Friday, July 31, 2009

Denny Creek Backpacking

I left on Wednesday for a short overnight backpack trip to Denny Creek about 50 miles east of Seattle on I-90. The weather was great and this gave me a chance to escape Seattle's forecast for 100 degree plus temps. So I missed the heat but had to tolerate a major attack of black-flies-- there's always a price.

The trail head is actually between the east and west bound I-90 roadways. In this picture I'm going under the west bound lanes of I-90-- it's a treetop highway at this point.

At about a mile from the trail head the trail crosses Denny Creek for a second time. Here you can see the bridge that was there LAST year. Then after a major flood event in January of this year...

...this is what remains of the bridge-- nothing. Debris from the old bridge was found in the campground a mile downstream this spring. Compared to last year it looked like someone had run a bulldozer down the stream bed.

The place where I camp is just up the creek bank a 100 yards upstream from the bridge. This picture from last year shows the under growth that was between my campsight and Denny Creek-- it's all gone now.

I ran into a ranger on the hike out and asked her what the plan was to replace the bridge. She said it was complicated since the bridge is just inside the Alpine Wilderness boundary and power tools are not allowed for construction inside wilderness areas. The bottom line is nothing will happen this year.

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