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Deep Creek Hot Springs

The Moon is Waning Gibbous (82% of Full)


blizzard stories

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November 25, 2004 12:49PM
hello all,

thank you for this forum and your caring for dchs through the years. dchs is the only place i know of where i can drink the water as it flows out of our mother - to me this alone places it on a world heritage site list to be protected, kept pure and celebrated as sacred. it has been a blessing to meet and share with some of you - thanks again for your help.

i arrived in the dc area sunday the 21st. bowen ranch road was covered in snow with just a pair of tire tracks making the road somewhat passable. i finally bogged down just passed paul and sycamore's place. here i encountered jobe and a couple of other passersby - kids in trucks with beer and snowboards. collectively we spent a couple of hours getting the turn in the road shoveled and trucks turned around for an exit. i decided to continue the quest to the springs, and parked by the side; paul offered his fire to warm up but with the long walk ahead in the snow, i accepted jobe's offer of a ride in a bit closer - thanks. passed mike c. as he was towing out a vw bus - laughing as he saw me in the drifts.

the walk was tough, but not horrible. tracks from an earlier escape marked the trail and i made it down before dark. very suprised to see two others at the springs - and they were as suprised to see me. made camp far upstream - out of sight and mind. the fellow springers were d. from alaska and j. from l.a. j had hiked down barefoot and had been fasting for 4 days when caught in the storm; d. was in good shape and ready for weather. monday afternoon the storm cleared a bit and we got our bearings.

i'm an ardent supporter of the no fires rule - helped extinguish one the weekend before, but this time it seemed appropriate - j. had been in the pools for 48+ hours all his gear soaked and lost under drifts. picked a site that would not hurt root systems or blacken rocks and probably would flood again in the season, and using the driftwood from under the snow got some flame going. a further just for the fire showed up close to dark on monday in the form of 5 gals from l.a. who hiked in from where i was parked. they had not planned on overnighting, but were exhausted, wet, in no shape to hike back and were very greatfull to be able to dry out.

it was a beautifull, clear and moony night, cold as ever. my morning found the gals high up on the ridge on the way out. d. and i planned our own return to civilization and helped j. clear up his mind a little. no shoes, no food, parked on some snow blown dirt track - not ideal but he was ready to reckon with his reality. he broke his fast (now 5.5 days) on the last of our food and was drying out his clothes in the sun as we left him. the fire that we had started was mostly out with no chance of restart due to lack of wood and j.'s lack of lighter and knowledge of bowdrilling. he knew to clean the site and toss ash material in the creek.

as d. and i departed, two visitors from bowen ranch had made their way down and were enjoying the splendor. j seemed in good spirits and we communicated his situation to a concerned mike castro who seemed prepared to visit/rescue him. a heavenly trip concluded with the long slog back to the car and out to civilization on tuesday afternoon.

in reflection, i consider the impact of the fire - good for fuel removal concerns, the warmth that it provided in a survival situation; not good for the overall wellbeing of the area. i feel as if no bad precedent was set for others - nobody around; the danger of it spreading = nil due to vast amount of snow around. i reiterated to those present that had it just been me there = no fire. it was the survival situation with the naked j. and the gals from l.a. that called for it. i will honor a promise to return and rehabilitate any signs of our presence at the spot.
as for my overnights around in the area: you all will never see me, no tent, no gear, no trace. it is bending the policy of the dc area - my only defence is the vast amount of trash i haul out from the underbrush away from trails and the popular hangouts. as the project ends, so will my presence.

thanks again! rick, for the site and taking care of the buddhist, fasting from speech gal over the summer; wizzard for providing two garbage bags and snapping photos of our mid - flood crossing; jobe, paul, and sycamore for being great human beings.

blizzard stories

windsong 1914November 25, 2004 12:49PM

Re: blizzard stories

LaughingBear 615November 25, 2004 02:17PM

Re: blizzard stories

jobe 660November 26, 2004 11:00AM

blizzard fire cleanup is on!

windsong 861November 27, 2004 11:37AM

Re: blizzard stories

Wizard 650November 25, 2004 10:23PM

Re: blizzard stories

sycamorelaughing 1683November 28, 2004 07:55AM

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