Coulee City Pioneer Cemetery

Coulee City is not the same settlement that it was at it’s founding early in the twentieth century. A time traveler from our time would instantly notice at least one glaring difference: back then, the town wasn’t on the shores of a giant lake!


The earliest interments at the site pre-date the town and are thought to date as far back as 1889, though burial records do not exist from that era.

Coulee City was founded in May of 1907, by that time the graveyard had been in use for close to two decades, yet had still not been recorded with county government.

Known burials took place over a 30 year period spanning 1895 to 1924, but after the 1920s the graveyard went disused. By some accounts it was an issue with the water table causing subsidence problems when graves would flood, others claim it was abandoned because the rocky soil was just too tough to dig.

Decades of neglect passed by until the 1970s, when a band of volunteers formed to bring the forgotten graveyard back from the brink. Their laudable efforts culminated in the official dedication of the cemetery on Memorial Day of 1976.

Almost 90 years after it’s unofficial founding, the graveyard was finally recorded with the county and given a name.


Since the great volunteer effort of ’76, maintenance at Coulee City Pioneer Cemetery has been sporadic.

Tumbleweeds pile up and the weeds and grasses grow tall enough to obscure many of the remaining markers.

The open spaciousness of the plot tells of the monuments that have vanished to time, while the stones that continue to weather-on might remind visitors of the grit and tenacity of those who settled these Scablands.


Coulee City is along the US-2, roughly in the center of Washington State, on the south shores of Banks Lake.

Just northeast of the tiny berg one can find the cemetery, though you might have to drive by a few times until you notice it.

Parking is limited to the roadside, but traffic is sparse.



More pictures: Coulee City Pioneer Cemetery

Coulee City, Grant County, WA, USA

Buckeye Mine


In 1898 copper bearing minerals were found perched in a narrow canyon not far from the now defunct settlement of Halford, WA. Eight years later in 1906, the Buckeye Claims, as they were known, were surveyed for patent.

Much improvement had been done in that short time; bunkhouses, cookhouses and barns had been constructed on the site, in addition to trails, bridges and three tunnels totaling about 1500′ in length.

Then as now, access to the Buckeye is a little remote, which required any ore wrested from the claim to be carried out to the nearest railroad depot by miner or by mule.

Despite the hardships of transport, and difficulties involved in driving tunnels through the Buckeye’s particularly hard rock, work continued. However, the miners discovered only dwindling amounts of unspectacular ore as they chased the vein through the mountain.

These less than stellar mineral showings coupled with a tunneling cost of $25/ft (about $650 in 2018 usd) had conspired to halt further diggings at the claim by 1907, with the vast majority of the Buckeye’s hard won ore ending up in the tailing dump.


Scattered chunks of iron pipe and metal debris can be seen here and there on the way up the steep gully, as well as tell tale ore samples amongst the rock.

Most relics and such, including the ore cart mentioned in DWHM #1, have long disappeared from this site

The tunnels house cart tracks and ventilation piping throughout, with one drift in the back used as a store room for now decaying timbers.

One of the more memorable features of the Buckeye’s tunnels is a high pressure jet of water literally screaming out of a crack in the wall.

Honestly it’s a little unsettling at first, as you hear it before you see it. “W…t…f… is that?!?”

Around the adit one can see metal bars set into the cliffs which once supported a timber roof to protect the miners from whatever might come tumbling down the gully.

A quick peek inside the adit reveals it to be a widened chamber perhaps a dozen feet back and about five feet wide. The remains of a wooden platform are set in the mud.

Just outside, you’ll notice a narrow ledge leading off toward the gap in the cliffs, where the miners dumped their ore carts into the gulch.

This narrow cliff could easily dump your ore cart into the gulch as well. Stay out, stay alive!


The journey to the Buckeye begins in the vicinity of the popular Lake Serene Trail.

Follow the trail to a junction with the old forest service road 6020 at about 1200′ elevation, a little before the Bridal Veil fork. This road, or what’s left of it leads to an old BPA powerline road which skirts the long east arm of Philadelphia Mountain.

The BPA road can also be accessed from the Index River Sites, but it is a private community with strict access rules. Know before you go!

