Scouted a camping area (lots of pics)

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Scouted a camping area (lots of pics)

Post by ineffableone » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:23 pm

So I was checking out the camp site locator areas in the thread I started viewtopic.php?f=73&t=116022 and I am thinking of giving one of them a visit this weekend. Just for a scout and maybe some shooting if not too crowded. Being it will be labor day weekend, I sort of expect it to be a bit busy out there. But never know maybe folks will stay home and BBQ.

Specifically North Snoqualmie Fork http://freecampsites.net/#!11104&query=sitedetails

The write up mentions some target shooting spots, though it does say camp spots fill fast during the summer weekends.

Without seeing it in person yet.

Somethings I like about this location are the bridges, long gravel road, and if you look at where the location point is marked on the map just past that point is a single bridge going into an area with no other entrance. Making that area potentially a fairly defensible location if that bridge can be controlled.

Things I dislike about the location, sounds like it is well known if the camp spots fill in the summer, and while I like the bridges they can wash out or be damaged in an earthquake making them a potential week points that could make access difficult in a disaster situation.

I will try to remember to take some pics and report back what I find afterwards.
Last edited by ineffableone on Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Planning to scout a camp location this weekend

Post by pasha » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:58 am

Very cool! Can't wait to hear your report and see the pics.
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Re: Planning to scout a camp location this weekend

Post by ineffableone » Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:10 pm

Weather is not as nice as I was hoping, so postponing until mid week when the weather should be a little better.
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Re: Planning to scout a camp location this weekend

Post by Halfapint » Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:15 pm

If you do midweek let me know when I have Wednesday-Saturday off I can meet up.
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Re: Planning to scout a camp location this weekend

Post by ineffableone » Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:02 pm

Halfapint wrote:If you do midweek let me know when I have Wednesday-Saturday off I can meet up.
Cool I was thinking Wed or Thur, will figure it out a bit more as it gets closer and weather reports more reliable.
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Re: Planning to scout a camp location this weekend

Post by ineffableone » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:19 am

So I checked out that area. Remembered to take lots of pictures :clap: , though likely still not enough :wink: as I skipped over a lot of stuff in my hurry to check out as much as I could. Please forgive some of the blurry images, just using my camera phone, and I didn't take a lot of back up pics. So you get what you get.

First I have to say I had a hell of a time finding the right road. GPS nav kept wanting me to go on private logging roads. I even had a trucker slow down and take a picture of my license plate when I made a wrong turn into the beginning of one of these and turned around as soon as I saw the sign. I tried to explain to him but he didn't want to take it seems. would have saved me some time if he had been nice enough to actually tell me how to get to the right road.

This is pics of one I took later that crossed the road I did take.

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So I would make sure if you go out here, take hard copy map (or print out) with good clear directions. Because nav systems seem to think you can short cut like the logging trucks.

So after finally finding the right road. North Fork Rd you follow it and you eventually get to this fork head left and up.

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I love this dead end sign
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After not too long you get to the end of paved roads. There is a large turnaround and someone's mailbox. I followed the mailman in as I was coming up the road.

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The view coming back onto the paved road leaving.
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Eventually after a long drive through logging territory, with lots of private property signs posted off to the sides, and the road being crisscrossed with the private logging roads. You get to the "Red Bridge". This means your getting close.

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This is the area I was interested in. I marked places I visited. Though missed the first couple before the large shooting pit.

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Last edited by ineffableone on Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Planning to scout a camp location this weekend

Post by ineffableone » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:57 am

Ok so after the Red Bridge there is still plenty of logging territory to get through, but once you see this "no fireworks" sign things start getting interesting.

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You can just see a turn to the left just past the sign which took me here.

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A road leading to another area just up stream, which also has an entrance from the main road

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Looking back down the road toward the first camp site
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Typical of first camp spots, a mini van seat, and tarp were left in the woods. But actually I have to say, the area wasn't too trashed. I have seen much worse.

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These first two spots are likely mainly used by RV campers because just a little ways away up the road is the large shooting pit area. I imagine whoever camps at these spots tends to get a lot of traffic by them and has to hear lots of gunfire.

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The road looks to have continued at one time, but is now bermed and closed.

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These pics don't really show the size of the area, it is pretty large. And here is the shooting pit looking toward the bridge (I will from now on reference as the shooting pit bridge) that leads into the main fun areas. This is the single bridge access I had mentioned when I had been considering this area.

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Some pics of the shooting pit bridge looking toward the pit.

