Public High Lakes Forum High lakes discussion The cabin at My lake in the Alpine Lakes

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    • #81290
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      Do any of you ultra hikers have info for me about the cabin at My lake? My lake near Melakwa/Lower Tuscohatchie?

      I just now found out there there was one. It has collapsed (sadly) and I am super curious as to its history.

      This seemed like the place to ask.

      Tom B

      [img]http://www.fototime.com/{2A8447A7-33FB-43F4-A777-50F1931C53CD}/picture.JPG[/img]

      [Edited on 6-29-2004 by BackPacker Joe]

    • #85064
      mossback
      Participant

      “Gads. is that a shot of the cabin at My Lake? I just returned from 3-day trip. After I've caught up on things (3-4 days), I'll put a story about My Lake cabin, and a picture (if I can learn how to put one on this “thing”). – Mossback”

    • #85065
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      “Yes sir MB, that's the My lake cabin (sniffle sniffle)^^^^Thanks. Im really looking forward to some history and pictures.^^^^I'd like to know WHY somebody built a cabin and that lake? ^^^^TB”

    • #85066
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      “I've got a picture of the cabin, but unfortunately I don't have my slide scanner right now so I can't post it.”

    • #85067
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      Thanks Brian. I'd love to see it. Any history anywhere about it?^^^^TB

    • #85068
      BobPfeifer
      Participant

      Brian emailed me asking me about the cabin history. I just KNEW I was going to be saddened when I opened this string. But, alas, all these cabins suffer this fate unless they are maintained.

      I really don’t know anything in particular about its history, but I’m 99.999% sure it was just one of the many trappers’ cabins that were common in our mts in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I have always LOVED, loved, loved these remnants of our history, and Brian knows this.

      The Trail Blazers made a few trips in to this cabin in the 70’s, possibly also in the early 1980s to do maintenance (jacked up one sagging corner, etc.) but it was never major or significant.

      I was the local fishery manager for WDFW between 1979 and 1999, and managed the high lake fisheries in the western half of the ALWA. I first learned of this cabin when doing surveys of groups of lakes in the general area with hiking buds, some of whom were (and still are) members of the two main high lake fishing clubs around here. I sent several guys over to My to survey it in September 1981 from our base camp at Pratt. The greyish photo attached (if I did it successfully) that shows the open front “doorway” was taken by one of those guys.

      I was so turned on by that photo I managed to get to the lake (what with a very young family at that time) in July 1984. I surveyed the lake more thoroughly, and stayed the night in the cabin.

      It was hot as hell on that July 19th, and I was so fagged from packing a heavy pack around the area that I slept like a log on the old trapper’s “bed” frame that had some old drying boughs laid on it. I know there were mice, but I didn’t even notice them.

      I left my business card in the window frame that was on the east end of the cabin, and several years later a fellow Trail Blazer went in to the lake, found the card, and called me. I really enjoyed that “note in a bottle”-type deal.

      I later stocked the lake with the Manager of the Tokul Creek Hatchery (1994 – God, 10 years ago already!!!), and that was the last time I was there. The cabin looked about the same then.

      This is why I always take the best photos I can of interesting old structures. They don’t last forever. It is especially cool when they last well beyond 50 years, or more.

      [Edited on 7-3-2004 by Brian Curtis]

      [Edited on 7-3-2004 by bob pfeifer]

    • #85069
      BobPfeifer
      Participant

      Taken July 19, 1984

    • #85070
      BobPfeifer
      Participant

      Taken July 19, 1984.

    • #85071
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      Thanks so much for the information Bob.

      I never made it to the lake to see the cabin. I am truly bummed about that. I cannot believe that a cabin existed in the local area that I never heard about. I used to go into the Tuscohatchie cabin often. That and the Square lake cabin too.

      Bob, why do you think somebody would build a cabin at that lake location? Doesnt seem like that great a place, when comparing it to other lakes.

