One of the rustic latrines being burned is kind of a symbol to the clean up of Scenic and a new rebirth arriving.
A little bit of shameful history is needed here and I repeat it without speaking officially. After the raid and eviction of the soakers in 2001 by the King County Sheriff's deputies a little-known act of disrespect took place on that hillside when the county destroyed everything they could of the original pools and decking. It wasn't a carefully-thought out demolition . . . it turned out to be what many have called, an act of spite. It was wanton destruction and the deputies left the mess as it fell on the hillside . . . a blight. Over the following months former spring lovers snuck up onto the property and piece by piece did what they could to clean up the ugly mess left by the county. They placed that material on the bench above the springs as best they could . . . unable to do much more for the springs they cherished. There this material has sat for five years. Saturday we started the effort to finally get rid of what the county started. They destroyed the site . . . we have made a huge dent to clean it up!
The destruction committed in 2001 after the raid on Scenic.
The sole remaining pool at Scenic is the Monster Tub. It survived the best attempts by hyperactive deputies with chainsaws and sledghammers in 2001 . . . and has survived the test of time on the mountainside implacable and stubborn as the holder of the hot springs waters to this day. It's thick concrete shell is as much a part of the mountain as is the bedrock to which it is firmly anchored. But weathered wooden posts and sills had to go. Dale had this formidable task. Clean up the pool and salvage as much of the shell as the basis of the new springs.
We had to trench into the mountainside around the tub to finally put a measure of erosion control in place . . . and then we had to tease and brute-force out the concrete-anchored posts and jutting sections of rebar. That's where the gas-powered saw came in and I firmly believe Dale relished holding that mean-looking instrument in his hands.
By 4:30 we had cleaned off the bench area and had everything sorted. Two bonfires going good and Robert finally getting around to feeding us all. Suddenly, half of us were in the pool and grabbing that much needed soak.
Much needs yet to be done and I hope our tireless volunteers will join us again as we improve the trails, manage to get an ATV up there to remove the trash . . . and then start the reconstruction of legal soaking pools.
Thank you so much to the volunteers who made this clean up so highly successful. You are indeed awesome and wonderful people!
Rick, echoing the sentiments of Mike (who is very grateful) as well as Bear and Dale.