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Downstream view pic
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Upstream view pic
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Looking up above and behind the shooting pit, that is what I call a backstop!
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Re: Scounted a camping area (lots of pics)

Post by ineffableone » Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:58 am

Just after the shooting pit bridge is a fork. Right or left?

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Since I had been using google earth to prescout the area, I knew I wanted to go right. There was a "road" I had seen that went to the top of the mountain in this area, and I wanted to see if I could make it up. If you look at the google maps image, this is what I labeled as the Goat trail. I got a bit of the way. But it was way too washed out, the road having been eroded by water using it as the stream bed in the tire ruts. Also some tight squeezes to get through some areas and lots of carwash action with branches hanging low.

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This is after having gone up this part and back down it, looking down hill. This my CRV could take, but later it got much much much worse. And there was not much for turn around spots.

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I likely could have gone further up, however being alone with no serious offroad recovery devices and my CRV not being the most serious of offroaders. I went up likely a lot further than most would in a vehicle like mine. I have a lot of offroad experience but I played it safe and turned around in a 10 point turn :lol: and headed to see what else I could find. At some point it might be worth hiking this "road" and finding out how bad or good a road it is or if it is not just a foot trail. Or someone with a motorcycle or ATV could likely get up it.

Next stop a nice beach camp, with a large shallow pool that was helped by someone adding a little rock damn to hold the water back a bit.

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Looks like a good place to cool off in the summer, but not really a lot of good actually camping locations. This seems more like a place to visit when out in the area and it is super hot and you need to relax. Maybe a good picnic spot. Though maybe a hamock camper could find a spot or two in the trees.

Next up is an actual official trailhead. If you reference the google earth map, Bare Mountain trail head. However seems a bit of a hassel. Lots of rules and permits you have to fill out.

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I thought this was a bit funny. Hard to see because to the light and shadow making taking a pic difficult. But I got a kick reading "Permits and not used for search and rescue purposes" LOL Really? Then what good are they really?

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BTW the parking spot for this trailhead, was enough room for 2 cars. Not really expecting a lot of folks on this trailhead I think.

a little ways further and the road ends and it turns into a foot path. Just past where you can't drive further is a rotting old wood bridge. You can see pics of it on google earth. And way down the trail I guess there is an old rotting cabin. I didn't go to either of those, just to the road end. As I turned around another car pulled up with a group of guys who were going to go hike the road/trail.

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Someone had been using this as a shooting area.
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There was a small fire pit just past the berm, and in the middle of the trail heading back.
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On the way back to try left instead of right, I spotted a couple places I hadn't on the way in. One was just pointless, and nothing worth even taking a picture of. The other was a cute little camp site.

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The entire area was surrounded by dense bushes. Likely someone industrious could actually do some serious cutting back and improve this site a lot. Opening it up for more people as well as just to not feel closed in too much.
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There was a small island out in the stream.
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Last edited by ineffableone on Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scounted a camping area (lots of pics)

Post by ineffableone » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:51 am

Ok so now I got back to the right or left, and took the left, which brings us to another fork in the road. Just past the first fork there is a 2nd one.

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Time for another google earth image.

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Again I opted for right first. This time though not due to having a place I knew from google maps to check out, but just a feeling from having been in the area and feeling what the land was doing. This seemed like the best choice for a possible flat area where a large camp might be possible. Sort of a good central location also.

Almost immediately having gone right I spot a left turn into the woods. The area is reasonably flat, and looks promising other than having not traveled very far yet. Then there is a large puddle in another fork. Looks pretty shallow, yep it was. I went through taking the left, back toward the main road going left I had not yet gone down. Here is looking back after having crossed.

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And this is why I choose left, I could see this camp site.

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If you look at that first pic, there was a trail heading back into the woods on the far side. I followed it and up a rise.
Looking back at the trail I had just followed.
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Where I was. A short distance down the road if I had gone left earlier. Looking at a bridge (I later dubbed the "bridge to nowhere special" due to not much found down it)
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So back down to the camp. Explored it a bit more. And found a little cleared section and some boards.

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The closeness to the road a bit of a bummer, though it could allow easy access to drop gear off the back route? Or an escape route? having had time away from the area, I am thinking since this entire area is literally at the end of the road, 24 miles of dead end, there might not be a lot of traffic on that road. Not sure, only experience out there will tell the tale. But proximity to the road might not be such a deal breaker as it first seemed to me checking out the camp.

Ok now back through the shallow puddle and explore right. And find another camp not too far away. Again like the ones before the shooting pit, each has their own entrance road but a connecting road between them also.

