Month: July 2016

Wilderness Stewardship

I’ve been helping out in the Three sisters wilderness doing volunteer work for the forest service.  Here’s my notes for Doris/Blow/Senoj lakes this last Saturday…

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2432222121122 = 26 unique individuals contacted.  Might have missed a few in there, so I’m saying ~30.
Left hiking boots at home.  Left home at 8:15a.  Stopped by Green lakes for 30 second and said hi.  Can’t remember when I got to the trailhead.  Made some 10-ish visitor contacts in the parking lot before starting (one very sweet aussie dog that suddenly curled up in my lap when I knelt down to pet it).
Went first to Blow lake.  Cleaned up some fire rings but they were away from the water.  Shrunk one in size a slight bit and continued on.  Did not circumnavigate blow lake.  Stop was short, use was not too high from what I could tell.
4 people (2 groups) without proper permits at Doris lake upon arrival.  One group kept their bubble form and put the other half in the slot.  This group was also camped right on the shoreline at the area right near (but not in) the main well-marked day-use area.  Other group didn’t know and had a very amicable conversation (and their dogs were very cute too, and on leash/well-behaved).
Cleaned up a campsite that is downhill of an established fire ring.  Contact a solo young lady who may have camped there, but didn’t utilize the fire ring there.  Educated.  Found the site, it was well established, about 20ft from the water.  Tent pad was swept clean of litter down to mineral soil.  Fire ring contained ~30lbs of charcoal and ash.  Pictures retained. Used two of the fire ring rocks (they were pretty healthy) plus one of the seating logs to iceberg the tent pad.  Did my best to duff the area before moving on.  Pictures retained.  Had lunch at noon after completion on the lakeshore.
Proceeded clockwise around Doris lake and found all the camping spots.  Most looked unused, except for the one when I got close to the main throughfare.  Looked for signs of TP/Poop, didn’t find any.  Found a package of brats in the fire ring along with other typical debris.
After circumnavigating, hit the main trail to Senoj.  Got lost.  I don’t know this area very well.  I could see a couple with what looked like a dog on the other side of the lake, but I found the terrain difficult to follow.  Follow up:  Contact a wilderness ranger familiar with Senoj to get scoop on campsites in that area and problem spots.  With the bugs, not many people were going to Senoj.  The one couple I talked to going to Senoj (didn’t have a dog) said they had ‘their spot’ that was well off the beaten path, but they might go to Zowie if the bugs were bad (they were).  I did not re-encounter them on the trail after I saw them at Doris lake.
The trail from Doris to Senoj has a fair number of trees down.  User trails are being created around some of them.  MOst are <12in diameter, with one 15″ perhaps.  Details vague.
I was bushwhacking at Senoj because I didn’t know the area.  Ran into a lady who thought she was at Doris lake, and glad to learn she had gone further than she had expected.  Helped her back to the main trail (She was like 10 feet from it).  After failing to find any issues at Senoj (other than trees), I diverted to the PCT just for shits and grins.  No major trash found.   There are maybe a few trees down, but nothing too major.  Worst (included in last two pictures) is a tree that fell down across a curve in the trail.
I suddenly, probably 1/4 mile from the PCB, found I’d dropped my mosquito net, and turned around promptly.  Found it about a half mile back.  Decided it was time to head back home.  Encountered one group of two that was going to Goose lake.  Former USGS spotted frog researcher, planned to just cover his poop with a rock, no shovel.  Gave him tips on using a stick to at least dig a hole, rocks aren’t good, etc.  His asian partner said she planned on just holding it in until tomorrow morning (ooooohkay).  Proceeded back to Doris.
Contacted one individual at Doris on the left side of day use area who had just pitched his tent right on the shoreline. Valid permit, receptive, showed him on the permit where it said 100ft from water, gave him my 3 talking points, and moved on.  Buried an older pile of toilet paper with turds still attached.  Thinking back, I thought I had heard someone while I was rehabbing the camp/fire ring at lunch earlier in the day… and ran into where someone had been pooping right on the shoreline not far from where I had been working (srsly folks?).  It had been marked with a stick.  I reburied it away from shore with the other pile of older turds/toilet paper.  Proceeded back to trailhead, contacted dispatch to extend ETR due to the PCT detour, and then got back to Bend ~6:15.
Bugs:  Nasty at Doris and blow.  Okay at Senoj, but present.  Mostly non-existent on Six Lakes Trail to PCT.  They found the part of the sleeve/cuff that is open and doesn’t have a button.  They also found the hole in my glove.  When I took my backpack off, they were swarming around it.  I will remedy these situations (except the fact that they like me so much, natch).