Just uphill of the Index River Sites, where the BPA road meets the 6020, the road will climb steeply to a gate. From here you’ll travel eastward and up and down a lot of hills, but at least it’s a navigable road!

If you can get a mountain bike out here, that’s the way to travel imho.

After about three miles from the gate, you’ll see the rusting hulk of an ancient jeep at the top of yet another down hill section.

Luckily this is the last hill.

At the bottom, an old road can be found leading off toward the mountain where you’ll be looking for a…


At the base of Buckeye Gulch is the remains of a clandestine backwoods campsite known by some as the “Meth Camp.” This eyesore is probably one of the best clues that you’re on the right track.

An absolute cacophony of debris are strewn around; cookware, coolers, tarps, clothes, children’s toys…? Gradually the forest is burying the mess with duff, but it ain’t going anywhere soon.

An earlier adventurer shares his impression:

“I first saw the camp back in ’08; wasn’t as bad as it is now but I still thought a meth lab blew up. Got up past that ugly scramble to the mine and the freakin’ ore cart was gone. Tweakers jacked it I bet!”

-Davey Leghorn, enthusiast

So what was really going on at the Meth Camp? Was it actually a deep woods drug den? A mountain meth mill? A tweaker-fest in the timber?!?

Old maps suggest that the area may have been the site of some of the aforementioned bunkhouses, cookhouses and barns that supported operations at the Buckeye.

It’s unlikely that Meth Camp ever served as any kind of alpine amphetamine (ah)peration, however the true details remain shrouded in mystery…

Which really, might be for the best.


If you’ve found “Meth Camp” then all that’s left is to head up the gulch…

At first it’s not too bad, heading up through comparably light brush via the canyon’s main drainage channel, which by late spring may be running dry.

Eventually you’ll break out into open talus and have a good view up the canyon, which you’ll notice gets very narrow. As you approach the squeeze you’ll notice the lightly vegetated ore dump appearing on the canyon’s western wall.

Where the steep granite walls pinch together, you’ll find yourself faced with a scramble up a 15-20′ wall of wedged boulders. This will turn some people back, and rightly so. You’re now a very long way from a hospital. Especially with a compound fracture!

Just above the scramble, you’ll find the adit of the Buckeye No.5 blasted into the center of the canyon, which forks steeply beyond this point.


  • 10mi+- (16km) rt
  • Travel time could be significantly reduced by riding a mountain bike.
  • The gully contains a scramble up a steep boulder jam that is sometimes also waterfall.
  • Potential rock fall danger while traveling in the canyon. Got a helmet?
  • Off trail travel and routefinding skills and equipment a must.

•¤•¤•¤•¤•¤HAPPY TRAILS!¤•¤•¤•¤•¤•


Woodhouse, Phil; Jacobson, Daryl; Petersen, Bill; Cady,Greg; Pisoni, Victor, Discovering Washington’s Historic Mines Vol.1: The West Central Cascade Mountains. Oso Publishing Company, 1997

More pictures: Buckeye Mine Pics


This information is for historical purposes only.

Old Clallam Bay Cemetery

Hidden in the low hills just south of the seaside hamlet of Clallam Bay is the town’s old abandoned cemetery.

While not a long journey, you’ll have to find your way there, and there isn’t exactly a clear cut path. At least not one that that I could find. Not a bad idea to have a gps!


Clallam Bay has its beginnings in the 1880s, around the same time Washington was becoming a state.

Initially the town served as a steamship stop, but before long, lumber and fishing began to develop.

Barrel making however was the big pre-20th century industry in town, serving nearby West Clallam’s (now Sekiu) Pacific Tanning Extract Company, for whom business was booming.

The tanning extract business tanked in 1893, leaving hundreds unemployed. Some left town in search of work, others tried to cut a living from the local forests, or fish it from the local waters.

For some of course, Clallam Bay was the end of the line. Of those departed souls, thirty-one ended up what is now the Old Clallam Bay Cemetery.

Originally a five acre parcel, the land was donated by a C.J. Snider for the benefit of Clallam Bay in the early days of the settlement. In those days a wagon road passed nearby. Travelers may have stopped by to pay their respects on the way to Forks.

The earliest recorded burials date to the first decade of the 20th century, with the last interments being in the early 1930s.

It’s unclear exactly when the cemetery was abandoned, but at some point the property fell into the hands of a logging company.