This is the view if coming in from the entrance road not the route I took from the3 other camp, that would be just to the left of this pic.
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Same vantage but showing what I saw coming in from the left of this pic. Mud.
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Now it has been raining a bunch recently. So this might be drier at times. However there is still not just that large depression. But...follow that mud around to the right and you see...

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And it looks like folks have been shooting at that nice big tree there too. :? Sort of sad seeing that when there are perfectly good other places to shoot really near by. Some foam in the mud, I suspect someone was trying to use it for traction after getting stuck.

Honestly this site really makes me want to fill these mud holes with lots of rocks and logs. With there being a stream close by and forest right there. A bit of working on it and these holes could be filled in and make a much nicer camping spot.

closer view of the fire pit and the trail heading to the stream behind it.
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Up past the mud hole by the big tree that had been shot was another fire ring, and some other interesting cool features.
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looking back down toward the mudhole
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Honestly if we had a group the size of the Beta Bug out I could see taking both these sites and spreading out in the forest between a bit. Such a set up could keep annoying neighbors away and give eachother room to stretch and really work on building each person's camp site as a destination to visit and learn what sort of set up everyone has.

Back out on the road, the right hand fork still. A little ways further and I come across a right turn and forward a high and low road.

The right turn acording to google is suposed to be a road going back a ways and have a fork. But not what I saw.

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Maybe there is a trail of an old road behind that growth?

A short road to a stump that had been used as a shooting spot and camp. Not overly interesting and not worthy of much pics other than noting as a landmark spot, and well a mini range area. But maybe worth a little explore to see if there is a trail that might lead to something interesting?

Next high road or low road?
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I went low first, but we will skip that for now, and I will say I took the high road and it was not as bad as the goat trail but not a great road. A lot of deep ruts that have eroded from water following them. I got up to as far as you can drive, there was a big boulder field it looked like blocking going further. And there was a truck parked there. Nothing spectacularly interesting, no sign of a camp in the immediate area. Though never know, what might be just round a corner. Someone had a reason to park all the way up there it seems. But nothing worth taking pics of that i saw, and i didn't really want to take pics of someone else's truck. Just seems creepy to me, I know I would be asking WTF if I saw someone taking pics of my parked car.

Ok so low road is coming next post, and if you have been following on the google earth map, you will know this was the best site location I found out here in my opinion.
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Re: Scounted a camping area (lots of pics)

Post by ineffableone » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:23 am

OK the low road camp now.

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A short road in, and I find the best location I find in this scouting trip.

Coming in there is a small parking spot or tent location of to the left on the road just before you get to the camp site proper. I used this to turn my CRV around and pulled up the road a bit past this spot. So I could get pics of it and everything else with out the car in the way.
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Looking in from the road you can see the area of the pic above just to the left, and then the main site area parking or could make a good area for a large wall tent, other large tents, and the folks who have to car camp.
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This is what I saw looking down from that parking area in the pic above.
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There was also a small parking area above the main parking area, or a place to put a tent?
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This site was a bit tiered, with a few different level areas. The upper area immediately bellow the parking.
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Lower area
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Fire pit was very built up and had a screen/grate
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Someone made a table out of a stump and a board.
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A trail to the stream, that bright sunny area is the stream.
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Small shooting lane.
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On the other side of the log backstop of the shooting lane.
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Over all a pretty decent site. Not perfect by any standard, but of all the spots I scouted today the best of them in my opinion.

I would definitely like to spend a weekend out here to really explore and get the lay of the land more. This low road site and the mud hole ones are the ones that seem the highest likelihood of being usable. And while we still have the left fork and what is past the "bridge to nowhere special" I think you can guess by that name that I didn't find anything really great past that bridge. So all the best stuff is above.

Now don't be completely fooled though, while there weren't any great sites past that bridge, there is a reason I labeled the shooting pit up that way the crazy shooting pit. Stay tuned to find out why it go that name.
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Re: Scouted a camping area (lots of pics)

Post by ineffableone » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:57 am

And the "bridge to nowhere special" and beyond.

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A view of one of the mountains from the bridge
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This entire area I scouted is ringed with mountains, cliffs, and there is only one narrow area to get in. Again one of the reasons I wanted to scout this area. Also though it makes for some spectacular views. Really I failed a lot by not taking more pictures of the scenery. I kept finding myself just looking up and looking in awe at the place I was in.

Ok so the road. it was long and really only two turn offs 1st one I stopped and walked up a bit, but it was pretty rough and I was loosing light and wanted to keep exploring and maybe come back to this one. Never did, but google earth didn't show any sort of clearings or anything at the end of this side road so likely nothing worthwhile up there. The 2nd turn off was to the crazy shooting pit, but we will get back to that, as it was the last place I visited, and well it is better to get the rest of this road out of the way so I can tell the crazy shooting pit story as a capper to this all.

