Saturday, December 4, 2010

Middle Fork Road is Snowy but Open

Went up the Middle Fork road today (Dec 4th). The road is open (it seems to have been plowed to just past the Taylor River bridge). If you get off the plowed portion it is pretty tough (10-14 inches snow over ice). Cars can make it to the just past the Taylor River bridge (the road is still gated where you turn right to go up to Dingford) but there is not much room to park. Several cars parked on the road and hard to get around.

The walking is tough right now in the snow, you punch through, but worth it as always on a sunny day.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Something New

Without a documentary to film I was running out of excuses to go out into the woods. I also learned two things about the US Forest Service while filming Dreams in the Wilderness. First, they really care about the forest and are tasked with an impossible network of conflicting interests. Second, they are terribly understaffed. Can't help with the first but thought I could help with the second so I enlisted in the Volunteer Wilderness Ranger Program.

Turns out this is a pretty cool program and one of the good things the US Government does. I never realized that almost all of the backcountry rangers you run into are volunteers. It is also a great way to get experienced people out into the wilderness in an official capacity helping to preserve and protect it.

Two "thumbs up" to the USFS!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wow! A Full House

Last Sunday our film on the Middle Fork Valley, Dreams in the Wilderness: stories from the Middle Fork premiered at the North Bend Theater to a packed house of over 300 people. Zach and I were so proud to show the film and overwhelmed by the response. We just want to thank everyone who came out to watch.

Cindy, owner of the North Bend Theater, not only let everyone in for free but also fixed up Blu-Ray so we could show the full capability of our HD film. Then, so many of you bought books and videos that we made over $350 for the Snoqualmie Historical Society.

If you missed the film, head to the website and get the DVD. The best place to buy it now is at the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum in North Bend.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Great Old Growth

Sometimes it's great to just take a picture. I saw this tree while up on Martin Creek with Cathy McDonald, a freelance journalist for the Seattle Times. I didn't have time to get the right angle, so I went back the next week. Now I have the angle, but need blue skies. That will be another trip.

BTW: Check out Cathy's article on the hike: Northwest Weekend article

The New Pratt Trail

The new Pratt Valley trail, which will connect from the Wilderness Gateway Bridge at the Middle Fork Trailhead, is going in. The WTA has sign ups to help if you would like to contribute to this work:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Road is Really Open (ignore the signs)

It really puzzles me why these two signs are on the Middle Fork Road because it is open for 12.5 miles (to the Taylor River Trail, the road to Dingford is gated). Here is my theory:

Yellow Sign: This is the county and is referring to the upper road that is washed out. The lower road is actually the Lake Dorothy Road.

White Sign: The distance refers to the distance to the gate at the USFS boundary that was put there when they were doing work on the Taylor River bridge (that gate is most definitely open). My guess is that this sign was put up by DNR (they own the land at Mailbox Peak) and either just haven't taken it down or would like to think the road is closed (so that all of Washington will only use the Mt. Si trail).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pratt Valley Hiking, Now's the Time!

One of these days the USFS is going to put in the new Pratt Valley access trail from the Middle Fork Trailhead. In some ways that will be nice, in others we will lose a bit of a hidden gem. If you want to go into the Pratt while it is still "wild", I have created a fairly extensive set of instructions starting with this page:

You will note there are four pages on the Pratt with different ways to get there and some things to see while you are there. There is certainly more, so look around. The Pratt does not give up her secrets easily!

With the low water, this might be a good year to go in there. So give it a try, haven't you always wanted to see the Pratt?

Middle Fork Road is open and in good shape

The Middle Fork Road is open all the way over the Taylor River to the trailhead. There is still a gate at the road to Dingford Creek. The 12.5 miles of road to there is in pretty good shape and may have even been graded.

If you want to bike the Middle Fork/CCC Road loop, it's in great shape as well. Not much water so the streams are either dry or easy crossings.

Yes, I know there are some signs that say "Road Closed" or "Road Closed in XX miles". Not sure who amongst the many agencies involved forgot to take them down. My guess, though, is it is not the USFS. Quite frankly, they seem to really care and are doing their best to make the Middle Fork a great place to go.

Go to the Middle Fork!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

2010 is THE YEAR for MiddleForkGiants

2010 is going to be a very exciting year with the release of Dreams in the Wilderness: Stories from the Middle Fork (a documentary film) and The Middle Fork: Finding Significance in a Forested Valley (a book). In preparation for those big events, I am completely updating the website. This is a good time to look around and more "new" will be there over the next couple of months.