The cemetery was logged in the early 1990s, which suggests that the trees had reached a marketable size by then. A clue perhaps to the time of it’s abandonment.


As of 2017, coniferous trees once again stand tall above the forgotten cemetery’s scarce remnants.

Hidden in the forest stand a couple legible markers and various features that might suggest where markers may have once stood.

Rusted fixtures and fencing can also be found beneath the dense coniferous canopy. Some rocks suggest they also may have been purposefully placed.

There is no indication at the site regarding its name, history, nor it’s current status.


Just south of town, one can take Eagle Crest Way to it’s fork with Charley Creek Rd. Follow Charley Creek Rd to its abrupt end.

The now abandoned roadway makes for a fitting walk to this long abandoned graveyard.

Head south on the post-apocalyptic looking road grade, keeping an eye out for promising looking paths up into the woods not long into your journey. (<1/4mi)

If you fail to be convinced by anything you see leading off into the woods, you’ll eventually see homes and such at the end of the road. From there the graveyard is more or less directly above you. The hillside at that point however is rather steep, so you’ll see what I mean about trying to find a promising looking path before you reach this point.

I was not able to locate a trail on the way there, rather punching up into the woods before the hill became impassable. With the aid of gps, I followed deer trails through the brush to make my way to the site.

However on the way back up the road to my car, I seem to recall seeing a possible trail up into the woods. Keep your eyes peeled!



The Smyrna Ice Cave

“Ice Cave? In the desert? wtf?”

That’s what I thought when I saw a small adit symbol marked with the aforementioned moniker on my USGS map.

“What kind of ice cave are we talking about here!? Obviously not like the Big 4 Ice Caves. Eastern Washington is like the freakin’ desert!

I’ve heard of lava tubes around some of the local volcanos that form ice inside… some were even used for cold storage.”

Oh! I wonder if that’s what it is; a cold storage cave, like where they stored perishables in the days before refrigeration…

Maybe it’s a portal to Hell, which indeed has frozen over as a result of… Eh, these days, take your pick!


The Ice Cave is along the base of the lengthy north face of the Saddle Mountains. Whether it’s the semi paved road or the total lack of standing structures, you might say the area feels a bit remote.

I hoped to spy a peculiar adit or other odd portal as I slowly rubbernecked by the site, but nothing immediately caught the eye, so I parked and started on foot.

Skirting the muddy margins of an ephemeral pond, which seperates the Ice Cave from the road, I headed to the heaps of fractured basalt at the base of a prominent buttress of the long mountain.

In little time I saw some old shoring poking up out of the rocks…


Not many relics are around, except for a few wooden shoring posts and a selection of bullet ridden debris. Wheel furrows in the alkali mud tell of the area’s popularity with motor sports over-enthusiasts.

The portal is pretty well collapsed, most likely forever. However, a cool breeze can still be felt coming from the area of the shoring.

Perhaps there is still a chamber of some kind sealed away behind the many tons of rubble.

Then again, maybe this was a cut and cover sort of deal. Might be a ways back to solid rock. I dunno, it was collapsed when I got there, I SWEAR!


Well, that would be that. There’s no indication at the site to the nature of the ice cave nor to it’s origins. Ain’t no historical marker, ain’t no nuthin!

When I got home I did a quick interweb search and found a great write up of the cave: Legends of the Ice Cave

(Don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to try that before I drove all the way out there!)

According to that information, the cave was likely dug by railroad workers around 1906 after they’d found some ice on the ground at the site…

Wait, why was there ice just chillin’ at the base of some ol’ hill in the desert? That sounds like a Bible story!

The answer was another new one for me; Apparently talus, in concert with underlying rock structure can sometimes form cold traps; locking winter’s cold within, and slowly releasing it during warmer months.

While rare, there are other known talus cold traps in the region, some also having been converted into early walk-in freezers.

I dunno though, I’m still thinking Hell might have froze over and this is the way to it… hmmm, but that means Hell would have had to freeze over BEFORE 1906. Back to the interwebz!


Gleaning from the wealth of information available on “Legends of the Ice Cave” I “dug” up a bit more on the Cave’s history…

The cave was said to be cut into the hill about ten feet back and may have been about twenty feet wide. This excavation was then topped with wooden beams and covered.

