Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Shaw Lake hike

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Saturday afternoon, Sarah and I went hiking with my friend Dave. We brought our dog Rob and Dave brought his two dogs. I wrote about Dave’s mountain biking accident before, and it’s past time for an update. Dave suffered a spinal cord injury and for a while thought he was going to have to have surgery. When he got a second opinion, that doctor said they should wait for him to heal more first. And now it looks like he probably won’t be having surgery. His condition continues to improve, and now he needs to do some hiking and riding on the trainer to get back in shape and continue healing. The main remaining symptoms for Dave are some pain and numbness in his arms.

We went hiking with Dave a couple of weeks ago and he had trouble with even small hills, but now he’s climbing very well and in fact was moving at quite a clip on Saturday. He even did well bushwhacking through a difficult section with a lot of brush (more on that in a minute). He’s still got a ways to go before he can get back on the bike, but he’s getting there and looks better every time I see him. His progress is very encouraging.

Anyway, we had talked about hiking and Dave suggested the Shaw Lake hike in Yellowwood State Forest. Shaw Lake was drained back in 2002 because the dam was deemed unsafe, but the trail is still more or less there. We arrived to find a lot of logging has been going on there. Mitch Daniels, our current governor, has increased logging in our state forests by 300%, and it’s been quite evident on some of our hikes this year. Apparently, there’s a public input session in a couple of weeks about the logging in the state forests. I hope we can do something about it.

The trail was more like a logging road, really, and it was fairly easy. Dave said he’d been cross country skiing there in the past, and I can see how it’d be great for that. There’s a long, gradual downhill slope that curves only gently.

Heavy logging
Heavy logging

Once at the bottom, we found a clearcut meadow, and there were some of the only aspen trees in Indiana, which unfortunately were dead and falling over.

Dave and the dogs
Clearcut area

After a few minutes, we reached the spot where the lake once was. It was really cool to see it and imagine how it would’ve looked full of water, and then to walk in the former lake bed.

Shaw Lake was once here
Shaw Lake was once here

Creek
This creek is all that remains of Shaw Lake

We headed up the opposite side of the ravine and found more logging had blocked the trail. We managed to get through all the brush, but it was pretty challenging.

More logging -- difficult to hike through
The only upside, I guess, is the logging gives you a good view, if you can look past the carnage.

All in all, it was a fun hike, but it was discouraging to see how much logging is happening in our state forests, which I thought were intended to preserve the forests, not cut them down and sell them.

2 Responses to “Shaw Lake hike”

  1. Marty Says:

    That logging is sad – I know that some logging is a necessary evil, but when you see this, it comes across as a blatant disregard for everything in search of the quick buck. Sad.

  2. Apertome Says:

    Marty, that’s exactly what we’ve been seeing. It used to be that the logging was less common and some attempt was made to keep it sustainable, and to keep it away from the recreational areas. Recently they’re exercising a lot less discretion — in fact they’re even doing some logging in backcountry areas now, which hasn’t been allowed for years.

    I’m hoping there’s enough public outrage to force them to scale back operations once again. For me personally this will be a big issue when it comes time to elect the next governor, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

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