The Boothill: Danner Mountain 600 Enduroweave


Last summer I bought a pair of these babies after a friend of mine extolled the virtues of a non-waterproof footwear for hiking in the warmer months.

I ended up doing quite a bit of off trail travel in the Cascades with the last pair, and really beat the hell out of them. They did well enough though, that I figured on an actual maintained trail, they’d hold up even better.

At $160USD, they’re not the cheapest boot, but also not gonna leave you in the poor house, and hell they’re made in America so, Yay USA!

I probably put less than 50 town miles on the boots before I hit the trail, so by the time I laced them up down on the Mexican Border I was still digging that new shoe smell…

Not too worse for wear!

MILE 112

So far so good! Some minor wear and tear, but no real damage to the boots or the soles, but at the toe, the rubber is starting to ever-so-slightly separate from the boot.

Not many people wearing boots out here in the desert, people seem to be wearing trail runners with low gaiters mostly.

A few people have asked me if wearing boots in the desert heat isn’t like rocking a pair of Easy Bake Ovens on my feet, but really the feets haven’t got excessively sweaty at all, and I’m loving the ankle support.

Houston, we have a problem.

MILE 266

The boots are getting rather chewed up now. What started as light abrasion just behind the left foot big toe is now a total breach of the outer layer.

I really dig these boots, but a reoccurring thought of mine is that they really need some extra armor over the toe box and other key points to protect against abrasion.

They’re obviously due for a replacement in the next couple hundred miles, which is a bit disappointing, having had higher hopes for this pair.

MILE 363

I decided to swap the Danners out in Wrightwood after buying a pair of Altra Lone Peak 4’s.

By this point the boots had developed a long tear along the bottom of the left boot, where the fabric meets the sole.

Although a thin inner layer remained, I felt that it was best not to change a critical boot failure out in the middle of nowhere.



Overall I liked these boots, but will not likely buy them again.

My last pair did alright over a summer of weekend trips in the cascades, but the day to day punishment of the PCT was just too much.

While there is much to like about the Enduroweave boots, ultimately I feel that for the price, there’s much better options, at least out here on the PCT.


The Boothill: Skechers Rugged Industrial Hikers… again!

What’s a hiker to do when the going gets rugged and industrial?

Strap on a pair of Skechers…


25 OCT 2018 – 04 APR 2019

Like I said in the obituary for the last pair, I happened to be near a Fred Meyer one day and decided to pop in and replace my previous pair of Rugged Industrial Hikers which were sufficiently dilapidated.

Out of the box these things are comfortable for a work boot with a safety toe. A nice plus!

… and at a price point of around $70 USD things can only get better! right?

27 NOV 2018

It was pouring today, so thought I’d mention that these things do not grip in the rain. I’m sliding all over the pavement.

No shit; on a steep enough grade I’d just be along for the ride if one of these 2 yard dumpsters decided to take off down a steep Seattle hill!

Just skidding on my boots pulled along by several hundred pounds of booze bottles and Amazon boxes.

Sometimes you just gotta go down with the dumpster.

04 DEC 2018

It’s been getting frosty in the mornings. My hands have been getting rather cold just using the company supplied blue atlas gloves, but thus far the RIH’s are keeping my feet warm and dry. We have yet to get hit with frozen precipitation.

11 DEC 2018

Officially taking on water today. Not much though, didn’t really notice until I took my boots off, but seems to be coming in right around where shoe and sole meet.

14 FEB 2019

Valentine’s day, and I’m SO not in love with these boots!

They have so many leaks at this point my feet get soaked in a light rain.

Why haven’t I replaced them by now?

Well, because I’m a cheapskate! … and my time as a garbage man is coming to an end in early April, so I’m gonna let the RIHs run for a little while longer.

Here in the Great Northwest, we’ve been getting hammered with record setting snow. It’s made collecting the garbage next to impossible, and is likely to see me lose my soggy feet to TRENCH FOOT because these rugged industrial hikers have held up like frail geriatric shufflers!

12 MAR 2019

One time I found a booklet on hospice care in the garbage. Inside there was a section that talked about how when people begin to pass away, they might begin to see people and places long past, and interact with a world not visible to anyone else in the room.

I thought “That’s fascinating; perhaps it’s like the soul separating from the physical body. Like briefly inhabiting two worlds simultaneously.”

Guess that must be where my right boot is at, because it’s sole began separating last week.

Really hoping that Gorilla Tape can tether the soul of my boot sole to the physical realm just a little longer!

Hold strong brave boot, soon your struggles will forever pass…

04 APR 2019

The day is finally here, the contract is over and I’m no longer a garbage man.

On the way to my car, I unceremoniously chucked my seriously compromised pair of Rugged Industrial Hikers in the trash compactor.

