July 16, 1999

Pinhead Buttes Hike

Joe Beelart on South Pinhead Butte 7/99

Went up alone to check the film in the camera where we heard the noises and Steve saw the shadow. Overcast down low. Cool. Up high, I had broken clouds, not hot. Went to clear and excellent visibility later in the day.

Coming back down the mountain, I went through a band of big winds at Ripplebrook. There was no wind higher and the wind stopped down by Three Lynx.

Back to the day. The camera operator was jammed on the first strike. Squirrel? Bird? For the third time, the excess actuator wire that I had put around one of the wing nuts had been pulled loose and was hanging down below the camera. Something was doing it.

Heavy pack. Put in dog food, Spam, jack mackerel and scent. Put out fresh on aluminum pans. Took down the feather lure. Put up a cd lure and the LED light. Spread some fresh scent. No tracks in the area. Getting rid of the solids considerably lightened the pack.

These notes are backwards. Before going to the camera site, I walked down to the elk ribs and then down into the green glen and found my wacking club on a stump about 200' from where the camera was. I didn't remember laying it there, or for that matter, even being over there. The club is about 1" plus around and has a nice mellow honey color finish. It's just a piece of hardwood stick that my Dad had shaved the bark off of, finished and given to me for a fish club.

Nice walk. Went into the brush a ways where I heard my growl. Very thick with limbs on the reprod. Found an old road bed, but it was heavily overgrown with alder, as the often are. Spent from 9:20 to 12:07 at the 4651 road area. Felt like I was being watched both on the road and at the sites. Heard some noise from time to time in the more open brush to the east side of the road, moving along as I went along. I had stopped and sat at the camera site for 15 minutes and didn't hear anything then.

Started to go up Granite Peaks road, but decided not to. Turned at the river. Still no one using the nice lower campsite. Turned around and went up Hwy 42 toward Pinhead Buttes and the west side of the Reservation. Accident on the way up. Forest Service Law Officer on scene. No injuries. Looked to me like a speeding SUV forced a guy with a pick-up and small aluminum boat trailer off the road. Too much speeding up in the hills. Very dangerous driving.

Went for a nice walk up high. Sort of between South and West Pinhead Buttes. Open. Old burn. Slow going. Gained lots of altitude. Went up spur road. Probably sat on a log inside the Reservation. Line where logging stopped and across a gravel road, virgin high Cascade forest. Very different from the firs down low. Walked about 2 miles in an hour.

Had the truck organized for once. Pleasant drive back. Slight sunburn. Loved the pack.

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