12/03/2012 – Bedford Point Lookout and Wanderers Peak Weather Station

Date of Hike: 12/3/2012
Location of Hike: Bedford Point Lookout and Wanderers Peak Weather Station
Weather during Hike: Cool and overcast
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 2:00 PM
Hike Distance: 4.5 miles  
Pictures: Link


Description of Hike:
This was a rather short hike – but I had been feeling bad over the weekend and I thought that getting some fresh air might help me recover from whatever it was I had. I had the Bedford Point lookout on my “todo” list for a while, and the Wanderers Peak weather station was one I had recently found and was interested in seeing. The two of them looked like relatively short hikes (depending on how close I could drive to them – I wasn’t sure of the state of the roads).

So the first stop was to the old Bedford Point Lookout location. According to the maps, there is a road that goes right to the lookout. Well, that was a while ago…..I started down the narrow road (although I’ve been on worse FS roads), until I got to the Whisky Creek crossing – it is hard to see in the photo, but the road was washed out on either side of the culvert, so the “road” was probably only 4′ wide. In order to drive over the creek, I would have had to drive on the culvert, which I didn’t really want to do:

That looked a little too dicey for me, so I decided to turn around and find a wide spot in the road (just in case someone came down the road and was crazy enough to cross that creek). We started hiking a little ways from the creek crossing where there was a spot just wide enough to fit two vehicles. After the creek crossing, the road wasn’t too bad for a while. It went through the corner of a privately owned piece of land that had recently been clearcut. After the clearcut, the road continued in reasonably good shape until it came to another un-named creek that had washed out the road and there were dirt berms on either side of the creek:

After crossing this small creek, we continued up the road, finding another dirt berm in the road a little farther up:

After getting around that, it was evident that the land north of the road had recently been thinned. When we got to the end of the thinning, we found this on a tree:

It appears the thinning was done in the spring of 2008. Continuing up the road, we found the old road up to the lookout site and started hiking up that road. It wasn’t in very good shape, and was definitely not driveable:

Once at the top, it was a little bit anti-climactic, since there was absolutely no view from the top (it is all grown up now), and there wasn’t a whole lot to see. We did find evidence of the old footings for the lookout:

And something else interesting – We found what I think is one of the rock piles shown in the photo from 1934:

What we saw:

What was taken in 1934 (there were lots of rock piles – we saw several, but this was the largest one):

WOW – A lot has changed in 78 years!!! We also found some old tin – not sure what it was for, but guessing it was from a roof of something:

After looking around for a while, trying to find more artifacts, we decided to head back to the truck. We easily made it back to the truck and on the way out, we saw a fenced off area to the west of the road. This looks very similar to other areas I’ve seen. The other areas were “study areas” that the Forest Service used for various purposes. I guess the fences were to try and control the experiments the best they could. I’m sure this area hadn’t been studied in years. The gate was off the fence, so anyone could go in.

The next stop on the agenda was to go to Wanderers Peak and see if we could find the weather station located there. I found out (I think) that the station is part of the RAWS network. Here is more info on that. After driving up the road, I wasn’t sure how far we could drive to. Fortunately, we were able to drive very close to the station. After a short walk (up an abandoned road), we found the weather station:

You could see the remains of the old “shack” that used to be there. I’m pretty sure the big pile of wood was the old shack. It looks like this station has recently been upgraded.

It was a shame the clouds were so low – on a clear day the view would be tremendous. After a bit of walking around exploring, we hiked back to the truck and made our way home.

All in all, a good day in the woods, and the bonus was that we didn’t get rained on!

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