A heavy wooden door once kept the cold air in, and occasionally kept people out. By the 1930s a local farmer by the name of Chambers had began to use the cave to store perishables for the community.

During those trying economic times, the cave was kept locked and sometimes even posted with armed guards to keep any pre-refrigerator bandits at bay.

Speaking of refrigerators, it was the steady hum of the first Freeze-O-Matic’s in kitchens across America that sounded the end of the ice cave’s immediate importance.

Undoubtedly though, the odd passerby would stop along their journey and peer inside. Catching the cool breeze and some respite from the beating Eastern Washington sun.

That is until until the Ice Cave’s untimely collapse sometime in the late 1990s.



The Smyrna Ice Cave can be found along Lower Crab Creek Road across from an ephemeral alkali pond.

From Vantage, WA take the I90 east to the eastern shore of the Columbia River. Head south at the interchange, you’ll soon come to a fork.

From the fork you can either continue south, watching for an eastern turn into Lower Crab Creek Rd in the settlement of Beverly. Or head east to Royal City, then south to Smyrna.

Either way the remains of the Ice Cave are along lonely, ol’Lower Crab Creek Rd. not far from a span of high tension wires.

Happy Trails!

Jefferson Oil Seep

There are a handful of places along the Washington State coast where petroleum naturally oozes from the ground. Not in grand tar pits, but in small seeps.

Early in the 20th century, the seeps inshore of Jefferson Cove attracted the attention of oilmen, eager to exploit the resource and sell it to an oil hungry world.

A few relics and ruins still dwell out there in the coastal forests, a remote monument to an oil boom that never really was.


Local tribes have long known of the oil seeps in the area. According to some texts the native people knew the mixture of oil and dirt as “smell mud”, owing to the sometimes pungent, petrochemical aroma detectable near such deposits.

Wild animals also knew of these oily seeps, sometimes using them as mud wallows. In the winter of 1906-07, a survey party discovered petroleum seeping from one such “bear wallow” near Hoh Head.

In 1911 the first attempts to collect the seep oil were conducted by locals who used explosives to redirect the flow into a nearby shaft where it would pool up to be collected.

Earlier that same year, the settlement of Oil City began to spring to life at the mouth of the Hoh River. As it’s name suggests, it was to be THE city for the speculated oil boom. Talk of a deep water port was in the air, drilling was right around the corner, and the newly platted properties were selling.

A few years later in 1914, the Jefferson Oil Company landed a steam donkey at Jefferson Cove. After the heavy iron contraption was wrangled onto the beach, it was placed at the top of a 300ft terrace to pull equipment up a quarter mile long skid road to the drilling site.

Two wells were drilled; Hoh #1 & Hoh #2. However, neither well ever produced quantities that would make further investment worthwhile.

Over a decade passed when beginning in 1931 renewed interest saw almost a dozen wells drilled at the site, some of which showed potential to the tune of a hundred barrels a day. However, dreams of a lucrative strike faded in step with quickly diminishing yields.

By 1937 drilling had ceased, and the area was protected from future mineral extraction when it was incorporated into the Olympic National Park in 1938.


During a 2017 survey of the area, several pipes were found still sticking out of the forest floor. A few are full of stagnant “mystery water”, and one of them still gurgles with escaping gas.

Another pipe juts out of a spongy depression filled with alder leaves and a creamy, oily substance. A bit like a paraffin bog maybe.

There are a number of shallow mud filled shafts around the site, some partially filled with the natural seepage. A few show decaying cribbing.

What appears to be a moss covered wooden framework lies on the forest floor, along with a number of rusted pipes and fittings.


Jefferson Oil Seep lies right along the border of Olympic National Park and Rayonier logging land. Both entities require a pass to access their lands.

With a Rayonier pass it may be possible to approach the site via a maze of logging roads and a good map. Otherwise it’s probably best to begin your journey from the trailhead at Oil City and make your way up the beach and the bluffs. (National Park Pass)

The journey to the Jefferson Seep is not for the inexperienced or unprepared, timing the tide is critical and no trails pass near this remote site. The weather at the coast is often wet, and the underbrush can be burly.



