Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Scouting

     I left Trout Lake on the 3rd of June 2012, on a backpacking hike to explore a route for my horse Taboona and my Cart (home made). I left the house on the trail we built and walked east a couple of miles to the aspen grove. After looking at Goggle earth maps, it seems clear to me; all I needed to do was walk north from here and I would catch a road that ties into the TroutLake / Laurel Road. So I started off in that direction.

     I had about 50#s on my back and my walking stick. I took off walking to the north by dead reckoning and walked for about one and a half hours, it was very brushy and not easy going, then I finally came out in a clearing and realized I had walked in a giant circle. Wow, I had used up a lot of energy and took a healthy blow to my ego. So I got out my compass and did my then best to follow a strait line, in an attempt to pick up the dirt road I needed. But I never found the road! I eventually found another road but I turned the wrong direction on it and ended up getting behind a small range of hills. Obviously judging by the terrain I was getting to far South of my planned route so I decide to go  strait east which required me to hike over this small mountain range and then down a draw which became thicker with brush, trees and vegetation with each step. (I hadn’t been on an extended hike like this for 12 years so. I was a little ‘off my game’).

      This was quit an amazing thicket and I thought I was ‘going to get stuck in there! Through barbed wire fences and fading light I finally broke out of there into the open swamp grass lands. What a relief, but there were not many places I felt comfortable to make a camp for the night. I did finally decide on a spot that I hoped would satisfy my temperary needs.

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Musings on Life

               The only warm-blooded creature that rivals us in number is chickens.  After that, you must go to rats and mice to find a comparably numerous species. In terms of our collective impact on the planet, one would have to look to asteroids and super volcanoes in order to find a comparison.

                                                                                         John Vaillant

       Tracking is the “oldest profession” To be able to read tracks and sign for safety and food is what being Homo sapiens were all about.

         I moved to Trout Lake in 1974 with the sincere notion of being closer to wilderness and nature. I even thought maybe being near to the Yakima Indian Reservation may help.

       It became obvious after hiking around Trout Lake that the entire area had been logged off, high graded, so to speak about 90 years ago. Before that I have heard from the old-timers you could ride a horse through the old growth anywhere. Now it is a thicket and that is good. Brush is a redeeming factor here, Brush; hazelnut, saringa,  ocean spray, bitter cherry, vine maple, Douglas maple and service berry (to name a few) have held the soil and the wild life. Until the new loggers came again in the late ‘90’s but this time spraying the brush to kill it is the current motis operendi.

      A few years ago it was so quiet here, around my home in T rout Lake sometimes one could hear the “white noise” (kind of like a very subtle but full body buzz), within and without.

      There were an abundance of bats, and swallows and NO mosquitoes! Song Birds nesting in the spring were so virulent there was no sleeping in, even on week ends. There were so many spawning trout in the creek, you could hear them splashing around in their final fall orgy of creation! And with a primary food group in the neighborhood, such as these fish, along came the King Fisher, the Great Blue Heron, the Mink , the Otter and the Beaver, Deer, Elk, Bear and Mountain Lion, to name a few.

        We don’t seem to be aware that we can not fence in the noise we make.

     I’m 65 years old and I want to see where the quiet places still exist (OUTSIDE) in this amazing and beautiful; Klickitat County.

                                                                              Jack Fee


most recent beginning

I started this adventure on foot, back packing and camping along the way for the purpose of finding the best route across Klickitat County (Washington State USA) for my horse (Taboona) and Cart (home made using a 1981 VW rear axle)

Besides I just wanted to “get out of Dodge” and hone my survival skills, have an adventure. I had just discouvered google earth and my route at first seemed like “a piece of cake”. I hiked right up the trail behind the house a fine trail up through the timber, we had built by Darrel Hoyte. I walked to the aspen grove where I simply had to walk due North a little ways and I would pick up an old logging road that would lead to the Trout Lake / Laural Road. I walked with at least 40 pounds of stuff on my back for about an hour and realized I was back where I started!

Once again I had underestimated how easy it is to get lost and thoroughly turned around up there. The brush is thick and there are not a lot of view points. I used my compass on my next attempt. I never came out on the road I was looking for and then took a wrong turn when I did come to a major road and once again over shot my goal, So I hiked up over a small mountain range and down a draw toward the east and nearly was stuck in the thick brush. Granted I saw a lot of beautiful flowers, a lizard, some great views of Mt Adams and felt strong over all. however my frustration drove me to a private prayer meeting with myself and those spirit helpers that some how keep me happy enough to live through the rough spots!

I eventually popped out of the woods not too far from Laurel and found a campsite near a “T” on the main gravel roads there with a screen of stunted wind blown pine trees to give me shelter from being seen and some respite from the wind. Now camping on private land with out specific permission made me feel like some kind of a fugitive and I did at this time feel up to playing this game at what ever cost. I was researching a route for my horse and cart. But I was loathe to have to explain that to anyone just yet.


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