      Tom B

      Edited on 7-3-2004 by BackPacker Joe]

    • #85072
      BobPfeifer
      Participant

      “Trappers often worked productive routes (the proverbial “trap lines”), and they often tended to run along ridge lines or plateaus where the wiry SOBs didn't have to do too much vertical stuff on their snowshoes.^^^^They scattered cabins around at strategic locations, and a nice spot like this out of avalanche risk and by a water supply (and possibly also extra protein) would be a good choice.^^^^If you pay careful attention to where you see marten sets notched into old growth, you will tend to see a pattern of how they laid out their lines. They are often found near lakes around here.^^^^For a really great read about a famous trapper who lived alone for many years at Domke Lake, read “Mountain Air. The Life of Gordon Stuart” by Sandy K. Nelson Bryant. DMI publisher. ISBN 0-939688-20-4. This should be on your bookshelf if you are a lover of Pacific NW mountain history.”

    • #85073
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      I didn't have that book. I just placed an order for a copy.

    • #85074
      BobPfeifer
      Participant

      Wait until you see the legs on that guy when he was in his prime. Those days of plowing through deep powder on snowshoes created thighs like cedar tree stumps.

    • #85075
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      Ok here is a story Ive never told anyone. I was snow shoeing around Ollalie lake in 1980. It was January of that year. As I came to the Pratt, Talupus, Ollalie junction I heard the huff huff puffing sound and looked up to see a man RUNNING in OLD long wooden snowshoes. He was wearing a coon skin cap, and some type of animal skins around his upper body. He had a lng beard and a look of steel. I swear he came out of time (read 1850’s) and went past me without making eye contact. He turned a corner and was gone.

      Scared the crap out of me. I can replay that in my mind over and over and I still dont get it.

      He looked like a trapper. At least my conseption of one.

      TB

      [Edited on 7-4-2004 by BackPacker Joe]

      [Edited on 7-4-2004 by BackPacker Joe]”

    • #85076
      mossback
      Participant

      Well, Backpacker Joe, you’ve generated quite a thread. Tis obvious Bob Pfeifer and I are very nostalgic about (the late) My Lake cabin.

      I have prepared a document with excerpts of a Trail Blazer stocking report recapping the first time My Lake was stocked (1949), and a trip I was on in 1983, when goal was to repair cabin roof and stock a nearby lake. (You will note in one of Bob’s photos what looks like a piece of plastic tarp on roof.) Scheisskopfs ruin cabins and lean-tos by using pieces of its structure for firewood. (BTW, I don’t know whether you were using loose language, or whether you didn’t know that what was at My Lake was a cabin, and what was at Lower Tuscohatchie was a lean-to.)

      I have a friend (fellow Trail Blazer) who is scanning my 800-plus slides I have taken during my trips to mountain lakes. I just finished preparing another 100 or so this morning. Among those are a couple shots of the My Lake cabin I took in 1983.

      If you will send me off line (virdan@comcast.net) your e mail address, I’ll attach the document. When I have the results of the scans, I’ll send you my scan/s of the cabin. – mossback

    • #85077
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      “I would have called the structure at Tuscohatchie a cabin as opposed to, say, the structure at Nordrum which I would have called a lean-to. The shelter at Tuscohatchie had 4 walls, and as I recall, a peaked roof. The Nordrum shelter had a slanted roof and only 3 walls. The My Lake cabin had a slanted roof and 4 walls.”

    • #85078
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      “THanks MossB.

      I agree with BC, I think the Tusco cabin was just that. I spent many a night in there. Hell, my name was one of but four carved with WINTER months attatched to them!

      I would like to see pictures of ALL the shelter cabins that once existed inside the ALWA.

      TB

      [img]http://www.fototime.com/{6224D529-37AC-4B47-AEB5-0A845CEE9F0E}/picture.JPG[/img]

      [Edited on 7-5-2004 by BackPacker Joe]”

    • #85079
      mossback
      Participant

      “OK you guys, quit making me feel so damned old!! I sure don't remember the–uh, what I remember as a shelter at Lower Tuscohatchee as having 4 sides. My photographic memory (came in VERY handy when taking tests) shows it like the ones at Nordrum, Crow Creek, Glacier, and Necklace Valley. – uselessback”

    • #85080
      BobPfeifer
      Participant

      Mossback, don’t fret. We still love you

      BPJoe, NICE shot of the Tusco cabin. I have 1 or 2 nearly as good. Talk about being BUMMED when some turd burned it down!