More Pictures: Jefferson Oil Seep


Hidden in the woods near the hamlet of Port Hardy, BC is an interesting collection of mining ruins dating to a time before Canada became a nation…


In 1849 on the north coast of Vancouver Island, the Hudson’s Bay Company established a fort (Fort Rupert) in order to exploit a large coal seam not far away at Suquash.

Mining began in 1851 but was very short lived, ending only a year later in 1852 following the discovery of a higher quality coal deposit at Nanaimo. Digging resumed in 1908 under new owners, however the call of the great war left the mine want for labor and production halted.

After the war, mining efforts began anew but by the 1930s work was intermittent at best. With the outbreak of the Second World War, mining ceased altogether. These days there are only ruins.


There are some impressive artifacts to be seen; A pair of large chimneys and the foundation to what was once the mine manager’s house stand amongst the trees.

A steam donkey and the ruins of the headhouse can be found jutting out from the duff and undergrowth. Ore buckets, and a massive spoked wheel are among the other large ruins.

Various rusted bits of this and that are strewn around the site, and scattered ruins can also be found down along the beach.


The Suquash site is located on the northern end Vancouver Island near the settlement of Fort Rupert.

Just off the main highway, one can follow a modest maze of logging roads about 2 miles to the “trailhead”. A short walk into the forest and the artifacts should become immediately apparent.

Surprisingly, there are a couple signs for Suquash along the logging road, but nothing indicating it’s presence from the highway. It’s a “kinda sorta” secret.


I didn’t know anything about Suquash, but a “rural exploration” friend had given me a tip that there were coal mining ruins on the north end of the island.

When I got to Port Hardy I stopped in to eat at a restaurant and wouldn’t you know it?! There was a painting of the site hanging on the wall behind my table!

I guess some things are just meant to be!

After a bit of internet detective work and asking the locals, I was able to locate the ruins a ways out of town.

I’d give you directions but that’d ruin the fun, and you’d miss out on talking to the friendly Port Hardy townsfolk!

Driving: Port Hardy is a long ways up the island, but it’s a scenic drive and there is no lack of side trips along the way. If you have to take a ferry to get to the island, I’d strongly suggest making reservations. We went via Tswassen to Nanaimo and the waits going standby were a bit brutal.

Boating: I dunno but it sure sounds fun!


Port Hardy had plenty of lodging and a few restaurants to choose from. There’s plenty of good shoreline walking to be had in town as well.

There are also plenty of camping opportunities near Port Hardy for those who wanna pitch a tent.

Nearby Fort Rupert offers accommodations as well as good walking and beautiful views!

Happy Trails!


More pictures: Suquash Pictures


Ashes to ashes...
Ashes to ashes…

I was up at 4AM on Black Friday.

Not for the savings bonanzas or the ol’ fashioned tramplings, nor for the buyer’s remorse or the last item on the shelf fist fights.

No, like many of us I worked, but #Optedoutside the minute I got out!

Didn’t have a lot of time, with the sun being so stingy in these winter months, so a short walk to Franklin, WA, an old coal mining ghost town fit the bill.

“New” ruins

Eh, it’s got a spooky ol’ cemetery anyway. Who needs light when you have ghosts?

We parked at the small cemetery along SE Green River Gorge Rd. and began our walk.

Someone has done a lot of work to improve the road heading up to Franklin. What has historically been a muddy grade now has a new layer of gravel on top of it.

The trails have been liberally brushed, and some sites that I hadn’t seen in a decade of visiting this place have been cleared of vegetation.

A heartfelt “Huzzah!” to the volunteers and their efforts!

We reached the graveyard after the sun had disappeared beneath the horizon. No ghosts, but plenty of ambiance.

Heading back we encountered some people who decided that dropping a road flare down the 1300′ mine shaft would be a good idea. We were just in time for the show.

The flare erupted in a magnesium flash, brilliantly contrasting the decaying twilight.

Sweet Jeebus no!

Within seconds it was gone, screaming it’s way to the bottom. A robust slap announced it’s arrival with mine’s icy waters.

Darkness. Then inexplicably a light began to flicker from the ghostly depths. A menacing glow struggled to life.

Looking down the stygian pit, pulsating red with sulfurous smoke, it really was a vision of hell.

