The pickup truck gave me pause. Brakes cold . . . they had been here for awhile, probably overnighting at Joan Lake. The seat inside gave me the reason for my disquiet . . . the padded soft case of a high-powered rifle . . . sans rifle. Uh Uh . . . there was no way I was going to go hiking tawny deer-hued on a narrow ridge trail with some hunter up there. As if to echo my concerns, the narrow valleys suddenly echoed two loud reports from just where I was planning to go. To many accidents have been happening in the wilds over recent years. I wasn’t going to be mistaken for a deer by someone hunting on this popular trail.
A disappointment, really. But I really do dislike being anywhere near people carrying weapons on the trails. I’d rather avoid and find somewhere safer. So I supposed I might as well check out the conditions at Scenic Hot Springs. North-facing, the hike up to Scenic really doesn’t catch much sun at this time of year until early afternoon. By nine o’clock the air was warm enough for a slow and comfortable stroll up. No cars at the gate below . . . I had the place to myself and no hurry to get there. I spent a lot of time checking out the types of mushrooms growing large off the trail . . . and revisiting a theory on the old iron piping partway down the trail . . . trying to trace it further afield to support or debunk historical claims of piping the waters two and a half miles to the long-gone Scenic Hot Springs Hotel. I drew no new conclusions but enjoyed the quiet time wandering about the slopes. Eventually I made it up to the top bench and the fire ring above the springs.
And then they build fires. At first, little ones . . . and then idiots resort to pulling the remaining decking apart for firewood. Recently they have been raiding stacked treated lumber and burning that. Let alone the health hazards of breathing in the smoke from burning treated lumber, it’s outright theft and, as the image above shows, much too easy to get out of hand with the low-handing branches of the evergreens nearby. The remains of this fire were still warm from the night before.
So . . . the evidence of unauthorized visitors is rampant and getting to be a bigger problem. At this rate the owner is close to limiting his generous access conditions even further. We may find trespass charges in the near term if this vandalism doesn’t stop.
Subsequent users have attempted to slow the major leak with rocks to overlap and hold the cut edges together. Obviously it was not very effective.
Well, I’m not prepared for repairs. That will have to wait for a future work party because liner replacement is an all day affair. Tarps (there are two) cost fifty dollars apiece. The best I can do right now is to siphon and clean out all the water in that tub and attempt a better temporary seal until I can arrange replacement.
At least the Lobster tub was untouched (and running hot). I got both feeds up and running to refill Bear Den . . . crossing my fingers over the long refill that the leak was slower than the recharge rate and the pool would hold water. I also started cleaning and recharging the Lobster pool. By mid afternoon it looked like things might hold . . . at least for awhile. I started to head on back down, wanting to enjoy the sun while I could.