    • #85081
      BobPfeifer
      Participant

      “MB, that plastic was nailed to the top of the door frame, and it basically covered the doorway when it was allowed to hang down. Probably helped keep the flies out. I put a rock on it atop the roof so the doorway would show in the photo.”

    • #85082
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      This makes me wonder when the shelter at Tusco was rebuilt. MB was there in ’72 and ’76. Here are a few other comments from through the years:
      1965-Shelter dirty
      1968-Shelter at Pratt is gone
      1968-Shelter rehabilitated
      1968-Shelter was in fine condition
      June 1969-Cabin in good shape
      July 1969-Shelter boarded up, must be trail crews
      Aug 1969-Shelter still in very good shape
      1970-Heard the cabin is in terrible shape
      1975-The old shelter is still mostly there. Too bad people won’t respect these structures.

      That’s what I have. It doesn’t shed a lot of light…

      I visited both the My Lake cabin and the Tusco cabin in 1981.

    • #85083
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      You guys are great. I wish I had been involved with you blazers a long time ago. As I understand it the cabin at lower tusco was repaired in a BIG way around 1980 or so. Some lone guy went in one summer and totally rebuilt the thing. I went in during the month of January one year and only when I got there did I realize that it was GONE! Glad I had my Bibler I-tent.

      Yes it is a shame some dirt bag burnt it down.

      I’ll take no USLESS BACK here Mr. You have more useful kowledge than I’ll ever hope to have! You keep it up please.
      TB

      [Edited on 7-6-2004 by BackPacker Joe]

      [Edited on 7-6-2004 by BackPacker Joe]

      [Edited on 7-6-2004 by BackPacker Joe]

    • #85084
      BobPfeifer
      Participant

      Joe, Please, Please, Please, PLEASE, PLEASE keep the Upper Katrine cabin knowledge to yourself or a very carefully chosen group of intimates. Actually, it is better that you just keep it to yourself.

      That cabin was built by one hell of a man over 2 years beginning in 1979. I was able to track him down – he was a logger who worked for WeyCo and lived in Snoqualmie. I asked him why he built the cabin, and that its presence was a good secret with me. I’ll never forget his answer: “Oh, I just had a lot of energy and it was a fun thing to do.” He also made numerous winter trips in there for hunting, and posted his dates on the inside wall.

      This guy felled an Alaskan cedar, and packed in a portable chainsaw-driven “sawmill” to build this puppy the RIGHT way. It sits well above the forest floor so it won’t rot out, and the outside and floor is totally built with cedar. If complete idiots with no respect whatsoever for the gallons of sweat this guy put out don’t stupidly burn it down or trash it, it will last many, many years.

      I could append a number of great photos of that cabin, but won’t. I have stayed in it a couple of times. Once was the penultimate bonding trip with my young son, along with some good friends.

      (I was there a few years ago with Brian, so if a “new” cabin has been built, that would be one HUGE surprise.)

      [Edited on 7-6-2004 by bob pfeifer]”

    • #85085
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      “Thanks for the info Bob. I wont talk to anyone beyond this thread about it.

      If it was built in 1979 then he must have known that he wasnt supposed to be doing it. The wilderness act had been set in place by then.

      It’s funny, you can walk the road to the lower lake, but nodoby ever goes up to the upper lake.

      I’d like to know about all the cabins that exist in the area. I’d like to go and see them.

      TB

      [Edited on 7-6-2004 by BackPacker Joe]

      [Edited on 7-6-2004 by BackPacker Joe]”

    • #85086
      Ken McLeod
      Participant

      “I have many pictures of old cabins and shelters, supplied by members of the TB'ers Club, mostly thru the Photo Board Display that was put together and hangs in my den, which is usually brought to the Social every year. Includes abodes like Boundary Lake, My Lake, Phister's Cabin, Bear Lake, Nordrum, Janus Lake, Eagle Lake, and so on. The photos are priceless!”