After the flare burnt out we ambled back to the car, both of us the better for #optingoutside…

Then promptly #optedforthriftshopping at the Goodwill where I got a couple of nice merino wool sweaters, 50%off!


Happy Trails,

Harry Biped

Catching those last rays
Catching those last rays


Head to the center of Black Diamond, WA. Turn east on Lawson Street (There is a Los Cabos and a Cenex station at the intersection) this road will change names a number of times.

Continue on this road for about 3 miles then start looking for a small graveyard on the east side of the road. This is probably the best parking available. Hike south on the road to a gated off area. This is the trailhead.




Bitter Creek

Index-Galena washout…again.

Took a trip up to the Bitter Creek cirque via the abandoned forest service road (NF-6310 on google maps)

Not really looking for anything particular this time, but there are mines in the area.


I’d say this is a moderate, albeit brushy hike for most people in reasonable shape. If you are a vigilante trail worker you might wanna bring a saw or loppers.

There are a couple of gully/creek crossings that may be difficult or impossible to pass in high water.

Wildlife was abundant. Grouse on every other switchback, lots of bobcat “sign”, and even surprised some mountain goats at one of the gully crossings!

Las cabras monteses

There is also a great deal of old growth to see at the higher elevations of the road.

Entering the cirque was like hiking in a whole new land.

A light but heavily crystallized snow coated the grade and a steady cold air flowing from the mountain kept the cirque in a perpetually frosted state.

This effect was more pronounced near the creek and in low troughs.

The road splits near it’s end, the left route is said to take you to a gully in which are a couple of mines (I have not yet visited)

The cirque head

The right route heads toward the cirque head but terminates not long after the fork.

I found flagging and evidence of a bootpath that may continue into the cirque, a climber’s route perhaps, but due to time constraints, this for me was the end of the line.

Bitter Creek

I’d definitely recommend this to the more adventurous hiker seeking to explore some new ground, but it’s difficulty is low enough that most reasonably healthy people could make the trip.

That being said, it is overgrown and has enough deadfalls that it could pose problems to less experienced hikers.


The road less traveled…


Distance: 8 miles RT ± (13km RT±) from roadblock

Gain: 1,640ft ± (500m ±)

Difficulty: YDS 1-2


Take the US-2 to Index-Galena Rd. continue along Index-Galena Rd. until roadblock at Lewis Creek. Hike approx 1 mile to NF-6310.


I think you might need a NW Forest Pass. The Index-Galena Road is currently (DEC2015) closed at the Lewis Creek parking area, so you’ll have to hoof it from there.








Ol’ Blewett


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.

The arrastra
The Arrastra

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 crushenator
The Crushenator

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 built this city on Rock n’ Roll

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.

Nuclear Moss
Nuclear Moss

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.

Old tram something probably

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

It is in these hills that Juan Valdez and his trusty mule...
It is in these hills that Juan Valdez and his trusty mule…

Happy Trails!







Uh, not going that way.
Uh, not going that way.

Despite the flood warning today a couple of us Bipeds decided to head for the hills.

Due to the inclement weather being particularly inclement, our mine search was called off in favor of a dry hike: The Snoqualmie Tunnel.

Being an abandoned train tunnel, it really fits the bill for a rainy day hike, and when better to visit an abandoned tunnel full of ghost trains and ectoplasmic hobos? Halloween!

That's not bogeyman, is it?
That’s not bogeyman, is it?


The trailhead was flooded when we arrived, so we parked along the road near the freeway on-ramp and made our way down an embankment to reach the eastern portal.

The tunnel was pretty much as expected; cool and a little damp. Perfect for a day when the alternative is; cold, and sopping wet.

The sound of rushing water bounced off the walls as we approached the western light.

Rockdale Creek, which flows over the top of the portal was raging. We hiked up and around to take a closer look.

Yeah, it's raining out
Yeah, it’s raining out

At the top, large chunks of wood barreled down the swollen waters. An eerie deep rumble accompanied by a slight tremor, signaled a boulder tumbling through the culvert below our feet.

Heading back to the shelter of the tunnel we saw a group of bicyclists preparing for the trip down to the exit 38. “Beware the bogey man”, they warned as we walked by.

“They were just kidding though, right?”

Rockdale Creek rip roarin'
Rockdale Creek rip roarin’