Participants: Steve Schombel, Vick Applegate, David & Julie Kahl
I thought I had the Lubrecht Trail system figured out, but alas, after leaving from the ski parking trail head, we once again ended up on the wrong trail, which we discovered when we arrived at a familiar trail junction. We started to take trails to the correct spot, but before getting to the cut off trail we stopped to consider our options. There was still quite a bit of snow on the roads where it had been packed, ranging from zero to about 4 inches/10.16cm deep. It was warm and sometimes sunny so the snow was soft and compacting under foot, and that would get worse as the day went on. What would we find if we climbed another 600-700 ft/182.88 m-213.36m? Probably similarity packed snow that was a foot/0.305m deep or more, and the possibility of post-holeing in soft snow for 4 miles/6.44k. We opted to do the “D” trail instead, we hadn’t been able to ski it this winter because it was closed for logging. Now all the closed signs were down and it was nice hike. Having a naturalist along was great, we were hearing red-breasted nuthatches, several different wood peckers, a sandhill crane flew over and down by the pond was a very upset mallard. In the logged area Vick showed us “red rot” in some cut logs (Douglas Fir, I believe), a fungus infection in the center of the tree that compromises the woods integrity. Also we saw a small diameter pine that had had the bark stripped off the lower trunk, Vick explained that the tree had a pine beetle infection and wood peckers had stripped the bark to get at the beetles and their larvae, pretty much sealing the tree’s fate. He also showed us a spot where woodpeckers had made a big hole into the side of a larger tree to get at carpenter ants. And if that wasn’t enough he also dug into the bottom of a split in a large fallen trunk to get the wood from the “bottom” of it where the sap had collected – it makes a good fire starter. Going down to the pond I asked Vick to scan the road we should have been on, across the valley, with his binoculars and he said everything he could see up there was white, even off the road. It was by the logging that we saw the only buttercups of the trip. Down by Jones’ Pond the pond was ice covered except for a few inches/cms at the edges, and the extreme upper end. There were ducks and Canada Geese hanging out by the open water. We ended up doing 6 miles/9.66 k, and only saw one other person, a lady who had hiked in from the PawsUp Resort. This time of year, any trip without ticks is a successful trip. We’ll try again next month.
Leader: Julie Kahl