Honestly I’m feeling pretty cold about that, kinda wish I’d done something special for them like maybe filled ’em with flowers and set ’em ablaze, but its too late for that now, so I wrote a poem instead:

“They weren’t the best boots, but weren’t the worst. They weren’t the last, and weren’t the first. Many boots I have owned, some held up, but these got pwned.”


Pratt Mountain 5099′

To many visitors, Pratt Mountain, or simply “The Pratt” as it’s called by woodland hipsters, appears to be a giant heap of talus rising from the montane forest…

…and it pretty much is.


(From Talapus Lake TH)

  • 2400ft / 730m gain
  • 10mi / 16km round trip
  • <0.5mi/0.8km offtrail



“The Pratt” composes the north east buttress of a high plateau which holds a number of popular alpine lakes just north of the I90. Especially popular on summer weekends!

The shortest distance approach is from Talapus Lake trailhead, but can be also accessed from Ira Spring TH or Granite Mountain TH, whatever way you choose, you’ll want to end up around Rainbow Lake.

Rising behind the lake is the southwest face of Pratt Mountain; the aforementioned giant pile of talus. A non technical, but talus-y ascent awaits you.

Along the trail just east of Rainbow Lake, a handful of foot paths head up through trees to these rocky slopes, where one can contour northwest along the ridge to the summit.

There’s a good view of the surrounding peaks from the top o’ the Pratt. Just south one might be able to spy hikers atop Bandera Mountain, or yonder east at the Granite Mountain Fire Lookout.

Throw them a wave, or give em the bird! It’s basically the same gesture at this distance!


A round trip up “The Pratt” can be done as a day trip, but for those who like to stretch it out, there are ample camping opportunities.

There are nine lakes of size in the area, many with established campsites. During the summer months some of these lakes can be very popular with campers, so treat your water, and plan accordingly.


Make yourself a “Pratt Bratt” t shirt to commemorate your ascent! Fabric safe puffy paint works great!

A Sharpie marker works too, if you’re a habitual half ass.

I have a strong feeling that such a shirt could even help you make friend (s)!


You’ll need a Northwest Trail Pass to park at either the Talapus Lake TH or Ira Spring TH or you might get a ticket.

A self issued wilderness pemit is required for travel in wilderness areas, and is usually available at the trailhead.


Pratt Bratt pics 19NOV2018

Candy Point Trail

This short but steep hike in Coulee Dam, WA leads to some of the best views to be had of the most powerful hydroelectric generating station in North America.


  • 2mi +- (3.2km)
  • 700′ elevation gain (213m)
  • Steep trail, often hot sun, little shade
  • Great views of Grand Coulee Dam
  • Can be hiked the whole year round


Work began on the Grand Coulee Dam in 1933 as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal”.

In 1937 the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, constructed the trail to the Candy Point Top to provide views of the massive dam, which was completed in 1942.

In 1991, the trail was rebuilt through the efforts of the Grand Coulee Dam Rotary Club.

Some 26 years later, in 2017, Washington Trail Association volunteers repaired sections of the trail, and cleared overgrowth from the 80 year old grade.


I can’t think of many other trails that offer as much as the Candy Point Trail in such a short distance; Nature, history and some great views of a legitimate world wonder.

Access is via two odd trailheads; neither of which really seem like trailheads at all…

One of them is along North Columbia Ave, and appears as a sign in someone’s yard. From there you walk across their lawn (I know it sounds weird, but they’re cool with it) to gain access to the trail.

The other is behind city hall at the top of Douglas Ave. Initially I thought this boot path was going to lead me to a hobo encampment or a teenage pot smoking spot, but no, this is the trail…

…or the real one is a short distance away in the same parking lot, I dunno.

This is the way I hiked it.


From behind City Hall: Follow a bootpath dipping into a brushy draw behind the parking lot. A makeshift bridge of rock and debris sometimes span diminutive Fiddle Creek which lies at the bottom of the draw.

The path then begins to head up, passing by a fenced off railroad tunnel, which a plaque describes was abandoned before it was ever even used.

The trail continues up the Fiddle Creek draw, in many places up well constructed rock steps placed by the CCC so many years ago.

Looking back as you gain, the mammoth concrete impoundment creates a surreal backdrop over the picturesque Grand Coulee old town.

From here one can fully appreciate the town’s placement as more than just a show of trust, perhaps rather trust defined.

At what seems like the top, the trail begins snaking up the grassy backside of the 1765′ point. Oh, that reminds me…

This is rattlesnake country!

Keep an eye and ear out for snakes!

Around the Candy Point top is the remains of some sort of radio equipment, and an eyeful of views of the damn big dam.

A spur trail in this area also leads over to the parking area at the Crown Point overlook to the north.

The route then begins to travel down a draw sloping to the north east, steeply traveling downward upon the CCC’s well built grade.

