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Groundtruthing on Douglas Island

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Gastineau Meadows trail and how I hoped it would provide an entry to a number of different trails on Douglas Island. One of the hikes I hoped to do was to start off on the Mt. Jumbo trail, hike up to the intersection with the Treadwell Ditch trail, take that north to the Gastineau Meadows trail and walk home from there.

Yesterday I decided it was some time for some groundtruthing. I walked from my condo to the Jumbo trail head. Then I headed up to the Treadwell Ditch trail. That was 40 mostly arduous minutes later, but it was fun. Then I turned north. About 15 minutes later, I discovered what appeared to be a washout or collapsed bridge. All I know is that I was on one side of a deep flowing creek with a tallish waterfall and thought I saw a trail on the other side through deep brush, but there was no obvious way to cross.

So I turned back and went back to the intersection. Then I took the Treadwell Ditch trail south because I heard that end deadended at the Glory Hole, the site of the Treadmill Mine collapse back in the early 1900s. I’d seen it from the Treadwell Historic trail and wanted to see it from the Ditch trail.  After about five minutes, the trail was blocked by Devil’s Club. If I was head to toe in Carhartts with leather gloves and a machete, I would have keep going.

Instead, I went back to the Jumbo/Treadwell intersection and spent some time exploring a large meadow before returning home. While I had not made either of my major objectives, I liked getting reacquainted with the Mt. Jumbo trail and realized it had more to offer than a summit opportunity or dehydration and misery. So I’ll be going back there again. Not in the next few days if the weather forecast holds up, but soon.

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