For those of you not familiar with this area; we are just now opening the roads into the backcountry due to the remaining snow as well as avalanche danger. Sunday May 18th, we decided it was time to ‘venture into the backcountry for a bit of road travel. Here are a few photos of that day and the map will give you the general idea of the area.
I have always been facinated by the logging that was done here at the turn of the century. No… not 2000 but 1900 !! The trees were huge, the equipment marginal by todays standards and the men dauntless. These guys worked hard, long days for little; no insurance, no retirement, no benefits… a paycheck, meals and a poor roof over their head at night. The rain here in the wet season doesn’t let up as you can tell by the moss on the stumps. I drove down the “Excelsior” road and found these stumps that still show the ”Spring Board” notches in them. The trees were so big; especially at the stump butt, the men would climb on these spring boards to get above the butt width and chop a notch then use a ”Whip” saw to hand saw the trees. Might take a whole day.
If you don’t have any idea what a spring board was; here’s a photo from another site to give you an idea.
It kind of puts things in perspective.
Driving up NF road #39, one encounters an alternative to a bridge. Just let the water run over the road and ford across. Here’s a photo of that.
Nooksack Falls is awesome: the power of water is unbelievable. In fact there is a hydro line taking water out of the river just above the falls and to a power generation plant below in what once was a town called Excelsior. Nothing left now but the plant and it is off limits to travel. (gate, fence and cameras ~ thanks to 911)
The North Cascades should be on your list of p[laces to see befopre you die. I’m origonally an New Englander and spent years walking those hills but I’m in love with the wild ruggedness of the NC’s. Here’s my album if you want to go directly to it. The photos will come up full size directly from the album; they are quite a bit more clear.