At the bottom you’ll find yourself in someone’s yard; “I dunno man, you sure it’s cool to cross here? I ain’t trying to get shot after avoiding all the cliffs and snakes, I worked too hard for this!”

Prepare your best “but teh internetz sed it wuz k” face, then cross the grass to the road. You might even see the sign over there. (No really, they’re cool with it!”)

You’re now on North Columbia Ave, follow it south, past the bank and into Cole Park. There, a much better bridge spans Fiddle Creek and will put you on a long, diagonal sidewalk back up to City Hall where you parked.

…or turn around and do it the other way, the world is your oyster!


Step one is to get yourself to Coulee Dam, WA, which you’ll find in the north central part of the state.

Step two is to pick your trailhead. There’s some parking up at City Hall at the top of Douglas Ave, or street parking on North Columbia Ave.

If you’ve crossed the bridge to the north side of town, you’re on the wrong side of the river.

••••••••¡click here for more pics!•••••••

Monte Pugh en Otoño

Took a jaunt up Mount Pugh 23SEP2018…

Trail was in quite good condition, with perhaps only a couple minor obstacles.

Ran into a few parties along the way; maybe ten humans and a dog in total.

Light snow started after the knife ridge, at about 6100′.

At the summit there was an inch or so of snow, and a vista socked in by water vapor.

Views began to give way on the trip down, when the cloud level finally rose a couple thousand feet off ground level.

Fall colors were in abundance.

Besides the humans and their canine, a few pikas were the only wildlife to note.

☆☆☆☆Klick for more pics!☆☆☆☆

Fungus Debriefing #1

2018SEP16: The preceding weeks brought some rain to the western mountains, a good sign to the savvy mushroomer.

Vine maple leaves were beginning to turn; reds and yellows. Sometimes the clash of colors appeared like a still life wildfire burning up the hillsides.

Manic weather dumped a few solid sheets of rain before ebbing into a mixed nebula of moisture. A benevolent window opened up later in the day, seemingly rewarding all those who rode it out.

My first finds were some soggy lobster mushrooms; not impressive, but at least I knew they were out there.

“Missed ’em by a week!”

This was a repeating phrase I heard in my head as I started the hike to another area I knew to be productive in the past.

When I got there I immediately ran into more soggy lobsters poking up out of the duff.

“Told ya, missed em by a week!”

Not far away, at the base of a young Douglas fir, I spotted a large cauliflower mushroom. The outer lobes seemed clean and free of infestation.

Harvesting only the choicest parts of the big mushroom, I thought it best to leave much of the fungal mass remaining to do it’s thing.

After that it seemed my luck took a little upturn and I scared up a few lobsters in prime shape. I also discovered a pair of chantrelles; one yellow and one white.

No big wildlife sightings, but the ruffed grouse were abundant.

More pics: Fungus Debriefing


LOC: A-1,2

A Little South of Bessemer Mountain

Not so much a mountain climb, rather a long, long mountain walk. Even moreso on snowshoes!


  • Approx 12mi RT, 4000′ gain
  • Snowshoes handy after 3500’ish
  • Trailhead is basically a gate with barely anywhere to park.
  • Beautiful views, few people!


There was only one vehicle parked at the trailhead when I arrived. Two sets of footprints headed up the gated road.

A little more than a mile out, the road hits the old CCC road. Here I followed the CCC road right for around a quarter mile. At that point I turned uphill, while the CCC road continues into the forest.

Not long after, a scale house for a small quarry appears on the right. The road makes four switchbacks after this bend before making a long line northeast.

Frozen puddles and sparse, crunchy snow progressively transformed into powder as the steps went by…

At about 3200′ I broke from the main road and followed the tracks up what is marked as a 4×4 road on the maps.

When I got up to 4000′ I broke off onto untrammled snow in the direction of a borrow pit approximately in between South Bessemer and pt. 4965. Had a bite to eat and considered heading towards pt. 4965, but the pre-stomped trail going up South Bessemer was a little more appealing.

Speaking of those tracks, I ran into their creators not long after my stop at the borrow pit. Met them at about 4300′, where the following transpired:

“You’ll see the tracks split up ahead; Go Left! We went right and ended up scrambling steep snow to the top. That’s when we noticed the easy way down. Go Left!”

Indeed, just a few hundred feet below the summit at another snow covered borrow pit, the traveler’s tracks split. I took their advice and went left.

Wind was blowing pretty good at the top, so I didn’t hang around too long, but spun around enough to take in the vast Middle Fork views.


Brrr! It was getting cold, but luckily it got a whole lot less windy coming down.

The snow covered trees and icy hills began to glow in golden light as the sun disappeared behind the cold haze of the horizon.

The light gave up the ghost with a few miles left to go. I draped my headlamp around my neck, but never turned it on.

