Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bitter Ceek and Scenic Hot Springs

Two recent nude hikes as I take advantage of the weather and some time off.  The first one is a revisit to the abandoned road off of the Index-Galena Road up Bitter and Boss Creeks.  This completely reveted road was once to be the access road for a planned, exclusive residential community up in the alpine valleys of the Cascades.  Landslide problems, washouts and permits finally convinced the developers to sell the private in-holding property to the Forest Service for inclusion in the new Wild Sky Wilderness.  That area is protected forever now.  Since the road has been left to deteriorate and is gated with room for only one vehicle to park, this is a great area to hike nude within . . . especially once you reach elevation and the watershed valley of Boss Creek several miles in.

Exploring a small ice cave on the Boss Creek landslide.
The area is remote in that there are few officially-designated trails within the new Wild Sky Wilderness yet.  Thus what remains of the existing road/trail is often overgrown by succulents and young alder saplings.  It is also a place to get the chance to see wildlife as I did with a rare (for this area) lynx in the upper valley several years ago.  On this trip I had another one of my 'Bear and Grin It' meetings with a black bear inhabiting the path ahead of me while munching of young plants.

Black Bear near Boss Creek in the Wild Sky Wilderness
Encountering the bear was fascinating.  It didn't notice me at first and I got the chance to bring the camera up and focus on him (or her).  Then it did a quick glance, stood there as if trying to figure out what I was . . . until a swish of my hiking staff through the bushes woke it out of a trance.  The bear bolted in a flash off-trail and way down the slopes.

After-hike wanderings of the Skykomish

The next day I went up to Scenic to check up on conditions and to see for myself the damage and vandalism thieves had done.  since the Forest Service road still had some snow on it I parked in the BNSF/Surprise Creek area and hiked an obscure back route up to Scenic.

Most of the snow is gone from the lower, clearcut stretches, but once you reach the higher, shaded areas of the trail, proper, two to three feet of hard-packed snow still remains.

The remaining snow pack up at Scenic
I love to hike nude on snow when the sun cooperates to warm the skin.  Sunglasses are a must . . . the snow is a giant reflector bouncing that glare into your eyes and all over your body.  Good thing I don't sunburn easily.  If you wanted to work on a tan . . . hiking nude over a snowfield under bright sunlight is just the thing.  And it ain't cold at all.

There was a couple that managed to sneak in when I arrived at the springs.  I gave them the lecture about asking for permissiom first and then we all had a great soak.  The Lobster Feeds were still down, but beginning to recover.  Bear Den was it's usual toasty temperature.  We cleaned and scrubbed both tubs and started the refill process after draining them.

As for the vandalism . . . well, one trail cam gone . . . the honor box vandalized but unbroken into (I removed it for major repairs).  Losses close to a thousand dollars.  Some old attitudes still persist at Scenic.

The hike back down was inconsequential except for a slip on a mossy boulder that left me ten feet down into an icy-cold pool at the base of Scenic Falls.  No damage except to my dignity and wet boots.

Getting close to Scenic Falls just after scrambling back up
from a slip on the moss-covered granite.
Follow the hike within Google Earth

Something new to amuse me:  The images plotted to a Google Earth KMZ file so you can see where I went.  The link to the KMZ file to download and launch in Google Earth is here.  Below is a screenshot of what you should be directed to within Google Earth.

The above KMZ file opened in Google Earth

Now, on to the actual Photo Albums.  I can't imagine getting out into nature and not taking pictures to remember, relive, and share with everyone the joys of hiking au' natural.

The Bitter Creek Hike (direct link)

The photo album of the Scenic Hike (direct link)

Related Posts with Thumbnails