Thursday, September 18, 2014
Model T Park annual progress
Every year we hike up to see how the Model T touring car is doing--at least once. We also get to see the vegetation recovery process after the 2002 rip-roaring fire that changed our views to the south of South Fork.
Summary report for 2014:
Aspen are getting a little bigger and more dense;
Conifer regeneration is almost nil, but trees that escaped flames are producing cones = possibility of spotty return;
Flowers are more abundant and varied;
Ground cover in general is continuous;
The trail is pretty good, despite a few ATV incursions;
Dead trees dominate the general scene;
The bull elk are big and (were) apparently healthy.
We aren't sure how the courteous Oregon bow-hunter got his big 1-shot
animal out, but our brief help for him was an impressive experience.
For Next Tuesday, I'm pondering options:
1. a long drive to the Dunes and a 3-mile hike up Mosca Pass and back.
or 2. a shorter (up to 3.5 mile round-trip) closer to South Fork.
You may weigh in with your preference at firstname.lastname@example.org
We were but 6 on a 7-mile round trip. Adios to Patrick for this season; thanks for joining us.
Some pretty colors are appearing along the trail
15' aspen near the Model T Park
Upper Model T Park and the ridge of Beaver Mountain
Tall spruce snags, rising aspen sprouts.
We met a "local Oregonian" as we went up, right after he shot a large bull elk. We helped him tie up the carcass as we came back down. This was a major undertaking that probably kept him busy for 2 days.