The best definition of wilderness that I have seen is, “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain…” It clearly applies to this area.
I saw no sign of bear activity in that particular area. The Cabinet/Yak region, which includes the CMW is thought to contain 30 to 40 Grizzlies as well as black bears. It is currently part of a rather extensive bear study using DNA samples to help determine the number and habit patterns of the bears.
I’m glad too. Ironically, I am coming to the understanding that some of the more remote inventoried roadless areas have less human impact than the more popular wildernesses. The western side of the CMW gets much less traffic and I will focus more on that area, perhaps venturing into the eastern side early in the season before the summer traffic arrives.
From Wilderness.net: “The Cabinets derived their name from early French explorers who noted that the rock formations along the Clark Fork River resembled a series of boxes or cabinets.” Personally I don’t see it, but the name stuck.
I filled one of my water bottles from the lake after I ate lunch beside it, and the water is ice cold. I think it would be a very quick swim! It was interesting to watch the trout rise to feed at the surface. They appeared to be quite small though.
That is beautiful, Terry…. What a reward at the end of a hike…or the middle anyway, as you have to hike back to the jeep…. :) And I like that definition, too…especially the part where “man is a visitor.” If only everyone would understand it that way.
The scenery at the lake is indeed a reward. The last mile of the trail up to the lake gains nearly a thousand feet in elevation so it is rather aggressive but the sight of the lake makes the whole climb so worth while!
I hope it does too. I wish everyone could enjoy it as much as I do! This is an amazing planet! I even found two species of flowers that I’ve never seen before. It makes me wonder how many I missed by not being there in the spring.
The really wild country is truly amazing, Candace. Some of the trails into the CMW are quite well used, but I tend to shy away from those places because I prefer to be completely alone in a wilderness area whenever possible. There is no feeling like it.
That’s a fabulous picture Terry, of a spectacular part of the world! I hope it remains as wilderness in perpetuity.
The definition of wilderness is apt, wherever humans go they seem to have an insatiable need to trammel. If we stopped to think a little more often may be we would realise the untrammeled way of nature is best for everyone.
Yes, I hope it will always be wilderness but at the same time I wonder what that word really means. The western side of the CMW doesn’t get a lot of traffic, but there are several trails on the northeast area that are very busy. It is all foot and horse traffic, but still, a lot of people coming and going. If they all behave…
Yes, I like that way of thinking of it. The rules that pertain to our wilderness areas do keep the areas in their natural state. Interestingly too, those who are willing to exert themselves are hardly ever the ones who abuse the natural world.
Interesting, that word “untrammeled”. It means ” not limited or restricted”, and in the sentence above it clearly applies to nature herself. As I read the sentence, it clearly suggests that humanity shouldn’t impose their own limits and restrictions on nature – but it certainly doesn’t imply that people and the wilderness never should meet. I found this fascinating history of the word trammel – it began life as a description of a certain kind of fishtrap!
That is a fascinating origin for the word!
I strongly believe that there must always be wilderness places, places where mankind has not tampered with things as we have such a tendency to do. Our species however also shares the earth and we should have access to those wild places as long as we can do it respectfully. That really isn’t a burden, in fact encountering Nature on Her terms is one of the most satisfying experiences I know of!