    • #85087
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      I sure would love to see that there board Mr..

      TB

    • #85088
      mossback
      Participant

      “Come to some meetings so you get familiar with what goes on (Lake City Community Club, 1st Thursday of each month, starts about 7:30), and come to the Trail Blazer Winter Social (usually early March). At the Social you will be able to look at the dozens of McPilchuck pictures on his display boards. If what the club does turns you on, you will be welcome to join–if you do certain things that offer evidence you are interested in joining. – Mossback”

    • #85089
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      MossBack. I’ve been to a Trailblazer meeting. I wanted to join, but my job takes me away from town enough during the year that I’d never make even half of the meetings. I felt bad not able to attend so I didnt go back. I could never make enough of the meetings to be elegible for membership.

      Would love to see that board though.

      Tom B

    • #85090
      mossback
      Participant

      “You don't have to be a Trail Blazer. The Winter Social is combination Trail Blazer/Hi Laker gathering. HLs don't require regular attendance like TBs do; annual dues is $10 a year. A number of TBers (including Brian and me) started as HLers, and still are members. Club meets 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7:30-10:00 PM at new location now: Fircrest campus of the Department of Health, building William Giedt Public Health Lab. Entrance is off of NE 150th at 17th Ave NE. If you want more details, lemeno offline. – mossback”

    • #85091
      mossback
      Participant

      “I added meeting time when I reviewed what I had written, but it didn't wind up in posting. Is 7:30-10:00 p.m.”

    • #85092
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      I was at the last High Lakers meeting.

      Thanks

      Tom B

    • #85093
      mossback
      Participant

      Backpacker Joe – If I succeed, attached will be a shot of My Lake Cabin, almost from same spot you took your shot of the collapsed cabin. Here goes:

      Well, apparently it didn’t go. Contact me offline and I’ll send it to you as attachment. – Oldtimer

    • #85094
      mossback
      Participant

      “Ah Hah, Backpacker Joe. The Administrator's mentor just told me how to get the picture in this “box.” If he's right–and I've never known him to be wrong, here it is:”

    • #85095
      mossback
      Participant

      there comes a time, mentor!!

    • #85096
      Brian Curtis
      Keymaster

      Here’s the pic Mossback was trying to post.

    • #85097
      BobPfeifer
      Participant

      MB, that looks like Steve Clements on the right. Note this view shows the small window that I put my card beside. I am very glad to have this image in my collection – thanks!

      [Edited on 7-19-2004 by bob pfeifer]

    • #85098
      mossback
      Participant

      Yes, Bob, you’re right, that is Steve Clements. The guy with the big pack is the late Gene Rose. – mossback

    • #85099
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      Thank you gentleman. I appreciate it. Did anyone find any pics of the “other” cabin we talked about earlier in this thread?

      TB

    • #85100
      BobPfeifer
      Participant

      You need to hike to that lake to get the full effect and appreciation for “that other cabin” (wink).

    • #85101
      Tom Bentzen
      Participant

      Roger that one Robert.

      TB

    • #119069

      I know this is a long dead thread but incase anyone is still reading it…

      My Grandfather, Myron Christy, told me he rebuilt the cabin while he was active in the Trail Blazers, this would be in the 1920-1930’s. He figured it was originally a trapper cabin built some time prior. I know he visited many times after or during his work on the cabin. He returned in the 1960’s with my Uncle and again rebuilt or maintained it. I happened on this conversation as I am planning a hike up with my cuz to see the place Myron talked about so often.

      Derek

      • #119145
        Brian Curtis
        Keymaster

        Derek, it is so great to hear from you! Myron was a Trail Blazer from 1934 to 1939. 1934 was the very first year the Trail Blazers stocked fish so he was basically there from the very beginning. We don’t have any records of Myron going to My Lake, but we do know that he helped stock the Melakwa Lakes in 1934. If you remember any old stories Myron told, or have any old photographs we would love to hear and see them. Let us know how your trip to the remains of the cabin goes.

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