Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Chronicle of Doom~

I knew that in a week, there would have to be changes.  As I was walking Farah up through the yard of the final home at the top 112th - the owner was out looking at his south fence line.  I stopped to talk & the news was horrible.  From what he's been told - the County plans to let Connor Development have access to 112th & from there - to Burn Rd.  This road, would be within 100 ft. of my neighbor's house.  When he protested, he was told that he would need to purchase a strip of land - which he did.  As he said;  it is not enough to keep the privacy that his family has enjoyed for many years.  After he'd walked up to see what was going on, he was told to get out & doubted that I would get far.
Across my trail~
My little trail, had a huge swath cut right across it...  It continues at the base of the pile of trees in the center of the above photo.
Looking back at where we come out~
This, we had seen last week.  What had changed, was that the trail that goes north to the drainage pond, had been widened.  You can see the operator's truck.
Brush clearing~
I continued on due west, to the bottom of the outflow of the large wetland & onto the trails.  At Cottonwood Cathedral, there was a young Coyote watching us.  He looked pretty ragged, but his ears were huge!
Mr. Coyote in the middle of the trail~
As we went forward, he moved off into the brush.  Only the first of many animals that will be displaced forever.
Further up~
I almost felt like I needed to take pictures of Everything - because I had the horrible feeling that I was riding through for one of the last times..
Another section~
We made our little turn south, before going west again toward the power lines.  I could smell the gas before we came out the end of the trail...
Five empty gas cans~
This is about as scary as it gets, five empty gas cans - right at the edge of the woods!  Crazy!  Just Crazy!  There was a small, short, deep trench dug & some type of canister sprayer. 
Heading West again~
I wanted to see if I could still get all the way to the far trails & it was easy.  Someone had come through & cut the brush back - nice to not have to fight our way through.
Gas Lines~
The gas lines had been freshly mowed.  We took the road/trail that goes south along the right hand side of the photo - in the woods.
Through the woods~
It's so pretty over here, but I could tell there has been a lot of ATV use.  I was glad it was quiet, there's plenty of blind corners.  No way could I ride this during a weekend without running into them.
Upper loop~
We did the little loop up at the top to head back.
Our route back~
We took the new ATV trail to the side of the old road.  No rock & nice footing.
Late afternoon!
Soon, we were back where the brush cutting is going on.  It's a strip that parallels the large private properties at the crest of the ridge that runs north/south. The private properties, where owners had been told forever that  zoning would allow for no development on any land less than five acres.
Farah hears something!
Sure enough, I did too - equipment running.  Three men were talking as we rode up.  I yelled a couple times, until they finally saw us & turned the track hoe off.  All were very friendly.  I was told that this is Phase II of a 600 home development.   Rural Cluster Disaster...  It will go all the way to the private golf course to the north.  Owned by the person who has now sold all this property.
Truck & Track Hoe
When I told them I wanted to be able to get through to the trails to the power lines, they assured me that soon, all the brush would be down & things would be wide open.  That I should talk to to project superintendent & that usually they're good to work with.  We'll see.
My ride~
As you can tell, my Narnia was the last undeveloped tract of land in this part of the County.  Full of wetlands, large trees, (even though many were logged out about 2001) & the headwaters of three creeks.  When Pat, Butch & I first started riding here, there were Salmon in all the creeks.
Mt. Pilchuck
If that road goes through - all that traffic will see the view - that those of us off in this little corner of the County have enjoyed for so very long.  Years ago, when the County wanted to put a refuse disposal site here - we were told it holds the largest, fresh water aquifer on this side of the state...

I'm going to continue to ride as long as I can - might as well continue my record of this destruction.  Our quiet - our dark at night - our buffer from Marysville - gone forever...


  1. That is so sad. I know this sounds awful, but I was happy when the economy tanked because all subdivision construction came to a screeching halt. I guess this means the economy has recovered, but recovery doesn't necessarily mean that everyone's quality of life improves.

    1. It's on a major upswing here... With all the high-tech companies moving into the Seattle area, we're getting slammed both with rampant development - but also more & more "competition" from mountain bike groups on our traditional horse trails...

  2. Well that is horrible. Doesn't seem like it is very safe with all those gas cans thrown about close to a gas line. Sounds like you'll be having to trailer out after this.

  3. SO sad. Insane how regulations, zoning and environmental factors will just suddenly change or be overlooked depending on the size of the checkbook.

    1. True - it is insane to over burden all the infrastructure in a traditionally rural area - with huge, expensive homes for the wealthy... Let alone the loss of what remaining habitat we have...

  4. I don't think I could watch. I'm not sure if I'd rather just remember how it was or watch the devastation. I'm so sorry. That Cottonwood cathedral, coyotes and everything else that will be gone. Is it time to move?

    I know I've watched the home where I grew up be turned into a "guest house" for a winery, and the next house had rolling hills hiding historic gold mining equipment turned into a subdivision. So I keep going.

    Now I"m near state park/protected land, but who knows for how long. I hope you can still enjoy some trails while they last.

    1. It's painful - I will say that... We thought we'd be here forever, as did our neighbor... You feel our pain then... I guess a guest house at a Winery is a little better than paved over with development... Scary to contemplate the future of open space & park lands...

  5. Laws change according to the size of the check!!
    It is all about money these days. ;(


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