A sliver of moon and the twinkle of stars glinted off the frozen road way; a ghostly, guiding iridescence in the indifferent cold of winter…

“Oh hey, headlights! Woot!”


  • Snowshoes were very handy, if not required.
  • A mountain bike could be used to reduce some of the walking time.
  • Many more miles of snowy road to explore, Pt.4965 appears to be a good snowshoe objective as well.


A Discover Pass is currently required to park at the sparse trailhead.



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

Jade Lake 4620′

This is the first lake you’ll come to on your travels up the Necklace Valley. It may be diminutive, but it’ll be a sight for sore eyes after the hike in.


Challenge: maintained trail, yds-2

Distance: (from trailhead) 7.5mi + –

Elevation gain: 3000-ish’

Follow the Necklace Valley trail #1062 along the east fork of the Foss River.

The trail gives up elevation slowly until it takes off like a rocket about five miles in.

After that thigh burning climb, the trail will dump you off at the north end of the lake.

Fishing in the clouds


There are a couple established campsites at either end of the lake and a few others can be found scattered about.

You can expect these sites to fill up fast on a busy weekend…


While Jade may not be the biggest lake, it does hold fish.

Small cutthroats were abundant during my last visit.

The main trail skirts the east side of Jade Lake providing fishing access along its length.


A self issued backcountry permit is required for travel in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

You’ll need A NW trail pass to park at the Necklace Valley trailhead.

For more information visit:


USGS Big Snow Mountain

“Mine Tunnel Hill”

Once again I was pouring over some maps and saw something that piqued my interest: “Mine Tunnel” written above a little adit symbol, and well off the beaten path…

As lonely as a Sears parking lot


Not far beyond the long, low bridge spanning the Carbon River at the same named entrance to Mt.Rainier, there is a logging road branching westward just before you reach a huge shooting quarry. This is the de facto trailhead for this trip.

Logging roads zigzag Burnt Mountain, if you follow the correct combination (think up and east), it’ll put you on the highest, furthest eastward landing. From here it’s offtrail to the ridge.

You may occasionally see flags, but it’s pretty much game trails through trees and brush. A couple wide open areas of scree/talus are hidden in the trees and can make a good place to ascend.  

There are also a few rock outctops hidden on the hillside that you’ll probably want to be avoiding. 

Burnt Mountain Pond, maybe.

Once atop the ridge I started coming down broken snow on the other side via an easy contour clearly visible on the map. 

A tea stained mountain pond (Burnt Mountain Pond?) lies at the base of the contour as does another logging road. 

Other amenities include; the remains of some aluminum lawn furniture, pieces of a TV and a fire ring.

From this small camp it’s a little less than three and a half miles to “Mine Tunnel” Oh Joy!

Hill 3361′ aka “Mine Tunnel Hill”


Again on logging roads, the hiking is non technical but you’ll really want a map out here. It’s a maze!

Much of my walk was amongst low clouds this time around, but I got a clear view to Tacoma at one point, and there were some interesting basalt columns in a roadside quarry. 

Eventually a rather large hill appeared a distance away, “Mine Tunnel Hill” presumably. 

Before reaching the hill, the correct way makes a hairpin turn and is marked by an orange gate. Shortly thereafter the road crosses a railroad flatcar bridge spanning a fork of Gale Creek.

Right around where the “Unsolved Mysteries” vibe begins


Just up ahead was the site. I won’t lie, my expectations were low. I figured there probably wouldn’t be anything at all, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was in fact a hole in the ground!

Right along the road, half covered in crap is a little adit, pretty much exactly where the map said it’d be. It’s not too deep, maybe ten feet if you really tried to stretch it. 

Peering into its depths I could see such historic artifacts as; a few discard plastic bottles and a half buried piece of wood. 

“Well that was that, time to walk my ass back up the hill!”

Well I’ll be damned, there really is a tunnel. Sort of.


  • Approx 7.5mi; 6.5 mi on logging roads, 1 mi off trail (One way)
  • Map or navigational device is a must.
  • As a historic mining site, probably not worth the time to all but the most devout. Good destination for wandering esoteric types.
Untold riches my ass!


    On the way up the roads on the south side of Burnt Mountain I ran into a fella up at the landing before jumping offtrail. 

    He told me about other trails in the area and we both agreed how strange it was to see another person on Burnt Mountain. 

    The fellow wanderer also mentioned that the logging roads on the north side are sometimes accessible from Wilkeson with a high clearance vehicle… So if you’re interested in a logging-road road-trip, there’s an idea for ya. 

    There’s a nearby area on Gale Creek marked “falls”. If for some reason I’m ever out here again, I’d probably check it out. 

    Off trail in yellow


    Mines and mining ruins are inherently dangerous and should NOT be entered.

    ¡STAY OUT, STAY ALIVE! & Happy Trails!