So down the road. the very long road with no camp sites, turns etc and I finally get to the end.

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What a disappointment. Just a fizzle after a long drive thinking there had to be something for all that road to be there.

Even the fire "pit" was disappointing not really a pit, no rock ring, just a burnt circle.
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But wait is that more road off to the side? It was hiding in shadows when I pulled up, but yes that looks like a road down. Down is good it takes us to the valley floor and the stream. Maybe something good is down there?
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Not the best road but ok, and it looks like it might go somewhere.
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Nope, a big rock slide stream washout right through the road not much further down.
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And the real end of the road.
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And yes I did go over the rocks, and the stream was flowing in the road bed for a short ways. Then definite no more road. As in nothing was ever built further. This is why I say the "bridge to nowhere special" this long road and it lead nowhere. While maybe there are some trails out there, I didn't see anything worth all that road.

But we still have the crazy shooting pit. Coming up next.
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Re: Scouted a camping area (lots of pics)

Post by ineffableone » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:18 am

And now the conclusion, the crazy shooting pit.

The road up to it had several washout creaks that had been filled in with rubble. this was the biggest and just before getting to the pit.
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Lovely waterfall at this wash out
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Well mostly the pit is just a large shooting pit, nothing amazing other than the view.

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That is the mountain the goat trail would have taken me to the top of if I could have driven it. Really need to try and hike it, I think it would be worth the sweat.

And the shooting pit, well...

cliff wall
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Big open space with berms at the end
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Of course some obligatory fire pits.
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Wait what is with all the brass in the fire pit, wait that isn't just brass that it full shells!

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A better look

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308
223
7.62X39
22 long and short
9mm
45

All live rounds! WTF. This is why there is ammo shortages, someone is dumping live ammo into firepits!

And yes I collected as much of the 45 as I could since I have my new 1911. And I did try shooting a couple of them there. Little lower power than the 45 ammo I have, but still quite functional.

I no longer have a 9mm pistol, and got rid of my 22 rifle as well. Never had anything with 223 or 308. While my AK does run 7.62X39 the steel case ammo in the pit was showing corrosion so I did not salvage that.

I did consider taking all except the 7.62. Figuring could always be a PAW barter item or just for a battlefield pick up. But I opted to leave them there realizing the weekend was coming and I am hoping someone else who has those other calibers, comes along this weekend and finds a nice surprise bonus ammo.

But now you know why I called it the crazy shooting pit. That is by far one of the strangest things I have come across in a long time.
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Re: Scouted a camping area (lots of pics)

Post by Halfapint » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:35 pm

I have a 9, .223, and .308! Let's go shooting!

Also, nice scout trip! Sorry I wasn't able to make it! Hopefully next time. Days off are a lot better now.
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Re: Scouted a camping area (lots of pics)

Post by ineffableone » Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:44 pm

Halfapint wrote:I have a 9, .223, and .308! Let's go shooting!

Also, nice scout trip! Sorry I wasn't able to make it! Hopefully next time. Days off are a lot better now.
Now see if you had been with me you could have salvaged those caliber rounds. But I am guessing someone likely found them over the weekend and put them to use.

It was a lot of fun scouting around. Likely being alone enabled me to cover more ground, though it would have been more fun with another person.

The area has a lot of potential I think. It also looks to me like it would be possible to develop some camp spots a bit to improve them, or even scout some areas and actually create some new camp spots with a bit of work.

Something I didn't take pictures of, and forgot to mention was that there was a road heading left off into the woods past the 2nd fork and the bridge to nowhere special. This road forked once. The right leading to a deep mud put dead end and the left a small camp site that wasn't all the good. Neither locations were really worth while, however It is possible that spots along that road could be developed into decent camp sites with a bit of work.

The entire area seems to be worth some further exploration an evaluation in my thinking.

I would like to follow that goat trail up to the top of the mountain, I imagine the view from up there would be amazing. Also the road out past the Bare Mountain trail head to where there is supposed to be an old cabin for example. This is a pic of it from google earth of it.
Image
Looks interesting. And there is likely lots of other interesting things out in these woods to explore.
"Once a man has seen society's black underbelly, he can never turn his back on it. Never pretend, like you do, that it doesn't exist"

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Kilo147
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Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:36 am
Location: 6 miles NNE of Seattle

Re: Scouted a camping area (lots of pics)

Post by Kilo147 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:29 am

If I could ever get time off work, I'd be game for a weekend up there.

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