Gimme shelter

Posted by Ken Campbell February 9, 2009 0 Comment 595 views

The U.S. Forest Service went into the shelter-making business in the late 1920’s and the 1930’s on trails throughout the Olympic peninsula. As trails were being carved in to the land, shelters were constructed as part of the Forest Service’s multiple land use management policy, intended to encourage backcountry recreational use. By the late 1930s, nearly 90 shelters had been erected. Less than 20 remain today.

The Anderson Pass shelter (above), is rectangular in shape and measures approximately 22′ x 19′. It is a rough-hewn, one story building with pole wall construction and vertical board and batten siding. Its modified gable roof features cedar shakes and exposed log rafters. Inside, there is a wooden floor and several bunk bed frames that line the rear wall. has a horizontal log sill on a stone foundation with slat wood floorboards and bunk beds extends along rear wall.

I have never slept in any of the shelters I have come accross in my Olympic ramblings. They tend to be havens for rodents and often seem dark and depressing compared to the forest and streams around them. I prefer a tent or a tarp. Or nothing at all. I have taken refuge in them during storms, however, and I appreciate the fact that there are still a few of them around. One of the best cups of tea I have ever had was one that I made in the Happy Four Shelter, on my way out from climbing Mount Olympus, during a raging thunderstorm back in 1993.

Funny how some things just stick with you.

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