Rain, rain and more rain was on the forecast today. Despite that, armchair enthusiasm was running high!
We headed up for Snoqualmie Pass, bolstered by rumor that there was enough snow to make it worth the effort to break the snowshoes from their long, long hibernation.
Well, there was snow, but it was a lot higher than any of us really cared to hike in this sorta November slop.
So instead Blewett!
If it’s rainy on the west side, it’s usually a little less so over there. The fact that the place is absolutely steeped in mining history is another selling point, at least so long as I’m concerned.
We got to the old townsite and took a quick tour.
First we swung by the arrastra, a curious artifact sandwiched between the US 97 and Peshastin Creek just south of the Blewett historical marker.
The second site we visited was the remains of the old stamp mill, which is in surprisingly good condition considering the proximity to the highway. Definitely a gem hidden in plain sight for the history minded road tripper.
Briefly we headed back down the highway thinking that a hike along Negro Creek would be fun, but with the high water, didn’t seem worth the treacherous crossing. So…back to Blewett.
We followed the little footpath which passes the Keynote Tunnel and followed it to it’s end before beginning uphill.
Two thick metal cables were stretched down the hillside, inviting us upwards to find their source.
Gaining the ridge granted us some beautiful views of the surrounding hillsides partitioned by low, soggy looking clouds.
Continuing up, we passed countless collapsed adits and cuts, sometimes marked by small piles of shattered, milky quartz left behind by those who still search these hills for precious metal.
One small cut even contained a pick axe and shovel. Modern no doubt, but waterlogged and weathered.
The ridge made a nice stopping point and allowed us ample views up and down the US97 corridor.
Leaving the ridge, we opted for a more direct path to the car.
Blewett can be a fun place to visit, but be aware that there is a lot of privately claimed land in the area and many potential hazards in the form of open shafts and deteriorating tunnels.
Respect all private property postings, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because many sites are full of hazards, and… some people can get pretty weird when that funny yellow metal is involved. Just a friendly word of caution.
As always PACKITINPACKITOUT!, leave it better than you found it, take only pictures leave only feet prints, and especially in the Blewett area: STAY OUT, STAY ALIVE