have heard Mailbox Peak mentioned in slightly hushed tones, but let me tell you, many people won’t even speak out loud about Mailbox Peak Backdoor …” Add in a backstory about someone who used to go up that ridge for some reason, like maybe early firefighters who went up to install a fire hydrant. (“If you’re not just looking at the ground during your unrelenting ascent, you might just catch a glimpse of the rusted relic!”) Obviously, the hike starts at the Granite Creek lot, thus moving cars as desired. Stick: Special Parking Violation Zone. The area would be clearly marked to indicate that the No Parking Anytime designation is dead serious (except for winter when many of us need to park there because of snow in the lots). It would clearly label the special parking fine levied for violation: I suggest $500. Without enforcement, of course, it’s irrelevant. I understand that many might plausibly argue that tax dollars are better spent elsewhere. So enforcement would be effected through a contract with a private citizen, with a bonus percentage of the valid parking tickets written in order to create the proper incentive of 100% enforcement. Stick part 2: It would also be a tow away zone. Again, if the threat is idle, it’s of little use. So every couple sunny weekends, there would be a coordinated attack (or maybe “assault” if that sounds too aggressive) of several tow trucks for some easy pickings and quick bucks. Anyone who used to stay parked after 3pm on certain downtown Seattle streets knows what I’m talking about. Maybe just have the tow be down to the middle school parking lot so the tow truck turnarounds can be fast. We would want to make sure, however, that there were also a few Uber/Lift drivers hanging around for people desperately looking for a costly way back to civilization. (We’re not monsters!) Carrot part 2/Future: Some people might find the Mailbox Peak Backdoor Trail to be too difficult, meaning they would not move down the road to the Granite Creek lot (which we should probably double in size). So we would start with the old logging road already on the east side of the north ridge, and finish it off with a more leisurely route to the top (similar to the existing New Trail). I would suggest naming it Mailbox Peak Logger’s Route. (Again, a proper backstory would be crucial here.)

mosey
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Randito
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Randito
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PostSun May 14, 2023 8:30 pm 
If you really want to hike Mailbox on a weekend with 1500 of your closest friends, there is always a ton of parking at the middle school and it is a short bike ride from there.

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Riverside Laker
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Riverside Laker
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PostSun May 14, 2023 9:03 pm 
I guess the days of finding the toothbrush and following a faint climbers path are over... but that wasn't that long ago!

ancient_squirrel
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thunderhead
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thunderhead
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PostSun May 14, 2023 9:30 pm 
If cars block the road, they should be pushed into the ditch.

Now I Fly
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BigBrunyon
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BigBrunyon
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PostSun May 14, 2023 10:31 pm 
COME IN HEAVY WITH THE FINES! Hit them HARD with a Big Fine. They deserve to be legally PUMMELED for getting in the way!! If they can't cough up the money right then and there then it's time to IMPOUND the vehicle. Just start destroying the car heavy handedly until they cough up the money!

zimmertr
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zimmertr
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zimmertr
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PostSun May 14, 2023 10:39 pm 
Big fan of your carrot.

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Now I Fly
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Now I Fly
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PostMon May 15, 2023 7:19 am 
Pave the North Fork.

reststep
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thunderhead
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thunderhead
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PostMon May 15, 2023 9:02 am 
Pave an extra couple feet of road so that cars can safely park on the side and expand the trailhead at mailbox. Theres 2 big trails there... we can fit way more people on those trails than parking currently supports.

mosey, zimmertr
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