Sunday, August 25, 2019

I forget about hike-a-thon and become a Fossil Hunter!

So last week I went out to Republic, WA up in the North Eastern part of Washington State to meet with Ryan on his PNT thru hike. The PNT would pass over several roads in this area, so it was a great place to meet and enable Ryan to slack pack for several days. 
While waiting for Ryan at one of the trailheads, I hiked for a mile on a trail along HWY 20 near Sherman Pass. 

PNT follows the Kettle Crest Trail

Lots of forest fires have happened up here over the years

nice easy trail for me

I picked up Ryan from the trail and the next day we went together to hike the Ferry County Rail Trail. This former railroad crossed over Curlew lake and I hiked 4 miles along it

Rail Trails, gotta love them!

Ryan reads about the history of this railroad

 Then I discovered the Stonerose Fossil site in Republic WA. I would spend the next three days NOT hiking like I was supposed to, but digging in the dirt on this hill to find fossils. I was addicted!

Ryan picks his spot to look for fossils

There is an elm leaf, but how do I get it out?

Whew, very carefully, I got it !!

Dawn Redwood The most common fossil found at this site

See the lines in the rock, you chip at them until the shale separates and hope there is a fossil inside

Lots of folks bring the rocks down to the picnic tables and then chip away at them there

 another of my favorites that I found

You can see that the hill is right in town, we walked to it from our hotel 

The fossils here are 50 million years old.  Eocene period.  This site has been in operation since 1989 ( with fossils being found in the area since the early 1900’s) They are unique in allowing the general public to dig!  You take your finds to the interpretation center and they will identify them for you and you get to keep 3 of whatever you find.  
Cost to dig is $10, rental of equipment is $5.  Less for children and seniors.

The center has displays of all the different kinds of fossils you can find.  I really wanted an insect.   But I did not find one.  Just leaves, pine needles and wood debris for me 

Then I got out and did a few more hikes in the area.  I did 2 miles on the trail at Swan Lake and enjoyed a nice sunset there!
Swan Lake

CCC built kitchen at Swan Lake

Swan Lake

Ryan would slack pack during the day while I spent my time digging for fossils. Then I would pick him up and we would have dinner in town and stay in a hotel -- Quite a treat for a thru hiker to be able to have a shower each evening and enjoy wifi and "civilization"

We saw lots of deer in town

 I drove out on a forest service road to check on Ryan -- He would do 15-20 miles of hiking during the day.

Ryan takes a break on his road walk

Peek-a-boo look at Nine Mile Falls

I did a half a mile on the Nine Mile Falls Trail to get a peek-a-boo look at the Falls. And I went out to Beth and Beaver Lake to do a hike for hike-a-thon, but the trails were totally overgrown and almost impossible to follow. One trailhead was totally damaged with trees uprooted and the campground that was supposed to be at Beaver Lake now totally non-existent. This is why we need the WTA and what your donations can get used for, this trail was totally overgrown and needs work. At the moment, there really is no trail there to hike, it has been taken over by nature.

Beth Lake

Looking for the trail at Beth Lake

The Trail through the Beth Lake campground

Beaver Lake

Trail deadends into the lake

Part of the trail?

Beaver Lake Campground in disrepair

There was supposed to be a trail here

Lots of damage at the trailhead at Beaver Lake

After 5 days in Republic, I dropped Ryan off and returned home. He is still heading west on the Pacific Northwest Trail and should finish at the Pacific Ocean in Olympic National Park by the end of September.

Ryan signs a trail register

I plan to do some more hikes in the Seattle area before Hike-a-thon ends August 31st. Many Thanks to Kim, Janet and Chris for their recent donations. The money raised helps go to maintaining trails like the Beth and Beaver lake trail. Without help, the trails will disappear for future generations. 

I hope I can count on all of you this year for support. Any amount from $1 to $100 is welcome.You can click on this link to go to my WTA fundraiser page

or you can send me a check (made out to WTA (Washington Trails Association) or just a dollar in the mail would be very welcome. Thanks so much to everyone who has supported this cause in the past and hopefully again this year!

to: Amanda Arkebauer PO Box 16131 Seattle, WA  98116

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