East of Carnation

Went chanterelle hunting with a buddy near the Tiger Mountain trail head off of highway 18. A few hours of tromping off trail at the right elevation brought us a good couple pounds of delicious fungi. We split the bounty and headed our separate ways.

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Afterwards, with some time on my hands, I decided to see what trails could be found east from Carnation, WA. Cold.

Having never explored this area I had no idea what to expect. Taking Kelly Road NE off of route 203 lead me through some increasingly backcountry homes and mini-farms, potentially a good sign that the road would lead somewhere interesting. Warm.

Another good sign said that the pavement ends. Getting warmer.

Aptly named Stossel Creek Road NE followed the creek to the northeast-ish. Getting hot.

And then I get to a sign 10 feet up, screwed directly into the bark of a tree that says “No motorized vehicles beyond this point” – WA DNR. No gate, but just the sign. Stone dead cold. Once again, “The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead, and the Dead keep it, until the time comes. The way is shut”. ~Tolkien

The sign I thought was odd since nearly all of the other public forest roads had been gated and closed along the route. Except this one. Four expensive cars were parked along the road near the sign which lent me to believe that this WA DNR sign was to be taken seriously. I huffed for a few minutes but then back away. No idea why this vehicular road was closed to vehicles; and with such a strange signage. Potentially this road could get one over to highway 2.

That being said, it was fun to spontaneously explore a dirt track. No air compressor, no tools – just exploring for the sake of exploring without any of the usual accouterments. My meager plan was to follow any road from the Carnation, WA area east towards the mountains. HERE maps provided the overlook. There is so much backcountry wilderness to explore here in the Pacific northwest that one could explore a new track every week and never run out.

Of course, there are the roads closed by local as well as federal agencies, like WA DNR and BLM, who claim they exclusively are the use-deciders and minders of the land separate from the public who actually use it, (and who actually own it. It’s a disturbing trend that more and more backcountry roads are being closed for public use and with little public input.

To that end, I support a PAC that resist the various governmental land closures, below.

The Trail PAC

If your spare time is spent off the pavement I suggest supporting this PAC or any of the others.

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