Rocky Ridge to Fish Lake Overlook - September 12, 2015
Coordinator Edwin Case, narration and pictures by Bill Reilly (as editted by secretary)

Ray, John and Bill Reilly met at the parking lot September 12 and visited with Larry Broeker, a geologist, who wanted pictures of Fish Lake for an upcoming briefing. He could not join us as he has a problem with narrow trails high up. They met Edwin at Exit 98 and proceeded with him to the trail head for Rocky Ridge Shelter. Started hiking at 1020. The first 30 minutes of the hike was on a wide, easy trail that was fairly shady. The group stopped at the Rocky Ridge Shelter and look pictures of the plaque for Vernon Ben Lerwill who was a man of many talents. From there we proceeded to the rim above Fish Lake. Lots of downed trees. At times it was hard to find the trail after having to walk around fallen trees.

The sky was fairly clear with not much evidence of smoke. They reached the rim about noon so some of the pictures of the lake were a bit faded. John showed the group the 12 Gabian Baskets that he and a friend Donny built 20 years ago under a contract with the Forestry Department. The wire material for the baskets was packed in by mules/donkeys along with food and water for John and Donny. They spent a total of six weeks camped there and built a total of 20 baskets. Each basket held one cubic yard of rock/gravel. It took 32 5-gallon pails of rock and gravel to fill each basket. The baskets acted as foundation for the trail around the rim above Fish Lake. John showed us where he and Donny camped.

John, Ray and Edwin continued on to where John and Donny built the remaining 8 baskets. This area was on solid rock which they had to chisel the best they could to level the foundation. John said even though these were not perfectly level they were still holding up fairly well after 20 years. John showed us an area where others had constructed retaining walls prior to introduction of EPA guide lines. It would have been extremely difficult to have made this hike around the rim had these baskets not been installed. This was about a 6-8 mile hike to the Gabians and back and for some possibly 2 more miles further for the rest of the party.  It was a good day of hiking and thanks again to Edwin who scouted out this interesting hike.


 

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