Short version of the railroad history of the Cedar River Watershed: lots of timber and railroads were the least inefficient and expensive way to haul out the timber, and it was a great way to get to Tacoma and Seattle from points east.
So there were a lot of railroads and train depots and fueling stations and housing for workers – it was a big deal for the first few decades of the twentieth century but now it is pretty much all gone. But artifacts still exist and today the Cedar River Watershed Education Center (CRWEC) sponsored a tour of the railroad artifacts, hosted by Clay Antiou.
This imposing structure was part of a re-fueling process. If I had turned around at this point and looked through the trees a little ways I would have seen the remnants of a fuel sump into which trains dumped excess diesel fuel. This fuel was piped into the structure above, and then into trains that needed it, who parked on the tracks that were situated just above (to the right) of this structure.
Low-tech by our standards but it moved a lot of people and wood.
As always, the tour was extremely informative and totally fun. Kudos to Clay and CRWEC, as always, My next program is on August 6, and we will be investigating old growth forest in the watershed. (yes, there are still stands that were never logged).
While in the CRWEC main building I snapped a photo of their nice diorama of the watershed:
The brown indicates old growth, the blue of course is water, there is another color for wetlands – it is a very educational diorama if you are interested in hiking around the watershed.
For Derek, I snapped Rattlesnake Lake. He was asking about the water level because we might want to kayak on the lake – well, the water level has recovered from last year and the lake is looking very kayakable:
And while I was waiting for the time to gather for the tour I was sitting by the lake, listening to this little guy pecking away:
Great Saturday! I am thinking of doing McClellan Butte tomorrow. Latest trip report says the obnoxious avy chute is still clogged with snow but someone has attached a rope to climb around it, so it should be easier than the last time we were there.