Lime a kiln hike PCT

Subject: Eagle Whisperer & Snoqualmie Pass 

Sunday: I go on a father/son hike with my Doctor son (Matt) who happens to be a great guy, a rock stacking star and most excellent ultimate Frisbee player as well.

While visiting him in Seattle we decide to hike the lime kiln 7 mile hike trail that takes us up river to a 20 foot tall stone structure that was once used to cook limestone.

Before this hike I have no idea why anyone would mine or let along cook limestone – but now I do.

Apparently, this commonly occurring rock has many uses including making lime, cement and glass. When mixed with cement and clay in a kiln with sand and crushed rock a chemical reaction occurs and you get what is called cement.

On the hike we found pieces of the past to include a former rail line, some ancient looking saw blades and other artifacts.

Monday: Were it not for the snow flying, the lack of map or gps, the ten essentials or possibly a few cold weather garments I might have ended up on the PCT today at Snoqualmie Pass.

My new friend Tim Brown, aka Eagle Whisperer is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the PCT and anything about forests, animal habitats in the wild or Mt Rainier in general.

Eagle Whisperer is a US Forest Service (retired) habitat restorer, former logger and all around great guy. Earlier this year Raptor man Tim put his bird-soothing skills to come to the aid of a bald eagle in distress that became entangled in a rope in Sammamish, WA after a heavy mallard duck dragged him down.

No one else but Tim could’ve pulled off the impossible by getting close enough to the eagle to calm and free this injured bird thus saving his life.

The story was so popular that even Good Morning America showed up for the story.

On our drive up to the pass for me to get the feel of the trail if you will; Tim shared a few war time stories.

One story involved a group of six southbound PCT hikers who almost only made it as far south as the Snoqualmie Pass parking lot.

His boss back then, Joe the logger was driving the (logging not forest service) company pick-up truck while Tim was a new apprentice.

Almost immediately they spot three male and three female hikers wearing backpacks surrounded by a sort of Hollywood Indian shootout; except the riders are all on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

The bikers had the six hikers encircled as they kept riding closer and closer while harassing and yelling obscenities at them.

According to Tim this made Joe furious and in no time at all he puts out the call for help on the company radio, a sort of logger back up network in action takes place.

In no time flat the tides now turn as the dirt bags on the Harleys now become the encircled prey.

In true thru-hiker glory trail Angel fashion the hikers are now encouraged to step up from their penned up area on top of the biker’s bikes and onto the awaiting logger pick-up trucks.

Shot-guns and chain saws are loudly racked and a round chambered for effect. When the hikers are onboard the shotguns are unracked at the relief of the bikers.

To show the thru-hikers that not all loggers are bad people they then buy the hikers as much beer and food as they can carry; of course, the bikers graciously volunteered to flip for the beer and food tab.

The thru-hikers are then driven up the trail a ways thru a padlocked gate and dropped back down near the PCT.

Tomorrow Mt. Rainier – maybe? See you on the trail!