Everyone who finds caches has hobbies outside of geocaching...
or at least we do. One of our hobbies is medieval recreation in the
SCA. On the weekend of September 30, 2006 we were at such an event
in Granite Falls. While walking around and helping people out I met
a "Lord" by the name of Lord Karl Redstone.
Karl, as he insisted I call him, was a simple 50ish year old
gentleman who liked the SCA and could always be counted on to help
volunteer. He always had a good spirit around him in the short time
that I knew him, and was ever helpful. This is something I would
later find out was a prevalent theme in his life. When I made a
comment about how many friends he seemed to have in the campground,
he commented that "anyone who volunteers and furthers the dream is
a friend of mine".
The following day was a day of merriment enjoyed by all. There
were many activities for children, the ability to learn archery,
and for the "grown" adults there was the ability to take place in
heavy fighting. It is a fun part of most of the events, and Karl
was right there with everyone else, having fun with scenarios using
the homemade "armor" and rattan swords constructed to a code. My
job... as a marshall I was to ensure safety and make sure that
between the armor and weapons, no one would be hurt. When the
fighting started, I was to make sure to stop the scenarios if they
got out of hand, tempers flared, or spectators wander on to the
field. After the last melee, I remember Karl telling another
fighter he was tired and was going to go back to his tent. Less
than an hour later I was one of the volunteers that was running
around to get an ambulance to a site where cell phone coverage was
spotty at best.
Karl passed away at the hospital later that night with his wife
beside him. Word was quickly spread around the camp and it had a
profound effect on the atmosphere. What had started to be parties,
were now turned into wakes. Instead of talking about the
interesting parts of life in the mudane (kind of like a muggle)
world, conversations turned towards memories or Karl and other
people that have moved on or passed away. The next morning at the
closing court, the cries of "Long Live Karl Redstone, Long Live
House Redstone" could be heard clear across the campground.
Even though I did not know him that long, Karl had a profound
effect on me. Similar to the geocaching community, very little
would get done in the SCA community if not for the countless
volunteers who ensure that things that need to be done get done. To
me, Karl was the archetypical example of a volunteer... something I
now want to get closer to achieving in the coming years.
I would like to think that Karl would like a place like this, so
we decided to name this cache in his honor. The trail does not have
a marked, but is referred to as Kelly Butte trail, #1031 in a
couple of places. This is a hike that KidAce, DangerBoy and myself
(Poppa J) did in about 3.5 hours return trip, including a moment of
silence after placing the cache. According to the GPS, the
elevation at the cache site was 5401ft.
Your destination is near an abandoned fire lookout at the top of
Kelly Butte. There is a logbook in the lookout itself, and the
lookout has an amazing 320 degree view of the surrounding
mountains. It is simply stunning what you can see from here. As you
are ascending, you will also see amazing views of Mt Rainier
depending on what the weather is like over by Rainier. With an
elevation of 5401ft, we were able to get some nice shots of Rainier
over the clouds. Stunning.
The trip down the roads is also breathtaking. Off of Highway
410, take NF-70 and set your odometer at 0 right at the corner of
NF-70 and 410. WP1 is at 8.0mi and is a left hand turn past a sign
with 7030 and an arrow beneath it. WP2 is at 11.9mi and is another
left hand turn on to NF-7030. WP3 is at 12.4mi, and you need to go
straight rather than right and uphill. WP4 is at 13.1mi and is a
right hand turn, keeping on 7030 instead of switching to 7032. PK1
is at 14.4mi and is a good parking spot if you want to stretch your
legs with a bit of a walk or if you want to make sure your car
doesn't bottom out. The road to PK2 is on your left and is 100% one
lane with no turnouts, so if you encounter another car, one of you
will have to go backwards back to PK1 or PK2.
As to road conditions, NF-70 is fully paved, and as soon as you
turn off of it, the roads are decent gravel up to PK1. There are
spots where there are potholes, but there is no spot before PK1
that I would even hesitate on driving our car over. Between PK1 and
PK2 is a decent road, but it has some spots where you can bottom
out your car if you are not careful. With some care to your
driving, you can avoid bottoming our your car. A high clearance
vehicle should have no problem on those spots.
From PK2, take time to admire the nice view of Mt Rainer. To the
east, there is a little trail that goes about 200ft. At that point
there is a rope that should visibly go up the hill, and at the top
of that rope, another rope that will get you a bit further up the
side. Once you get to the top of the second rope, there is a bit of
a scramble before about 1mi worth of switchbacks which eventually
work into a nice alpine meadow. There are lots of birds up here, so
keep an eye out. When we were placing the cache, it was this border
between the switchbacks and the meadow where we saw a hawk fly
within 15ft of KidAce on its way down the hill. After 0.8mi of
meadows, you will clearly see the lookout tower on the right and a
trail to get to it on the left, up a small hill (compared to what
you have already climbed). Once up the small hill, its a small walk
to the lookout tower and the nearby cache.
For the record, I am proud of DangerBoy. DangerBoy is 4 years
old and KidAce is 8 years old, and together we made this trek,
DangerBoy's first serious hike. While at times he was nervous and
scared, he tried to be safe the entire time and listened to my
directions for most of the trip... after all, he is 4! So if I hear
anyone complaining about parts of the hike, I will redirect their
notes and emails to "DB" who will respond to them.
Cache is an ammo box with some nice goodies. While you take in
the nice panorama near the cache, please sign the log book in the
lookout tower and make sure to latch the door on your way out. Take
a moment to think about someone you care about.
While in the area, consider doing our
On the Way to Kelly Butte and
On The Way to See The Pyramid caches and the seldom visited
Pyramid Peak cache.